June 18/98 11:53 am - Stage 3 HP Women's Challenge
Posted by Editor on 06/18/98
Stage 3 HP Womenâ€šs Challenge
Canadian Wins Again, Europeans Dominate; Aussies Animate; Americans Suffer (courtesy Cypress Communications)
Galena Summit, Idaho, USAËœ Canadian Linda Jackson broke away from Rasa Polikeviciute of Lithuania two miles from the top of 8,700 foot Galena Summit to win todayâ€šs 78-mile HP Planet Partners Road Race and strengthen her overall lead in the 1998 Hewlett-Packard International Womenâ€šs Challenge.
Jackson, who finished second overall last year, attacked the six-rider lead group with two miles to go, winning the stage in 3:40:26, 33 seconds ahead of Polikeviciute.Russian Polkhanova crossed the line third, and 1998 UCI/World Cup Leader Diana Ziliute of Lithuania was fourth
Foreign competitors dominated todayâ€šs stage, with 1996 Olympic gold medalists Zulfia Zabirova of Russia and Jeannie Longo of France finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. 1996 Swiss World Champion Barbara Heeb crossed the line seventh. Lithuaniaâ€šs Edita Pucinskaite was eighth; Anna Wilson of Australia ninth; and reigning World Champion Alessandra Cappellotto of Italy finished tenth. U.S. racers suffered today, with Ventura, Californiaâ€šs Mari Holden finishing as the top American in 17th, 2:19 behind. Reigning U.S. National Champion Louisa Jenkins of Coronado, California, crashed twice, and crossed the line bleeding in 70th place.
"When push came to shove, I just had to win today," said Jackson, 39, a former stock investor, 1996 Olympian and member of the elite Saeco-Timex Team.
Todayâ€šs race started high in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, and featured two severe mountain climbs. Action started early on the 20-mile climb up to Banner Summit, where 1992 Australian Olympic Gold Medalist Kathy Watt of the Texas Premier Team sprinted away to win a special $300 sprint prize. Behind, dozens of racers struggled to stay in touch.
"The climbs were excruciating," said Jennifer Davidson of North Palm Beach, Florida, who finished dead last, nearly 40 minutes behind the winner. "Every muscle in my legs hurt. I was dropped on the first climb and was just trying to survive." At one point, stragglers trailed the leaders by over 12 miles. Many cyclists crossed the finish line gasping for air and in tears. Rachael Pendleton-Casto of Boise, suffering from a car-bike accident last week, finished in 120th place. Five racers failed to finish.
Midway through the race, Wilson broke away with Giana Roberge of Saratoga Springs, New York. Wilson dropped Roberge, but was joined by a chase group shortly before the final climb.
Going into tomorrowâ€šs 39-mile HP LaserJet Supplies Road Race, Jackson has a lead of 50 seconds over Valentina Polkhanova of Russia. Holden is the top American, in 16th place, 2:42 behind.
1 Linda Jackson** CAN 5:42:29
2 Valentina Polkhanova RUS 0:00:50
3 Rasa Polikeviciute LIT 0:01:12
4 Diana Ziliute* LIT 0:01:15
5 Edita Pucinskaite* LIT 0:01:18
6 Jeannie Longo** FRA 0:01:22
7 Alessandra Cappellotto ITA 0:01:39
8 Barbara Heeb SWZ 0:01:39
9 Zulfija Zabirova RUS 0:01:40
10 Meike de Bruijn NED 50:01:48
12 Alison Sydor CAN 0:02:05
17 Lyne Bessett CAN 0:03:00
28 Chrissy Redden CAN 0:04:02
32 Leigh Hobson CAN 0:04:27
42 Melanie McQuaid CAN 0:05:30
46 Kim Langton CAN 0:06:03
52 Muffy Roy** CAN 0:07:02
55 Cybil Di Guistini* CAN 0:07:36
56 Sandy Espeseth CAN 0:07:37
57 Lesley Tomlinson CAN 0:07:40
66 Trish Sinclair CAN 0:14:57
67 Leah Goldstein CAN 0:14:57
73 Stacey Spencer CAN 0:20:58
75 Annie Gariepy CAN 0:23:02
79 Marg Fedyna CAN 0:23:41
89 Sophie St. Jacques* CAN 0:27:24
96 Anne Samplonius CAN 0:30:12
101 Karen Timewell CAN 0:31:47
103 Mandy Poitras CAN 0:32:35
105 Nicole Gingles CAN 0:33:13
111 Gina Grain CAN 0:38:21
116 Darnelle Moore CAN 0:41:58