UCI World Cup 2005
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Race Review - Round 2 - Wellington
riders lined up to start the 2nd round of the Women’s World
Cup event in Wellington, New Zealand. In what was predicted by the race
organizer Jorge Sandoval, to be ‘a race of attrition due to the tough leg sapping
circuit round the Wellington city centre’, this included two steep climbs that the
riders would have to climb twenty times each during the race.
field included many of the top riders in the world; many local riders from
Wellington and Nelson were given the opportunity to race in this top class
field. Most of the international riders had a tough run up to this event
having competed in the Tour of Geelong, the first round of the World Cup
in Geelong (Australia) and the Women's Tour of New Zealand before coming
to this race. The race picked up pace right from the start, within the
first 2 km two riders Johanna Buick (MIZONE NZ “B”) and Katie Brown (AIS)
managed to get a 6 sec gap. Five riders reacted to close the break:
Michelle Hyland (Trust House NZ), Silvia Valsecchi (Nobili
Rubinetterie-Menikini Cogeas), Kele Hulser (Western Australia), Miho Oki
(Japan) and Tanja Hennes (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint) they bridged the gap and
by the time the riders reached the start/finish line for the first time,
these seven riders had pushed the gap to 26 seconds.
breakaway worked hard with what seemed to be constant encouragement from
Tanja Hennes (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint), early on, as they managed to
increase their lead to 1.35 sec by the 3rd lap. As the bunch
approached the bottom of the climb at Boulcott St, Emma Rickards (QAS)
attempted to cross the gap to the break unfortunately she did not make it.
By the 5th lap the leading group was working well together had
created a 1minute50sec gap on the peleton. Despite the strength of teams
in the peleton, they seemed comfortable to let the break get away without
too many attempts to bring it back in. Rochelle Gilmore (AIS), current
holder of the World Cup leader’s jersey, maintained her position in the
top third of the bunch watching the action of the race looking ready to
cover any big move if she could.
the decent of Hill St, during the latter sections of lap 7, Michelle
Hyland (Trust House NZ) broke away from the leading group and managed to
get a 6 sec gap. The chasers reacted to close the gap, which resulted in
them increasing their lead to 2minute15 sec. At the front of the bunch,
team tactics came into play as the AIS team and NZ teams sat on the
front, holding the pace and controlling any attempts to bridge the
gap. The bunch however seemed content to allow the gap to the leaders to
lap 10 the gap to the leaders had increased to 3minute50 sec, however by
the time the leaders reached the start/finish line for the 11th
time, the front of the peleton had reacted, the Australian Bates sisters
Natalie and Kate (Ton van Bemmelen AA Drink)
were driving the front of the peleton. Within two laps the gap had
come down to 2minutes36sec. The peleton were strung out on the decent on
Hill St, and at the right hand turn into Mulgrave St, two riders crashed,
having slipped on some water, probably caused by a burst pipe. Queensland
rider Candice Sullivan and Carissa Wilkes of New Zealand were treated by
the ambulance staff and were forced to retire from the race.
Miller of the USA, riding for Avery Ford, managed to break away from the
peleton on the ascent of Boulcott St and managing to get a 30 sec gap. By
lap 15, the attrition really started; Kele Hulser (Western Australia)
pulled out of the leading group and many riders were lapped by the bunch
as the pace increased. At the other end,Caroline Jackson (European
Combined) attempted to get off the front, gaining a 200m gap before being
pulled back by the Anke Wichmann (Equip Nürnberger Versicherung).
the riders were at the back end of the course, the organisers had a major
crisis in the start/finish area. An enormous gust of wind lifted the
start/finish scaffold into the crowd, hitting a couple of spectators but
thankfully not causing any injury. By the time the leading group
approached the start/finish area, the hoards of spectators assisted by
holding up the scaffold and allowing the race to pass underneath.
Unfortunately for the organisers, the peleton had increased the pace and
closed the gap to the leaders to 1minute53 sec, forcing them to remain
holding the scaffold until the whole race and convoy had passed through,
about 2minutes later.
lap 16 the gap had decreased to 44 sec, the current World Champion Judith
Arndt (Equip Nürnberger Versicherung) headed the chase to the leaders. By
the time the leaders started lap 17, the gap had reduced to 22 sec.
Olivia Gollan (Equip Nürnberger Versicherung) followed by Natalie Bates
(Ton van Bemmelen AA Drink), Susanne Ljungskog (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint)
and Melissa Holt strung out
the whole of the peleton and rapidly pulled back the leaders. Halfway up
the climb on Boulcott St, they caught the break.
start of the bell lap Arndt, Ljungskog; Oenone Wood (Equip Nürnberger
Versicherung) and Melissa Holt (Trust House NZ) attempted to break away,
but were quickly covered by the 20 or so riders left in the main peleton.
At the right hand turn into Boulcott Street, two riders: Suzanne De Goede
(Ton van Bemmelen AA Drink) and Linda Serup (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint)
managed to jump away from the peleton and quickly gained a 13 sec gap. By
the time the riders reached the 1 km sign the pair had gained a clear
advantage over the chasing peleton. At 500m De Goede kicked and left Serup
to finish several lengths ahead.
In the chase for third place, Tina Pic from the USA, (Avery Ford) kicked hard to beat the current 2004 World Cup holder Oenone Wood (Equip Nürnberger Versicherung) on the line and into 4th.
An excited Suzanne De Goede showed her elation and excitement at wining the race, she seemed overjoyed when she spoke to Women’s Cycling “it’s great I can’t believe it, I don’t know what to say. The two of us worked together, it was difficult because there was a lot of wind. I felt good all day today, when the peleton caught the break, I thought it was a good time to get away, I spoke to Linda and she said she was ok to go for it. I am really lucky that we stayed away, I am really happy. My team worked hard to keep the speed out of the peleton to allow us to stay away “.
whole Ton van Bemmelen AA Drink team can take credit for the win, they
worked hard throughout the race, despite their small team, and Kate Bates
was pleased with her performance. “That
was unreal, we won the bike race, no-one
on the team was going for the overall so we just wanted to win, it
didn’t matter who it was. We were pretty aggressive during the latter
stages of the race, Natalie and Sara and I were in a few break attempts
but Suzie managed to get the one that lasted, this is great for the team
and for Suzanne”. When asked what their team strategy had been for this race, sister
Natalie added “ we thought it would be a pretty
tough race and break up a lot earlier but we only had four of us, we had
Kate who came third after last week so we just had to be conservative. In
the end we started to mix things up, we went
with everything, I think we were the ones that stirred the race up, it was
great that Suzanne got away in the end to get the win, the rest of us were
right up there at the finish, we had a great race”. Finally the last member of the team to speak,
Olympic champion Sara Carrigan, told Womens Cycling: “it was a tough course of attrition, when the break went out to nearly
four minutes we thought that was the end of the race, but the pace really
started and there were a lot of attacks from us and other riders. We got
one of us away; it was perfect”.
team will be split up for a while, Kate Bates heads to Los Angeles for the
World Track Championships, Sara and Natalie are heading home to
Australia for a while before heading up to Europe, the team get back
together at the end of March.
Women’s Cycling caught up with 2nd place Linda Serup; “I feel very good, I was looking back when we got the break and no one was there, I thought to myself we can do this. I had worked hard for the rest of my team during the race, I felt really good but I felt unprepared for the sprint, I could not respond, second is good though. I have had a couple of good results in stage races but nothing like this”.
Tina Pic is flying at the moment, coming out of the
last two weeks with a stage win in each of the Geelong Tour and the NZ
tour, she was pleased to out-sprint Oenone Wood to take 3rd
place. Tina commented “I
did better than I thought I would, the bunch did not go for so long, we
were all getting really edgy because there was a big group out. It got
pretty rough during the last four laps, the pace increased and many riders
struggled to hang on, the Ford
was awesome, they worked so hard they were amazing out there. The whole
team is a composite only coming together for this race”. Meredith Miller, Pic's team-mate had tried hard to make a
break to the race leaders during the middle laps, she told Women’s
was trying to bring the break back, the gap was getting bigger and we kept
going to the front but nobody else wanted to pull through so I thought,
forget this and I went at the turn after the second climb. I had attacked
there once before so I went for it again, I hung in there for a while. I
figured I would not be able to stay out there but I was hoping the peleton
would respond and catch the lead bunch. If it did manage it, (the catch) I
knew Tina would be there. It’s a great achievement for a composite team,
it’s a shame we can’t ride together all year’.
new leader of the World Cup Jersey, Oenone Wood, seemed disappointed with
the outcome of the race. During the interviews with Equip Nürnberger
Versicherung the day before the race, it was obvious that they had set
their goal to win the race. After the race, Oenone commented “I
am a little bit disappointed with the result, we were obviously going for
the win but I think we rode well. We rode it tactically, we were not
involved in the initial break, and we let them stay out until they got
really tired. We worked hard to get the break back with five laps to go,
my team mates kept attacking to liven up the pace but did not manage to
get away to take the win, the two riders capitalised
on that and managed to get away for the finish” When asked if she thought her team would bring it
back in the last couple of laps she added “Suzanne and Linda rode a good race, a fantastic race and they managed to
stay away to take the win. I sat in during the race hoping to save my
strength for the finish, to take the sprint but it wasn’t to happen
today. I did not think the course was too hard, I had not had
a chance to ride round it before today, the climbs were hard but the wind
played the biggest part in the race, it was really hard”.
The Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team new for 2005 seemed please with their performance. They are staying in New Zealand for the next week to get some more warm weather training before heading back to Europe to ride the next World Cup race. Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel chatted to Women’s Cycling after the race, she said “I am disappointed with my own performance, I knew a couple of days ago that I was going down with a cold, I knew I would love this circuit but I think I will have to wait until next year. I am pleased with the team performance though, we spent more than half the race in the front which was good for us”.
** Denotes under 23 rider
** Denotes under 23 rider
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