Tour of Greater Montréal 2004
4 stages in 3 days, May 31st - June 2nd
Team Rona Review of Stage 2
JUDITH ARNDT WINS THE STAGE AND TAKES THE YELLOW JERSEY
Petra Rossner transferred the yellow leader's jersey of the Tour of Greater Montreal on the shoulders of her Nurnberger-Versicherung teammate Judith Arndt today. Arndt won the 111-km stage in 3 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds at an average speed of 30.8 km/h. Norwegian Anita Valen finished second, in the same time as the winner, while Teodora Ruano Sanchon, of the Spanish National Team, took third place 2 seconds behind Arndt.
Thanks to the 10 seconds bonus that this victory earned her, Arndt now has a short 11 seconds advantage over T Mobile's Dede Demet Barry, who finished fourth in today's stage. Canadian Lyne Bessette (Quark) is third in general classification, 12 seconds down. Bessette finished the stage 2 seconds behind Arndt.
Also completing the stage 2 seconds behind Arndt, RONA's Katrina Grove, Geneviève Jeanson and Erinne Willock now stand in 6th, 15th and 16th place in GC, respectively 22 and 27 seconds down. In team standings, RONA is second, 16 seconds behind Genesis Scuba.
The race unfolded under a cold, often hard rain. Outside temperature was around 11-12° Celsius. Today's course was tough, but it did not generate the expected time differences. Mostly rolling, it went three times up the hard Bourget hill, a 2-kilometre climb that gets steeper as the top gets nearer. But the hill did not explode the pack, which remained relatively quiet during most of the race. "Maybe this course is not as selective as we thought", said Jeanson. "Though it's true that the rain made it difficult to attack in the steeper parts of the hill, back wheels were spinning under us."
Today's action came from a break that started at kilometre 37 and lasted for 70 kilometres. In a relatively flat portion of the race a few kilometres after the first time up Bourget hill, Australian Alison Wright (Nobili Rubinetterie) declared the hostilities. Her fellow Australian from RONA, Helen Kelly, jumped on her wheel followed by Canadian Amy Moore (Quark). They quickly created a gap and then worked effectively together. The three teams represented in the break did not have to work. As for Nurnberger, down to three racers after Jessica Phillips did not start today, they could not afford to. So the peloton did not react.
The threesome's lead reached 2 minutes 40 seconds at one point. It started to erode when the leaders reached Bourget for the third time. Kelly and Wright started to fade and Moore left them behind. "The break went well, we worked well together and I even thought about the yellow jersey", said a smiling Helen Kelly after the race. "But in the end Amy (Moore) was stronger than Alison (Wright) and I."
The peloton got to work in the last 20 kilometres, under the impulsion of Dede Demet Barry and her T Mobiles. Moore stayed away longer than her breakaway mates, but she still was reeled in 4 kilometres from the finish line.
So in spite of the course profile, it was gruppo compacto for the final stretch. Arndt attacked from the 200-metre line, on a long, ascending false flat.
Tomorrow's stage, the last of the Tour, will complete 8 laps around a 10-kilometre road circuit in Terrebonne, North of Montreal. Like the two previous years, it should finish in a massive sprint. So the final general classification will be a matter of bonus sprints.
RONA (www.teamrona.ca) is a
Canadian women’s cycling team in the Elite Category recognized by the
International Cycling Union. The team is made up of four Canadian racers (Geneviève
Jeanson, Andrea Hannos, Émilie Roy and Erinne Willock), three Americans
(Kathryn Curi, Katrina Grove and Anna Milkowski), Israeli Shani Bloch and
Australian Helen Kelly. The team has exercised a policy of zero tolerance
for banned substances since it was founded in 2000. This policy is
explicitly stated in all its contracts.
RONA (www.rona.ca) is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. Team RONA receives equipment and service sponsorships from many companies, including Colnago, Biemme, Shimano, Vittoria, Bontrager, Sidi, Limar, Selle Italia, USE, Cinelli, Look, CatEye, Elite, Finish Line, Cane Creek, Saris, Power Tap, Trialtir and Cycles Lambert.