UCI World Cup - Race 5
La Fleche Wallonne - 97km
Belgium - 21st April 2004
Sonia Huguet Victorious
French national Sonia Huguet (Équipe de France) today won the women's Flèche Wallonne, beating German Hanke Kupfernagel (Vlaanderen-T-Interim Univega) and Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite (Michela Fanini) by 9 and 18 seconds respectively at the finish atop the "mur d'Huy". Huguet completed the 97.5-kilometre race in two hours, 44 minutes and 4 seconds, averaging 35.7 km/h. Canadian Sue Palmer Komar (Team Canada), runner-up here last year, took fourth place this year. RONA's Geneviève Jeanson finished 30th, 44 seconds behind the winner.
Huguet led the race's decisive breakaway. She launched a solo attack with less than 10 kilometres to go, and Kupfernagel soon bridged to her. The duo reached the bottom of the mur d'Huy (average slope 12.9% with pitches at 19%) with a more than 40 second lead over the closest chasers, a main group that down to 40 riders after the successive climbs exploded the peloton of 152 starters.
Before that, two breakaways had put some animation in the race. At kilometre 16, Ina Teutenberg (Team Germany) and Japan's Miho Oki (Farm Frites) attacked. New-Zealander Meshy Holt bridged to them and the trio's lead varied from 45 seconds to 1 minutde 20 seconds for more than 50 kilometres. The peloton reeled them in in the hard Bohisseau climb, 30 kilometres to the finish. Italian Fabiana Luperini (Let's Go Finland) and Lyne Bessette (Team Canada) counter-attacked and Geneviève Jeanson (RONA) joined them. Their lead reached 30 seconds but they were absorbed by the pack 10 kilometres to the finish. Shortly after Huguet made the decisive move.
"I got myself boxed in like a junior, said Jeanson after the race. The pack swallowed me at the end of our breakaway, I was outmaneuvered on these narrow roads and I never managed to get back in position near the front. When Huguet and Kupfernagel went, I couldn't do anything. I guess this race is to be added to my 'education and learning' file."
This result leaves Australian Oneone Wood in the Leader's Jersey for another start. Her lead has opened again from just 28 points to 48 points. With the winner of each World Cup race receiving 50 points, the competition is far from over....... Round 6 is in Canada at the end of May.
The World Cup comprises 9 rounds throughout the season.
Full Result Data from www.UCI.ch
184 starters, 93 finishers
Race report from Team Rona's press office :
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.
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