Posted by Editoress on 05/4/03
Tour of the Gila Arizona, USA
Courtesy Team Saturn
Stage 5: Gila Monster Road Race
The Tour of the Gila wrapped up today with the infamous "Gila Monster" race. 69 miles for the pro women, today's stage is considered to be the most challenging of the Tour. With over 5.000 feet of climbing, the race course crisscrossed the Continental Divide, taking the riders reverse of the course they raced Friday. With race leader Genevieve Jeanson leading the race by over nine minutes, the peloton was uninterested in pursuing anything beyond survival and protection of their placement in the overall.
The morning broke brisk and deceivingly calm. The women rolled out of town on the main road through the still slumbering outskirts of the city. Once they took a left hand turn, the rolling hill took on a nasty edge with several long, steep climbs. Saturn's Jutras was the first to throw down an attack, and Jeanson was quick to respond. However, once they reached the strong winds, about four miles later, it was Jeanson by herself. Once again time trialing into the wind, the Canadian steadily put time into a chase group behind. T-Mobile and Saturn worked together in attempt to gather back some time, but it was not to be, and Jeanson soloed in for her fourth win of the Tour. In a repeat of Redlands, only Saturn's Ina Teutenberg and Jeanson won stages at the five day Tour.
As Jeanson met with reporters the main field came across the finish with Jeanson's teammate Karen Bockel taking a strong second place finish over T-Mobile's Katrina Grove in third and Lyne Gaggioli in fourth.
The overall remained unchanged save for the additional time Jeanson racked up. Saturn's Jutras finished second in the overall ahead of Grove.
From here the Saturn women have a brief rest before heading overseas to France where they will compete at the Tour de L'Aude. The remainder of the team will be racing at the Joe Martin Stage next weekend in Arkansas.
1. Genevieve Jeanson - Rona
2. Karen Bockel - Rona
3. Katrina Grove - T-Mobile
1. Jeanson - Rona
2. Jutras - Saturn
3. Grove - T-Mobile
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