Posted by Editoress on 05/31/08
Montreal Women's World Cup
by Leigh Hargrove
Montreal's event has now become a regular stop on the women's world cup circuit; the weather often rainy, the race win often determined on the hill leading into the finish area and the race activity not usually stirring up until halfway through. Although the rain and hill were still very present, a recent change in the start/finish location in 2007 has now forced the climbers to be more strategic in their race plan for this 11-lap, 110 km race, now ending with a fairly flat, slightly uphill 300-metre finishing straight.
The race played out rather perfectly for Team High Road Women. With Judith Arndt sitting in the world cup leaders' jersey, teammate Ina Teutenberg distracted the field with a 2nd lap attack, immediately opening up a fifteen second gap going into the climb. With the pack relatively unresponsive, Teutenberg opened up her lead to a minute twenty over the next four laps.
At the top of the climb in the 7th lap the pack reeled Ina in, instantly blowing her off the back. The German's job was done, she had forced Kristen Armstrong's Team Cervelo-Lifeforce to lead the chase and do the majority of the work.
The next two times up the hill saw the pack split into two smaller groups of fifteen to twenty riders each with a 20 second gap between groups. Birthday girl Alex Wrubleski (Webcor Builders) looked very comfortable in the pack leading the field into each climb. She was also accompanied by other Olympic spot contenders Felicia Gomez, (Aaron's Professional Cycling), Anne Samplonius (Canadian National Team), Leigh Hobson (Canadian National Team) and Erinne Willock (Webcor Builders).
At the top of the 10th time up the hill a break formed to open up a fifteen second gap on the main pack. Five riders split from the pack including last year's winner, Fabiana Luperini, Armstrong, Arndt, Sara Carrigan (Australian National Team) and recent up-and-comer British rider Emma Pooley (Specialized Designs for Women).
With Olympic qualification most likely at the back of their minds, three determined Canadians, Hobson, Willock and Samplonius, worked together to jump the now diminished group of 19 riders to bridge the gap up to the break. The trio was successful and a winning break of 8 riders was formed going into the 11th lap.
Arndt was looking strong going into the final lap. Bridging away from the break of eight she took a tired Luperini along for the ride. "I tried to make it really hard the last time up the climb and she couldn't stay on. Then she said she would work and draft with me but she also that she wouldn't sprint at the end. I think that was really fair because she was tired and if she hadn't worked and I hadn't worked that wouldn't have got us second place. It would have been bad for us but I think this was really fair. She's a great champion."
The two opened up a gap of 40 seconds on the break, guaranteeing a 1/2 finish. With Arndt clearly pulling Luperini around for the final lap, the duo did not contest the sprint with Luperini letting the German cross the line first with her fist pumped up into the air.
Forty seconds later the race for third place was on. With three Canadians in this group and an Olympic spot up for grabs, this was a bit of a nail biter. With a confident strength it was Hobson who pulled through for her first ever World Cup podium finish. Samplonius took sixth and Willock was 7th.
Leigh Hobson's dreams have come true after a third place World Cup finish has secured her a position on the Olympic team. She was visibly worked up about it after the race once the realization started to set in. "I am very happy, I had hoped to get top 10 so podium was like "wow! That's an extra bonus and an opportunity to go the Olympics!" It doesn't feel real right now."
An automatic position on the Canadian Olympic team goes to the rider with the highest World Cup finish. In speaking with National Team Coach, Vincent Jourdain after the race, it is apparent that Hobson has secured her position on the team. Wrubleski has taken the second spot based on her two fourth place finishes at World Cup races earlier this season. The talented rider was sitting in 7th place overall going into Montreal's race but just didn't have her best race. "I just didn't have it for myself today. Definitely not as good as expected...It just came down to climbing today and if you were climbing good you were going to be in the top bunch."
The third and final position on the Olympic team goes to committee choice and the team will be officially announced June 15.
Although Judith Arndt was successful in her win she seemed happy but not satisfied. The German rider mentioned that her main focus this year is the Olympics, everything else is just preparation. Her win in Montreal secured her lead in the overall world cup standings.
123 racers started the event. After 8 laps only 20 had abandoned.
Montreal was Kristin Armstrong's first race back after some scheduled time off and, as a result, the start of the next training block for Olympic training. She finished fifth.
Leigh Hobson mentioned how great it was that the three Canadians worked so well together to chase down the race-winning break. They set their personal goals aside (to qualify for the Olympics) and worked together as a team to bridge the gap. It seems to be the theme of this year's season for the girls. "As we were going into this Olympic year we started to say we will never work against each other but we realize that every world cup race is a race against each other. So we will all try to have our best race without hindering each other's chances. We would never chase one another down."
Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) had two flat tires within the first three laps of the race and one really slow wheel change. This misfortune caused her to lose the group and ultimately DNF.
Clara Hughes was on site to watch the race. She will be racing in the local Grand Tour du Montreal, which starts on Monday, June 2 with Team Specialized Carrefour Multisport. Clara hasn't raced in five years but she will be riding on the team as a mentor for this week. After that she will return to Calgary to continue training for speed skating.
Jeannie Longo Ciprelli (Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz) crashed late in the race, injuring her hip, and requested medical assistance. She seemed concerned that her hip might take awhile to heal. The world-class cycling legend is turning 50 this year.
|1 Judith Arndt (Ger) High Road Women||3:11:34|
|2 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors||at s.t.|
|3 Leigh Hobson (Can) Canadian National Team||0:32|
|4 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Australian National Team||0:34|
|5 Kristen Armstrong (USA) Cervelo-Lifeforce|
|6 Anne Samplonius (Can) Canadian National Team|
|7 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders||all s.t.|
|8 Emma Pooley (GBr) Specialized Designs for Women||0:38|
|9 Priska Doppman (Sui) Cervelo-Lifeforce||0:51|
|10 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Australian National Team||s.t.|
|11 Edwige Pittel (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz||0:53|
|12 Lauren Franges (USA) Team TIBCO||1:10|
|13 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO||1:23|
|14 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|15 Chantal Beltman (Ned) High Road Women|
|16 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Equipe NÃƒÂ¼rnberger Versicherung|
|17 Felicia Gomez (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team|
|18 Kimberly Anderson (USA) High Road Women|
|19 Giuseppina Grassi (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique|
|20 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Webcor Builders|
|21 Ruth Corset (Aus) Australian National Team|
|22 Julie Beveridge (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team||all s.t.|
|23 Kori Kelley Seehafer (USA) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors||1:26|
|24 Monika Schachl (Aut) UNIQA||3:00|
|25 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors||9:11|
|26 Nathalie Bates (Aus) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors||9:13|
|27 Karin Aune (Swe) UNIQA||s.t.|
|28 Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope||9:15|
|29 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe NÃƒÂ¼rnberger Versicherung|
|30 Sarah Grab (Sui) Specialized Designs for Women|
|31 Victoria Bastide (Swe) Team TIBCO|
|32 Christine Majerus (Lux) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion|
|33 Sue Schlatter (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS|
|34 Rachel Heal (GBr) Team TIBCO|
|35 Patricia Schwager (Sui) Cervelo-Lifeforce|
|36 Brooke Miller (USA) Team TIBCO|
|37 Oenone Wood (Aus) High Road Women|
|38 Lorian Graham (Aus) Australian National Team|
|39 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Australian National Team||all s.t.|
|40 Yeugeniya Vysotska (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team||14:18|
|41 Johanne Cyr (Can) Equipe Cascades||s.t.|
|42 Kristin Sanders (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team||17:17|
|43 Bettina Hold (Can) Canadian National Team|
|44 Moriah Jo Macgregor (Can) Canadian National Team|
|45 Sarah DÃƒÂ¼ster (Ger) Cervelo-Lifeforce|
|46 Julie Bellerose (Can) Equipe Cascades|
|47 Min Gao (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|48 Sufen Ma (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|49 Daniela Pintarelli (Aut) UNIQA|
|50 Jen Stephenson (Can) Ultralink||all s.t.|
|51 Svitlana Galyuk (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team||17:20|
|HD Yeima Torres (Cub) Cuban National Team|
|HD Iraida Garcia (Cub) Cuban National Team|
|HD Belem Guerrero (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique|
|HD Bernadette Schober (Aut) UNIQA|
|HD Fei Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|HD Li Ping Zhang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|HD Marie Lindberg (Swe) Equipe NÃƒÂ¼rnberger Versicherung|
|HD Sophie Matte (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS|
|HD Yong Li Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling|
|HD Mary Zider (USA) Advil-Chapstick|
|HD Sophie Creux (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion|
|HD Kateryna Krasova (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team|
|HD Julia Bradley (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS|
|HD Alyssa Mellon (Can) Ultralink|
|HD Catherine Hogan (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|HD Eugenie Mermillod (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz|
|HD BÃƒÂ©atrice Thomas (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion|
|HD Dalila Rodriguez (Cub) Cuban National Team|
|HD Tricia K Spooner (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS|
|HD Trine Schmidt (Den) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors|
|HD Yumari Gonzalez (Cub) Cuban National Team|
|HD Yoanka Gonzalez (Cub) Cuban National Team|
|HD Joanie Caron (Can) Equipe Cascades|
|HD Anne Guzman (Dom) Equipe Cascades|
|HD Fanny Riberot (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz|
|HD Genevieve Gauthier (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|DNF Estelle Patou (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion|
|DNF Carmen Mcnellis (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF Natasha Elliott (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS|
|DNF Jeannie Longo Ciprelli (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz|
|DNF Mathilde Hupin (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|DNF Jessica Burns (Can) Equipe Cascades|
|DNF Sarah Coney (Can) Ultralink|
|DNF Louise Moriarty (Irl) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|DNF Allison Lampi (Can) Ultralink|
|DNF Veronique Labonte (Can) Equipe Cascades|
|DNF Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|DNF Lorena Foresi (Ita) Menikini-Selle Italia Master|
|DNF Ina Teutenberg (Ger) High Road Women|
|DNF Katherine Bates (Aus) High Road Women|
|DNF Larissa Kleinmann (Ger) Equipe NÃƒÂ¼rnberger Versicherung|
|DNF Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe NÃƒÂ¼rnberger Versicherung|
|DNF Janel Holcomb (USA) Webcor Builders|
|DNF Christine Thorburn (USA) Webcor Builders|
|DNF Joelle Numainville (Can) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion|
|DNF Jocelyn Loane (Aus) Australian National Team|
|DNF Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo-Lifeforce|
|DNF Pascale Schnider (Sui) Cervelo-Lifeforce|
|DNF Tanja Hennes (Ger) Specialized Designs for Women|
|DNF Kristen Lasasso (USA) Specialized Designs for Women|
|DNF Mirjam Hauser-Senn (Sui) Specialized Designs for Women|
|DNF Andrea Knecht (Sui) Specialized Designs for Women|
|DNF Julia Farell (Can) Ultralink|
|DNF Chloe St-Arnaud-Watt (Can) Ultralink|
|DNF Elizaveta Bochkarova (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team|
|DNF Tetiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team|
|DNF Olena Andruk (Ukr) Ukrainian National Team|
|DNF Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux) UNIQA|
|DNF Alison Testroete (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling|
|DNF Meredith Miller (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling|
|DNF Julie Dheruelle (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope|
|DNF Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope|
|DNF Emmanuelle Merlot (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope|
|DNF Carissa Wilkes (NZl) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz|
|DNF Brei Gudsell (NZl) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz|
|DNF Sue Palmer-Komar (Can) Advil-Chapstick|
|DNF Kirsten Robbins (Can) Advil-Chapstick|
|DNF Elisa Gagnon (Can) Advil-Chapstick|
|DNF Helen Kelly (Aus) Team TIBCO|
|DNF Julie Marceau (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport|
|DNF Veronica Leal (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique|
|DNF Mayra Rocha (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique|
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