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Race Results

Stage 1    Stage 2    Stage 3    Stage 4    Stage 5 

RONA/ESKER’S KAREN BOCKEL CLIMBS TO THIRD SPOT

IN NATURE VALLEY GRAND PRIX

 RONA/Esker’s Karen Bockel today resisted Saturn’s multiple attacks and managed to climb from fifth to third spot overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a four-day, five-stage race that ends tomorrow in Minnesota. The Canadian team’s German rider finished third in a long and gruelling stage, behind two Saturns, Australian Katie MacTier and Canadian Manon Jutras.  The stage podium is identical to the provisional general classification podium after four stages:  1. MacTier, 2. Jutras, at 59”, 3. Bockel, at 1’19”.

 Canadian Erinne Willock of RONA/Esker still leads the Espoir (under 23 years old) classification. 

Today’s 127-km stage included three 1.6-km climbs with grades from 6% to 8%.  Melissa Sandborn (Jamba Juice), 7’ 24” down in G.C., and Jennifer Stevens (VANIQA /Red 5), 51 minutes down in G.C., attacked almost from the gun.  Given their times down, the peloton let them take an almost 5 minute lead.

 Serious racing started after the second climb, about 55 kilometres into the race.  The pace accelerated and T Mobile’s Katrina Grove broke away, bridged to the two racers in front and left them behind to ride solo. A little less than 30 kilometres later, with about 45 kilometres to go, Saturn went to the front and Ina Teutenberg led out Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras, who attacked in the climb.  Karen Bockel immediately bridged to them and the three of them eventually caught up with Grove.  Then Bessette dropped back to wait for her teammate and race leader Katie MacTier.  “I did most of the work then because I didn’t want Katie to come back on us”, said Karen Bockel.  But her effort was in vain, as Bessette and MacTier managed to bridge to the lead group.

 The three Saturns then paced the breakaway until they reached the final loop, which left them with 18 kilometres of racing.  “Then the three Saturns began to attack furiously, one after the other”, recalled Bockel, “and I had to chase everything because Katrina (Grove) couldn’t or wouldn’t share the work.  Eventually Katie (MacTier) opened a gap, Manon (Jutras) sat on my wheel and Lyne (Bessette) and Katrina dropped back.”  Having spent her daily supply of ammunition in her three-on-one battle, Bockel couldn’t prevent Jutras from passing her in the last metres, a little more than 20 seconds after MacTier.

 Behind, the peloton had split in two.  The first group, where stood RONA/Esker’s Andrea Hannos and Erinne Willock, also harboured several G.C. contenders, like Diet Rite’s Tina Mayolo-Pic and TDS’s Sarah Ulmer.  They chased hard.  But RONA/Esker’s Meshy Holt had been caught in the second group and her top-ten spot overall was seriously threatened.  Her teammate Carrie Tuck worked very hard and they, along with a small group, managed to bridge to the main field, by then down to about 30 riders.  The group finished a little more than one minute behind MacTier.

 Tomorrow, the fifth and last stage will be a 50-minute criterium in the streets of Stillwater.  Not your usual criterium though.  There is a 24 % wall to climb, which will come back every 2 kilometres.

Fourth stage :  Winona Road Race 

Stage Rankings

Rank

Name (team)

Time

1

Katie MacTier (AUS, Saturn)

3h 34’ 40” (35,5 km/h), bonus 40”

2

Manon Jutras  (CAN, Saturn)

23”, bonus 20”

3

Karen Bockel (GER, RONA/Esker)

25”, bonus 15”

4

Lyne Bessette  (CAN, Saturn)

50”, bonus 15”

5

Katrina Grove (USA, T Mobile)

57”

6

Sarah Ulmer (NZL, TDS)

1’06”

7

Lara Kroepsca (USA, T Mobile)

1’07”

8

Gina Grain (CAN, Victory Brewing/Amoroso)

s.t.

9

Amy Moore (CAN, Saturn)

s.t.

10

Andrea Hannos (CAN, RONA/Esker)

s.t.

11

Carrie Tuck (CAN, RONA/Esker)

s.t.

38

Melissa Holt (NZL, RONA/Esker)

s.t.

39

Erinne Willock (CAN, RONA/Esker)

s.t.

 General Classification after four stages

Rank

Name (team)

Time

1

Katie MacTier (AUS, Saturn)

6h 52’ 28”

2

Manon Jutras  (CAN, Saturn)

59”

3

Karen Bockel (GER, RONA/Esker)

1’19”

4

Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA, Diet Rite)

1’56”

5

Sarah Ulmer (NZL, TDS)

2’10”

6

Dotsie Cowden (USA, T Mobile)

2’37”

7

Amy Moore (CAN, Saturn)

2’43”

8

Melissa Holt (NZL, RONA/Esker)

2’50”

9

Margaret Hemsley (Équipe Nurnberger)

3’07”

10

Erinne Willock (CAN, RONA/Esker)

6’52”

 The race’s web site is at www.minnbikefestival.com 

Team RONA/Esker is one of only two Canadian women’s cycling teams in the Elite Category that are recognized by the International Cycling Union. The team is made up of four Canadian racers (Genevičve Jeanson, Andrea Hannos, Carrie Tuck and Erinne Willock), French racers Catherine Marsal and Magali Le Floc’h, New Zealander Melissa Holt, German Karen Bockel and American Kristen LaSasso. The team’s web site is at www.ronateam.ca.

 RONA is Canada’s leading hardware and home renovation retailer (www.rona.ca). Esker is a natural spring water from the north of Canada, sold in North America and Asia (www.eskerwater.com).  

The team also receives equipment and service sponsorships from many companies, including Colnago, Biemme, Shimano, Michelin, Mavic, Diadora, Limar, Selle Italia, ITM, Look, CatEye, Tacx, Finish Line, Cane Creek, Saris, Power Tap, Cycles Lambert and Club Médico-Sportif.