June 21/98 11:40 am - HP Final, Beauce Final
Posted by Editor on 06/21/98
Rossner Wins Final Stage Of Hewlett-Packard International Womenâ€šs Challenge
(courtesy USA Cycling)
BOISE, Idaho -- For the second time in two days, a German edged an American as the Hewlett-Packard International Womenâ€šs Challenge finished Sunday.
Petra Rossner (Office Max) beat Karen Bliss Livingston (Saturn) over the final 200 meters into Hyde Park after the 121-rider field had raced 39 miles from Emmett.
By finishing with the lead field, Linda Jackson (Saeco-Timex) won the overall title by 50 seconds over Valentina Polkhanova (Office Depot).
After a brief eight-rider break, which formed after the final mountain sprint, was absorbed, it was apparent that the field was going to come to the finish line in one group.
"The sprint started with 10km to go," Livingston said. "It was a gigantic wind-up. Everybody was there. It was hard to stay up front."
At the beginning of the final kilometer, Ina Teutenberg (Office Depot), winner of yesterdayâ€šs Idaho Statehouse Criterium, was at the front, followed by Rossner and Livingston. With 200 meters to go, Rossner jumped to right, while Livingston went left. It was quickly apparent that Rossner had the edge, enough so that Teutenberg threw her arms up in celebration of her countrywomanâ€šs victory.
"She sprinted and I sprinted and we met in front and I won by a wheel," Rossner said.
Rossnerâ€šs victory means that for the first time in the 14-year history of this elite womenâ€šs race, no American won a single stage. Mari Holden (Office Depot) was the top American finisher in 13th place overall. (Editorâ€šs Note: Canada had two in the top 10!)
Jackson used another strong team effort to keep the leaderâ€šs jersey.
"They were top notch," she said. "They were all over everything. At one point, I was in the wind chasing and Pam Schuster said, Å’No, Linda, let me do that.â€š"
The effort was reflected among the Saeco-Timex squad.
"The week has just taken its toll on us," said Kendra Wenzel, the team captain.
Stage Five, Emmett to Hyde Park, June 21, 39 miles
1. PETRA ROSSNER (OFFICE MAX), Germany, one hr, 36 mins, 14 secs;
2. Karen Bliss Livingston (Saturn), Gainesville, Fla., s.t.;
3. Svetlana Samokhvalova (Russian National), Russia, s.t.;
4. Evi Gensheimer (Longo-Ebly), Germany, s.t.;
5. Anna Wilson (Australia), Australia, s.t.;
6. Pam Schuster (Saeco- Timex), Northridge, Calif., s.t.;
7. Diana Ziliute (HP Toner), Lithuania, s.t.;
8. Edita Pucinskaite (Boise Cascade), Lithuania, s.t.;
9. Ina Teutenberg (Office Depot), Germany, s.t.;
10. Heide Van de Vijver (Hydro Quebec), Belgium, s.t.
1. LINDA JACKSON (SAECO-TIMEX), Nepean, Ont., Canada, 11 hrs, 11 mins, 42 secs
2. Valentina Polkhanova (Office Depot), Russia, @:50;
3. Diana Ziliute (HP Toner), Lithuania, @1:15;
4. Jeannie Longo (Longo-Ebly), France, @1:22;
5. Rasa Polikeviciute (HP Toner), Lithuania, @1:25;
6. Edita Pucinskaite (Boise Cascade), Lithuania, @1:37;
7. Alessandra Cappellotto (Boise Cascade), Italy, @1:39;
8. Meike de Bruijn (Dutch National), Netherlands, @2:07;
9. Jolanta Polikeviciute (HP Toner), Lithuania, @2:08;
10. Alison Sydor (Canadian National), N. Vancouver, B.C., Canada, @2:05
Team Overall: HP Toner.
Points Jersey: Diana Ziliute (HP Toner), Lithuania.
Mountain Jersey: Mari Holden (Office Depot), Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sprint Jersey: Anna Wilson (Australia), Australia.
Best Young Rider: Diana Ziliute (HP Toner), Lithuania.
Note: We will have full canadian results tomorrow,
Beauce Stage 5 and 6
While the last two stages had no affect on general classification for the top five, they did provide some very exciting racing, particularly by Canadian riders. Stage 5, held yesterday evening, was a criterium through the streets of St Georges de Beauce. Prior to the race, a heavy downpour threatened to create havoc on the tricky course, but luckily the skies cleared and the riders rode on damp streets for the first few laps before they dried up. The racers faced a short 15% grade on each 1.6 kilometre lap - not what they were looking forward to after Mont Megantic the day before, and another tough stage the next day.
The race was the Peter Wedge Show. The Radio Energie rider attacked on the first lap, and on the second, and finally got away on the 12th (of 31). This time fellow Canadian Mark Walters (Mercury) went with him, and the two went quickly to 30 seconds. The duo managed to reach a maximum of 40 seconds on the field, with Radio Energie doing a fine job of blocking. While Walters and Wedge shared duties at the front, it was clearly Wedge who set the tempo. In the final few laps, the Czech ZVVZ team went to the front and began to reel them in. At the start of the last lap the gap was down to 17 seconds. Wedge was at the front pulling and manged to keep himself and Walters 10 seconds clear at the line, which Walters easily took. Wedge admitted to some disappointment concerning Walter's action: "I feel let down a bit; I thought he was more of a gentleman than that." Walters was having none of it: "we both did our share of work, and I sat on the last half lap - that's what you do in a crit." Frank McCormack (Saturn) took the field sprint for third. There was no effect on the general classification, other than to move Wedge from 15th to 14th and Walters 21st to 19th.
The 180 kilometre final stage was held under very hot conditions - mid 30's celcius. As an indication of how much the amount of racing and the pace was affecting everyone: 135 started the Grand Prix, 72 were on the line for the final stage, and 62 finished (the final 7 between 10 and 30 minutes down). The expectation was that there would be a "suicide break" early on, but that the race would come down to the final 3 laps of the 4.5 kilometre finishing circuit; which included a punishing 1 kilometre climb - the final 500 metres between 15% and 18%.
This is precisely what happened. Joshua Thorton (USA National) went away in the first 5 kilometres and was quickly joined by Dominique Perras (Espoirs de Laval). It quickly became apparent that Thorton wasn't up to the task, and he was dropped at the 25 kilometre mark. At that point, Perras had 1:20 on the pack, and was looking strong. By the 40 kilometre mark he was up to 3 minutes, and at the first of the Mountain Climbers primes he was at nearly 4 minutes. Meanwhile, another Canadian - Chad Kozak (Bows/Republik) was coming up. He caught Thornton shortly after the KoM (King of the Mountain) and finally caught up to Perras at the 78 kilometre mark. Meanwhile, things were not going too well in the pack - except for Saturn, that is. A crash on the descent after the KoM took Mike Engleman (Navigators) out of the race. Saturn was controlling the pace extremely well - keeping the pace high enough to discourage serious breakaway attempts, and keeping the existing break at around the two to two and a half minute mark.
Shortly after Thornton was caught (and spit out the back), another Canadian took a flyer - mountain biker Josh Hall, riding for Team Jeep/Brielle. "Our team hasn't gotten a lot of exposure all week. This was a 'what if' move - I just wanted to see what would happen."
What happened is that Hall motored up to the break pretty smartly, catching them at the 100 kilometre mark. Working together well, the trio went back up to 1:45. However, Kozak blew after the second KoM and dropped off, abandoning shortly afterwards. The end was in sight for the break, it was just a matter of how long Saturn would leave them out to roast. Hall and Perras did not give in easily though, manging to stay away until the 152 kilometre point - meaning Perras had been out in the front for 146 kilometres; a superb ride.
Now the race began to get serious - the field of approximately 50 was entering the finishing circuit. saturn went to the front and stayed there. The high tempo they set on the first of 4 climbs brought the group down to 25. The second ascent went the same, although David Clinger (Mercury) - the top Under 23 rider in the race - jumped. He was quickly brought back under control by Saturn. On the third climb, a flurry of attacks were tried, but the only successful one was by Sylvain Beauchamps (Radio Energie), who launched his just before the start finish line and quickly gained 10 seconds. The Czech squad ZVVZ immediately went to the front to chase him down, assisted by Navigators. The Czechs were thought to be particularly anxious to win this final stage, since the were the only one of the major teams not to have won a stage so far. They were successful in bringing back Beauchamps just before the final climb, and successful in taking the stage as well. The finish couldnâ€št really be called a sprint - not on the grade the riders were riding up. However, Tomas Konecny (ZVVZ) proved his worthiness to be wearing the Climberâ€šs Jersey by beating out David Clinger at the line. Top Canadian in the stage was Beauchamps in 11th.
Stage 6 - St Georges de Beauce to St Georges de Beauce, 180 km
1. Tomas Konecny (CZE) ZVVZ 4:50:20
2. David Clinger (USA) Mercury
3. Tomasz Brozyna (POL) Mroz
4. Andrzei Sypytkowski (POL) Mroz
5. Frank McCormack (USA) Saturn
11. Sylvain Beauchamps (CAN) Radio Energie all s.t.
17. Peter Wedge (CAN) Radio Energie at 0:25
18. Mark Walters (CAN) Mercury 0:30
20. Andrew Randell (CAN) Jet Fuel 1:11
21. Jacques Landry (CAN) Radio Energie 2:02
22. Neil Grover (CAN) Canadian National s.t.
25. Pierre Chevrier (CAN) Radio Energie 3:43
27. Etienne Tremblay (CAN) Espoirs de Laval
28. Jonathan Bolduc (CAN) Espoirs de Laval both s.t.
30. Jonathan Tremblay (CAN) Espoirs de Laval 3:44
1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Saturn 20:02:56
2. Sypytkowski at 0:36
3. Artour Babaitsev (RUS) ZVVZ 0:50
4. Thurlow Rogers (USA) Mercury 1:48
5. McCormack 2:56
13. Wedge 5:41
14. Landry 6:08
16. Beauchamps 6:36
18. Walters 7:37
20. Randell 11:08
21. Eric Wohlberg (CAN) Espoirs de Laval 11:14
26. Chevrier 13:58
28. Grover 16:00
29. Antoine Varghese (CAN) Jet Fuel 17:34
Note: We have been promised full results by e-mail - if we get them, we will post them. Also going up tomorrow; final stage photos!