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Trust House Womens Cycling Tour of New Zealand 2007

 

WCN quicklink >>   Stage 6    Stage 6 Full   Stage 5   Stage 5 Full     Stage 4    Stage 4 Full   Stage 3    Stage 3 Full    Stage 2   Stage 2 Full    Stage 1   Stage 1 Full

                             Startlist Announced for Tour    Australians send 2 teams across the Tasman    Sarah Ulmer & NZ team sign up    

                             Cheerwine on the way   T-Mobile to Wellington     Flexpoint confirm

Previous coverage of the Tour of New Zealand in Wellington  >>  2010   2009    2008    2007    2006    2005  

      

 

 

On this page >>  Write-up      Comments     Results      General Classification     Photos

 

Stage 4

Masterton - Admiral Hill, 125km

 

Race Writeup

T-Mobile continued their absolute domination of the Tour of New Zealand with a display of strength and tactics which left the other teams standing on Stage 4.

An early break containing 8 riders was allowed to quickly build up a lead of over seven minutes. Brooke Ourada (Cheerwine), Louise Kerr and Jenny Macpherson (both Australia), Michelle Hyland (New Zealand), Los Markerink (Team Flexpoint), Alexis Rhodes (T-Mobile), Yvette Hill-Willis and Amy Mosen (both Wellington Star Mercedes) went away in the opening kilometres and were quickly opening up their time advantage.

The break was allowed to stay away for the first 70 kilometres or so. As the race completed the circuit at the east end of the stage course, the advantage had dropped to just over a minute. Then, Linda Villumsen (T-Mobile) went solo up the road in pursuit of the leaders. She was closing on them by the time they reached the feed zone on Strongbar Road and despite being 15 seconds down on them through the feed, caught them chased the attack which went on the descent through the 'Mad Mile' by Michelle Hyland. 

Villumsen was so strong that within ten km, she had passed them and gained a minute and a half by the time she made the right turn at Wainuoru School. The group were about to be pulled back into the bunch, their impetus gone. 

At the summit of Wharau Hill, Villumsen was 50 seconds ahead, Lorian Graham (AIS) and Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) were the chasers, battling for the Mountains Competition points on offer. They led a lone chaser, Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) by 10 seconds and the bunch by another 45 seconds.

Arndt caught Graham and Hobson on the descent and on the transition, a rolling 3km along the Martinborough to Masterton road, the three caught Linda Villumsen. She stayed with them for another 750m, as they all turned left onto the road at the foot of Admiral Hill. As the gradient rose again, Judith Arndt stepped up the pressure and left the others behind her. An attempt to come back was made by Graham and Hobson, but to no avail. Arndt climbed to the summit strongly, arriving at the finish 1 minute 39 seconds ahead of the pair who were still battling for mountains competition points.

Graham beat Hobson to the line and was initially awarded the (final) Mountains Competition jersey of the tour. However, despite the better placing on the final climb, since the pair were equal on points and Graham had not actually surpassed Hobson's points total, the Canadian was reinstated as winner.

Judith Arndt's stage victory was enough to put her in the race leader's jersey by 1 minute 45 seconds over Hobson and Graham (at 2'47). 

Arndt is a reliable time triallist and if she can stay out of trouble on the final stages of the 2007 Tour on Sunday, should emerge as overall winner. The Scorching Bay time trial (14km) in the morning precedes a criterium in Wellington City Centre on Sunday afternoon.

 

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Rider's Comments

Pre-Race

Riders were very relaxed at the start of stage 4, enjoying the fact that they had the opportunity to leave from the race hotel, rather than ride out to a start location. The weather was also being kind to the riders. The traditional Wellington high winds and rain were missing, replaced by clear blue skies and 25 degree temperatures. The wind did pick up a little in the later stages of the race and provided a small tail wind in the final climb.

Jenny Fay is one of a handful of riders from the UK & Ireland and is taking part in the NZ Tour for the first time. Sitting just over 6 minutes down before the stage started she was asked about the stage and her tactics just prior to the start. She said, I am ok with the big main climbs as we have done them already this week. The final climb is an unknown for me, I think I will need to attack and get well ahead if I want to make it to the finish. Its just great to be here to do the training and to do all of this hill climbing before I go home to Ireland. This trip has been pretty good and the weather this week has been amazing. Wheres the wind in Wellington? Today is so still.

Post Race

Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) won in convincing style today on a climb made for her and took over the race lead from team mate Teutenberg. After tremendous effort from her team throughout the race, she attacked on the final climb and finished 1 minute 39 seconds ahead of her nearest rival.

Talking after her win, she took a few minutes to catch her breath, Mountain top finishes are always hard, this one was nice though because there were some down hills that meant I could recover a little. I gave it everything because no one knows what can happen in the time trial [referencing stage 5].  My time trialling abilities are not that bad [she was being modest, she is one of the best in the world] and everyone suffered today. I think I have a good chance to hold the jersey.

Lorian Graham (Australian National Team) was amazing on the stage today, considering she has only been  racing again since January 2007. She held her own on the climbs and in the break and looked strong to finish in awesome fashion to take second place on the line. Graham was very emotional at the finish. This is just pure emotion after everything I have been through, [referring to the injuries sustain in the crash in Germany in 2005, which took the life of Amy Gillett] that just made my day.

Graham was asked if she believed she had the form to do well at this tour before she started. When the tour started I didnt contest the mountains competition on the first round but I did better on the second day and was really just trying to get the mountains jersey. Trying to contest that today, got me into the break with the Canadian [Hobson]  and Judith [Arndt] came over the top. I swapped her for a couple of turns but Judith is just in a class of her own, she deserved the win so much today. I am honored to have come second to her. 

Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) rode strongly all day and contested all of the mountain competition points on offer. Crossing the line at the same time as Graham, she finished on equal points, and she managed to secure the mountains jersey ahead of Graham as she was the current leader.  That was so hard, she said as she recovered after the finish. I am so happy with my ride and teams efforts.

Vikki Whitelaw (Australian National Team) was one of 5 Australians who managed to finish in the top 10 on the stage, there were 8 in total in the top 20. Reflecting on this Whitelaw said, The Aussies have an advantage here in that we are well into our season. We have been racing hard for a few months now, these hills are  a little like the European ones but we overcame them today.

Sara Carrigan (Australian National Team) finishing 17th, reflected on the tough race. There were a lot of team tactics today. T-Mobile sent a couple up the road, so that they could be out there when the time came for the top GC riders to jump across to the break. They were able to use the course to get away to get a good gap on the rest. It was looking like it was between Arndt and Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint) earlier in the race but it turned out to be classic team work by the T-Mobile, AIS and Cheerwine teams today.

Peta Mullens (Infinity Solutions & Jayco VIS) rode strongly today to finish 24th, she reflected on her efforts. The first climb wasnt too bad as we were prepared for it having gone over it the other day. The final climb wasnt too bad until the last kick at the 100m,  it certainly took it out of me. I cant believe there are some many Aussies finishing in the top 25; it makes me feel very proud.

Catherine Hare (Infinity Solutions & GB) has been impressive this week, finishing 8th on stage 3 and 15th on stage 4. This is Hares first trip to the Southern Hemisphere and she commented on the experience. This is the best finish I have ever had. To be on the final hill with Susanne Ljungskog and Sara Carrigan was amazing, normally I am back in the bunch. I am very happy, this trip has been worth the 24 hour flight from the UK.

Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint) looked strong in the early stages of the race and finished in 12tth  3 minutes 26 seconds behind Arndt. It was a hard day but thats racing and Judith [Arndt] was the best today.  This has been great preparation for us going into the European season. The good weather and very hard racing, is good to have in your legs for when we get to Europe, thats where the racing starts for us. It has been good courses and organization so I think we will be back next year.

Linda Villumsen (T-Mobile) was in amazing form today her speed to bridge the gap to the break was breathtaking. As soon as she had caught them, she attacked and put over a minute gap on them before being caught by team mate Arndt, Hobson and Graham. She finished the day in 27th place, 8 minutes and 16 seconds down having performed her task for the team. I had nothing left when they caught me, they came straight through. My form is just starting to come but things are looking good for the rest of the season.

Alex Rhodes (T-Mobile) was involved in the early break of eight riders that manage to stay away for a maximum advantage of over 7 minutes. She reflected on her teams performance. Judith won today and we have had 4 victories in the tour so far with three different riders, the team is looking fantastic. The management team has done a really good job putting this team together; its a fantastic team to be a part of. This is my first year as a professional and I have learnt so much already, I am really excited, to be a part of the team.

Asked about the 2nd place performance of fellow Australian Lorian Graham she added, She is a fantastic climber and she is not back to her best yet but she is certainly on her way, she rode really well today.

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Place Surname First Name Team Time/Gap
1 ARNDT Judith TMO 3 h 44'38''
2 GRAHAM Lorian AIS 1'39''
3 HOBSON Leigh CHE 1'39''
4 WOOD Oenone TMO 3'01''
5 EGYED Nikki AIS 3'05''
6 WHITELAW Vicki AUS 3'08''
7 SULLIVAN Candice AIS 3'11''
8 ULMER Sarah TRH 3'15''
9 CHEATLEY Catherine CHE 3'20''
10 HOLD Betina CHE 3'24''

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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC

Place Surname First Name Team Time/Gap
1 ARNDT Judith TMO 11 h 3'57''
2 HOBSON Leigh CHE 1'45''
3 GRAHAM Lorian AIS 2'47''
4 EGYED Nikki AIS 3'15''
5 WOOD Oenone TMO 3'29''
6 LJUNGSKOG Susanne FLE 3'36''
7 CHEATLEY Catherine CHE 3'37''
8 WHITELAW Vicki AUS 3'56''
9 SULLIVAN Candice AIS 3'59''
10 WAIBL Gina SUM 4'12''

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

CJ1_2193 CJ1_2203 CJ1_2243 CJ1_2281 CJ1_2310
CJ1_2349 CJ1_2360 CJ2_3184 CJ2_3190 CJ2_3211
CJ2_3218 CJ2_3227 CJ2_3228 CJ2_3233 CJ2_3236
CJ2_3244 CJ2_3255 CJ2_3271 CJ2_3328 CJ2_3340
CJ2_3368 CJ2_3372 CJ2_3394 CJ2_3433 CJ2_3460
CJ2_3475 CJ2_3484 CJ2_3493 CJ2_3512 CJ2_3574
CJ2_3583 CJ2_3637 CJ2_3652 CJ2_3669 CJ2_3699
CJ2_3724 CJ2_3772 CJ2_3789 CJ2_3820 CJ2_3831
CJ2_3884 CJ2_3887 CJ2_3923

 

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