UCI World Cup 2005
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Race 1 Review
the first World Cup event of the 2005 season, 92 women representing 16
nations and including some of the big guns of women’s cycling were out
in force. Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung used the end of last season and
the European winter to build what is viewed by both riders in the peleton
and the media close to the race, the strongest women’s professional team
on the circuit for many years. This team is managed by ex-world champion
and current holder of the German national road title, Petra Rossner.
Rossner’s pedigree in women’s cycling covers many years of top class
cycling, and this team oozes talent to go with her experience.
Oenone Wood World Cup champion of 2004 and holder of many Australian
national titles heads the line up with Judith Arndt, Germany, current
World Champion and Olympic silver road race medallist. This pair were
supported by Olivia Gollan (one of the many top-flight Australian cyclists
in the race), Madeleine Lindberg (Sweden), Anke Wichmann (Germany) and
Trixi Worrack (Germany).
were many other notable riders in the field. Mirjam Melchers-van Popple
(Netherlands); one of the most consistent riders on the circuit and for
many seasons the lieutenant to Leontien Zijlaard van Moorsel, has formed a
new team managed by the ex-professional rider Jean-Paul Van Popple. Her
team, Buitenpoort-Flexpoint includes Susanne Ljungskog, (Sweden) double
World Champion. The Australian riders, of which there were many, included
current Olympic champion Sara Carrigan, Katherine Bates: winner of the
2004-2005 World Cup Track points competition, Bates’ sister, Natalie,
Rochelle Gilmore, Alexis Rhodes, Emma Rickards and Jenny Macpherson. Other
realistic contenders Toni Bradshaw and Melissa Holt represented New
Zealand and the in-form riders in the Lloyd Morgan Recruitment team, were
Americans Tina Mayola Pic, Lynn Gaggioli and Meredith Miller.
over 119km, the bunch had to make many requests for service during the
race, mainly wheel changes for punctures caused by some of the loose shale
on the left hand side of the road. In the first lap, Emma Mackie, Team
Samsung, had the first of the problems, she lost her chain at the top of
the climb causing her to have to chase hard to get back into the bunch. At
13km, Toni Bradshaw NZ attacked, but was quickly brought back by the bunch
lead by the Nürnberger team. Indeed, there were many attacks early on.
Anke Wichmann, Nürnberger, managed to get a 10 sec gap but unfortunately
for her, the peleton worked hard to bring her back. Teamwork and support
for protected riders was evident towards the end of lap 2; Olivia Gollan,
suffered a puncture and Judith Arndt and Trixi Worrack were sent to the
back of the bunch to bring her back, not a problem for “The Motorbike”
(as Arndt is known by some) powered her way back to the bunch with ease.
into the 3rd lap, a few riders touched wheels in the middle of
the bunch forcing 20 of so riders to be held up for a minute or so,
waiting for the road to clear of fallen riders and their bikes. Gemma
Goyne, (Lloyd Morgan), Anke Wichmann (Nürnberger) and Priska Doppmann
from the European combined team were forced to abandon the race.
race reached the 3rd climb and tired legs were probably the
cause of the second crash of the race, Louise Yaxley and Belinda Goss of
Australia slipped on loose shale, both riders managing to chase back on to
the back of the bunch as it slowed slightly. At 47.5km Susie Wood, NZ
National team and Edwig Pital, France touched wheels and brought each
other down, both riders were okay and able to fight back to the bunch.
the 4th climb, the peleton started to suffer the war of
attrition, which 8 ascents in total would inevitably cause, many riders
struggled to keep pace with the bunch as it powered up the 1km climb and
increased the pace on the decent. Over the 5th climb, riders
struggled to stay with the pace of the race, many dropped back and were
forced to chase hard between the convoy of following cars to get back on
to the back of the bunch.
were many attacks from riders including Tina Mayola Pic, Lloyd Morgan and
AIS rider Amy Gillett. All were brought back by the strong Nürnberger
team, at 70km Amy Gillett (AIS),
Jenny Macpherson (JAYCO/VIS team) and Tanja Hennes-Schmidt
(Buitenpoort-Flexpoint) broke away and managed to get a 1 minute 5 second
gap. Kathy Watt, the1992
Olympic road race champion broke away and attempted to chase down the
leaders. She managed to open up a 20 second gap on the bunch, which left
her to dangle just off the front, but in sight and between the bunch and
the break, for 6kms before drawing her back in.
the time the bunch got to the bottom of the climb for the 8th
time, the gap to the break was down to 31 seconds and falling rapidly. Led
by Nürnberger, the bunch clawed back the break by the top of the climb.
On the descent a number of riders attempted to get away, but their
attempts were all thwarted by the peleton. As the bunch moved through the
start finish area for the last time, Tina Mayola Pic (Lloyd Morgan
Recruitment), Trixi Worrack (Nürnberger), Sara Carrigan (Ton van Bemmelen
AA Drink) and Christiane Soeder (European Combined team) pushed the pace
to string out the peleton. 2kms before the feed station Toni Bradshaw, NZ
National Team went off the front, gaining a 32 second gap quickly.
Bradshaw was chased by Edwig Pitel, who gained a 17 second gap on the
bunch before they reacted to bring them both back on the hill for the last
climb of the day. It was here that Susanne Ljungskog made a fierce attack,
which, whilst blowing the race apart behind, didn't catch the favourites
napping; Oenone Wood and Kate Bates sat in the wheel. In fourth wheel sat
Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel, watching her team-mate, Ljungskog, set the
no counter-attack eventuating, the bunch clambered back on to the small
group, despite the efforts of Tom van Bemmelen teammates Kate Bates and
Suzanne De Goede, who tried to get a group clear along with Oenone Wood
and Miho Oki. When the race reached the Foreshore Road in Geelong for the
last time, no one team had control of proceedings as the bunch spread
across the width of the closed road.
2km to go, the Nürnberger train rapidly lost riders as they sacrificed
themselves to keep the pace high in a classic tactical manoeuvre designed
to take Oenone Wood to the line. With 750 to go, Meredith Miller (Lloyd
Morgan) attempted to go for a “long-one” to the finish, but it was
quickly closed down by the bunch.
60m to go, Rochelle Gilmore, Kate Bates and Oenone Wood of Australia
opened up the final sprint for the line. Joanne Kiesanowski, the New
Zealander riding for SC Nobili Rubinetterie –Menikini Copeas team, also
went and attempted to squeeze in for third place. Kiesanowski ran out of
gas, losing out to the in-form Kate Bates. Wood just beat Bates to the
line – this was confirmed by the photofinish, but Gilmore took a clear
win on the line and had time to give a victory salute.
after the race, Rochelle Gilmore was overwhelmed by the win: “I
felt confident in the sprint against Oenone as I had beaten her into
second place during one of the stages of last week’s Geelong tour, it
gave me back the confidence I had lost over the last 12 months”.
Gilmore has, in fact had a hard time in the past three years - click
here to see the WomensCycling.net story of Rochelle's battle with a string
of hardships. When asked how she overcame Oenone in the final kilometre, despite the
fact that Wood had a fantastic team with her, Gilmore added “the
last kilometre is the easiest bit to do, you know you have to be in the
top 3, it was really dangerous on the last but one corner, everyone was
coming underneath and over the top as expected, I came out close to
Oenone’s wheel and fighting Susanne
a little while, but I got the wheel I wanted and coming into the finish I
had the confidence to go for it”.
“It looked like you hit the front with about 60 to go?” she was asked,
Gilmore responded “yes,
I wanted to leave it as late as possible, I knew I had something to kick
with, it was just a matter of timing”. When
asked if there was a point in the race she felt she wasn’t going to make
it Rochelle said “I
got dropped on the 2nd to last climb and I thought my race was
over, I knew I had to push as hard as possible to get back on and managed
to get back into the bunch for the last lap.”
now heads out to New Zealand for the next round of the World Cup (Sunday 6th
March, Wellington) wearing the leader’s jersey. Rochelle missed out on
Australian team selection for the track world championships this week,
after a few days to get use to the idea she added “things
have turned out well, I can now concentrate on the road and meeting with
my team Safi in Italy. I am looking forward to catching up with them and
riding with (former
world Cup champion)
Nicole Cooke to take on the world”.
exclusively to Womens Cycling, Rochelle was asked if she had benefited by
the fact that Oenone’s leadout by her team mates in the gallop to the
finish ended a little early, 500m out. She commented “she is a sprinter like me, I like to be by myself at the finish so that
I can do what I want, she had the support during the race, which meant
that she didn’t need to be at the front, her team brought back any
break, it’s a great confidence to have, when you have a team like Nürnberger to look after you. This win has been satisfying, I’ve
proved to people that I am still here “
Cycling also caught up with the leading riders Oenone Wood and Kate Bates
and Tina Mayola Pic, USA who was one of the active riders in the race.
Oenone had this to say about her second place “I feel pretty good about today’s race, I sprinted a bit too
early in the last 500m but that sometimes happens, I think second is still
a good result for us (Nürnberger)
and will set us up well for next week”.
When asked about losing all of her team-mates before the final sprint Wood
added “part of the reason we lost riders was because they had worked
so hard to bring the break back. It was an crucial break to bring back
they did a fantastic job”
Bates was pleased with her performance, finishing 3rd, she had
this to say: “I
had really good legs, I knew I had form it was just of case of getting my
road legs back after riding track, but I felt a million bucks. I tried to
go with everything but at the end of the day, Rochelle was just too quick
and so was Oenone”.
When asked if she thought that Rochelle had something to prove after she
was not selected for the World Track Championships, Kate added “I think her non-selection was justified and I think she knows
that. She has always been a bit of a force on the road, she has had that
many seconds in World Cups it’s about time she won one”.
Womens Cycling asked Kate about the form of the Nürnberger team,
have two of the best riders in the world in Oenone and Judith, its their
to control the race and everyone was looking to them to do that today and
they pull it off every time. I think that will be how it works all year”.
When asked if Nürnberger strength was challenging to her as a rider, Kate
smiled and said “ I
think that everyone works so that eventually they can be part of a team
to watch them work they are a really well-oiled machine, I love watching
them race, sometimes its frustrating, I can see what they are doing but I
am not a part of it. I hope that one day there will be more teams that can
work that well and it becomes a lot more competitive”.
Mayola Pic, riding for the Lloyd
Morgan Recruitment team for the Australasia events, rode well during the
race, she commented afterwards about her performance “I
wish I had finished higher up, the Nürnberger
team really stomped it up the final climb, I knew it was just a matter of
hanging on, it was such a fight into the last but one corner, I was hoping
to hold my position but I got swamped, I had to work hard to get up
through the bunch to the finish, it was fun”.
Cycling also caught up with Petra Rossner, Nürnberger's manager after the
race. She was obviously pleased with the performance of the team and when
asked if she felt confident for the next race she had this to say “it
is not an accident that we are ranked the number one team in the world.
The team did their best and did not make any mistakes today. When it comes
to a bunch sprint we have to try our best, we were the most active team
today and we are very happy with our second place”. Rossner
wanted to get at least in the top three today and we did it”. Petra was asked to comment on her selection of Oenone for her team, she
added “she is a bonus to our team,
although all of the riders have been picked to form the right chemistry
for the team, not necessarily for their riding skills. Both Olivia (Gollan)
and Oenone match with great characters and they can ride bikes.”
When asked about how she thinks the team will go in Wellington, New
Zealand in the second round of the World Cup, Petra smiled with confidence
and added “ we have riders who can climb, drive the bunch and sprint we
will look at the race and do the tactics on the road, I am not worried, we
finished second today in the first race of the season, it’s a long
season a lot can happen”
Thanks go to the Lloyd Morgan team staff, who allowed the Womens Cycling.net reporter to ride in the team car during this event.
Number of starters - 93
Did Not Finish - 27
Photos: Click any image below to enlarge