21st - 23rd February
Stage 4 : Thursday 23rd February
Lara, 10:30am 115km road stage
the final stage of the tour the riders were faced with heat and the gruelling
climb up Mt Wallace right in the middle of the 114.3km stage.
from the start, the peleton took no time at all to split. At 5kms a small
group of riders had managed to form a break of approximately 10 meters. It
included some key riders Susie Wood (NZL), Magali Le Floch (T-Mobile),
Meredith Miller (USA), Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung),
Monica Baccaille (Italy), Amanda Spratt (Australia), Alexis Rhodes
break held just off the front of the peleton for 35kms however the Russian
Svetlana Bubnenkova was driving hard to close the gap at the front of the
chasing peleton. Susanne
Ljungskog and the rest of the Diet Cheerwine / Bicisport were keen to close
the gap too.
first intermediate sprint was contested at 50kms and won by Sarah Duester
(Univega Pro Cycling Team).
the base of the climb, the peleton were all together but the harshness of
the climb soon dispersed it. As the riders made their way up, Oenone Wood (Equipe
Nurnberger Versicherung) showed her true class and form as she led the race
and powered to the top. The peleton was completely strung out for 200m as
riders grinded out the pedal revs; some even took to walking as the gradient
kicked up half way up the climb.
second intermediate sprint was contested at 86kms and won by Melissa Holt (NZL)
the final kilometers, a crash involving T-Mobile riders, Judith Arndt and
Lynn Bassette ruined the plans for a T-Mobile lead-out for sprinter,
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg. This forced Ina Teutenberg to use her skills and
integrate into the 'train' being formed by the USA team as they prepared the
lead out for the previous day’s winner Tina Pic. Arndt managed to get
herself back into the peleton but Bessette required medical treatment for a
suspected broken collar bone.
accident is a serous blow to the T-Mobile team and also to the Canadian
National Team, as Lynn is a serious contender for the Commonwealth Games
5km to go Michelle Hyland (NZL) and Akemi Morimoto (Japan) attempted to get
away and managed to get a 22 second lead before they were quickly closed
down at the 4km to go sign by the USA team. As soon as the peleton made the
catch, Larissa Kleinmann (German National Team) attempted to get away. This
attack was quickly closed down too.
At the 500m mark, Tina Pic went, but it was slightly too early in the sprint, opening it up for Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile), Melissa Holt (NZL) and Oenone Wood ((Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung).
time was 2 hours 59
The overall tour win went to Oenone Wood for the third year in succession. Wood also took the Sprint Competition. The U21 competition was won by Tiffany Cromwell (Team SAFI)
to WCN after the win Ina
Teutenberg was pleased to get the job
was hard today, I am glad to get it done. The hill was steep and amazingly
hard, everyone said I would need a 27, but I managed to get to the top
without getting off and walking. If the climb had been much further I am
sure I would have had to jump off and walk” Talking through the
final sprint, “the
US team did a perfect lead out for Tina but she seemed to get a little
nervous and went to early, I was on her wheel, in the end she did a perfect
lead out for me. I got to the front with 150m to go and I managed to hold
asked about the T-Mobile team's performance at this early stage in the
season, Ina added “It
is always hard when you don’t have an Australian on the team. I have been
here all summer but I haven’t really done anything with any real
intensity. We have a couple of riders who have just arrived from Europe and
they are adjusting to the climate change as they were training in really bad
weather. There is really not much you can do this early in the season, we
just don’t have the power yet, we may have lost Lynn in the crash and
Judith is not quite there yet. It is hard to have a lead out and get organised
if everyone is not feeling too hot”.
about the World Cup event coming up and the potential risk that T-Mobile
will be missing Lynn Bassette; Ina added “My
team mates will get me in the right position on Sunday I’m sure. There is
likely to be a few trains on Sunday apart from us, Univega, Nurnberg, USA
and New Zealand.
all have a lot of sprinters, you know how it is in the sprint anything can
happen. Yesterday Oenone and I were really fast but we went too late, Tina
went early yesterday and it paid off. At this stage of the year there are
five or six riders who can take the win on the day. Hopefully Lynn will be
ok, it’s a shame because she is one of the riders in great form, we will
just have to adjust our
tactics if she can’t ride”
Pic (USA) chatted after the race and backed up Ina Teutenberg's
impression of the race. “that hill is always hard, you are just glad to get over it” On
the sprint Tina added “we
went a bit too early, you just have to go with it when you start you have to
commit, when Kristin blew, she had gone from so far out she started the lead
out from before the corner and it was amazing how long she managed to hold
the lead out, in the end I just had to go and I couldn’t get onto any
other train, you just go” Compared to yesterday how did the sprint
feel today? “It
was hard; it felt like there were so many more riders going for the sprint
today compared to yesterday. When we led out yesterday it felt like no one
else was coming around, today it felt like there were riders coming at all
sides” On the World Cup coming up and her team's readiness Pic
“ the team are working really well together hopefully we can pull it
Gollan, alongside Oenone Wood, the only other rider to have
won the Geelong Tour, took a few minutes to chat about her race in her first
race with new team Nobili Rubinetterie. “I am really please with my ride
today. I climbed really well and I was in the top four as we got towards the
top, unfortunately my bike didn’t survive the climb and I lost touch with
the lead group. I am pleased that I got up the climb in the
first three or four; I have a lot of confidence out of today. It was a
difficult day today in the bunch with the number of crashes and the course
made it dangerous in the bunch at times. It is really exciting to be racing
in Australia with 150 riders and most of whom are international”. Do
your tactics change from the tour to the World Cup event? “No, we are just going to win”.
Wood was overjoyed to take this, her third win in a row. “It was a bit of a late start for me, I missed the early break and my
team mates had to work extra hard, probably too hard to get it back, but they did a fantastic job. I have to really thank them for the win
today” Are you feeling confident about the World Cup, New Zealand
tour and World Cup and of course the Commonwealth Games? “The
legs feel pretty good, I don’t want to say too much, but hopefully we will
get a great result this weekend”. How difficult is Mount Wallace?
hard hill, for the Europeans its
first race into the season, I have had a little bit more background than them,
but you really don’t want to get over the top of the hill on your own and
work in the wind and waste yourself. I managed to get with a couple of
riders and we just kept working together until the bunch caught up.”
what about the finish, the sprint? “In
the sprint our team had worked really hard all day to chase everything. I
had to work to get up in the sprint as I didn’t have a good position
do you recover from a race with such a big climb?
“We will get a massage, sleep, do a recovery ride tomorrow and pre-race
ride before the race. I like the world cup course it had a little power
climb that suits me. My form is pretty good. It [the
Geelong Word Cup] is
usually a bunch sprint but it will depend on the teams and their sprinters
as to whether they will work to get a break or work for a bunch sprint.
Hopefully the climb will work in my favour against the Europeans, they are
just getting started in the season with 10 times over the climb, and I am
hoping it will wear them down”
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