Posted by Editor on 05/30/99
Gaudry Overcomes All Obstacles in World Cup Win
Tracy Gaudry, the Australian national champion overcame jetlag, UCI regulations and a complete lack of team support to take the fifth round of the women's Road World Cup in Montreal, Canada, earlier today. Favoured local rider Lyne Bessette led a Saturn sweep of the next three places, with team mate Anna Wilson finishing third, and Susy Pryde fourth. Hanka Kupfernagel (Greenery Hawk) maintains her lead atop the overall standings.
Gaudry's saga began with a flight from Paris yesterday, after just finishing 4th overall in the Tour de Bretagne stage race. After arriving last night, with release from her French Ebly trade team to ride for Timex, Gaudry (and Timex) were astounded to find out that the World Cup is the one event in which mixing of trade teams is not allowed. Said one UCI official: "If it had been any other event but the World Cup, it wouldn't have been a problem". So Gaudry was forced to race on her own, against powerhouses such as Saturn, Timex, Greenery Hawk and the Dream Team - led by last year's winner and current World Champion Diana Ziliute.
"For the first 6 laps (of the 11 lap race) I decided to just stay in front and see what I could do." stated Gaudry. Since the race began slowly, with riders nervous about going out too early on the difficult Mont Royal course (a world championship and Olympic circuit in the past) in over 30 degree (Celcius) heat, Gaudry was able to stretch out her legs and work her way into contention, as the field of 53 was winnowed by attrition.
On the sixth lap Gaudry tried an attack on the 3 kilometre climb, however, she and her fellow breakaways were soon reeled back in. With three laps to go Anna Wilson tested the waters, and Gaudry responded. Wilson then faltered, but was replaced by Tour de l'Aude winner Bessette. Other favourites hesitated, or were already stretched to the limit (Linda Jackson had mechanical troubles on the 7th climb and had to chase for a lap; Kupfernagel admitted that she "did not eat enough, and I had trouble with the heat"), so the duo were 30 seconds ahead over the top of the climb, and a minute clear with 1 lap to go.
At this point Bessette was the clear favourite, riding very smoothly and powerfully, and doing much of the work at the front during the climb. It wasn't until the final 600 metres that Gaudry thought she might have a chance. "She (Bessette) started easing up, and I came up beside her. So I thought that I would have a go, and see what happened. I got a gap right away, so I just kept going. It (the win) was much better than I could ever have expected." After the race, Bessette revealed that she was cramping on the final climb: "I should have drunk more, earlier in the race. I knew that Tracy would be tough, from l'Aude. So, while it would have been nice to win, I am very happy with my result."
Montreal, Quebec (90 kilometers, 11 laps): 1. Tracy Gaudry AUS 2:43:07; 2. Lyne Bessette CAN Saturn at 0:11; 3. Anna Wilson AUS Saturn at 1:01; 4. Susy Pryde NZL Saturn 1:02; 5. Catherine Marsal FRA GS Edilsavino s.t.; 6. Barbara Heeb SUI Nurnberger-Emmi s.t.; 7. Heidi Van De Vijver BEL Belgium National s.t.; 8. Julie Young USA Timex s.t.; 9. Pia Sundstedt FIN GS Edilsavino s.t.; 10. Diana Ziliute LTU Dream Team s.t.
Others: 15. Linda Jackson CAN Timex at 1:17; 16. Leigh Hobson CAN Aragon 18 s.t.; 17. Pam Schuster USA Timex at 1:29; 18. Mari Holden USA Dream Team at 1:40; 24. Cybil Diguistini CAN Team Elita at 4:01 25. Sue Palmer-Komar CAN Team Elita s.t.; 26. Erin Carter CAN Team Elita at 8:02.
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