Tour of New Zealand 2008 (UCI 2.2)
Criterium, Hutt Valley
Suzanne de Goede
(Équipe Nürnberger) just managed to secure the leaders jersey on day one
of the tour ahead of her former team mate Oenone Wood (Team High Road).
Joanne Kiesanowski (Cervélo-Lifeforce) finished in the sprint for third.
Stage one was
raced round a 2km circuit of Fraser Park, which runs just along the Hutt
River. The pace was relatively steady for the first few laps while the
riders found their way round the course. The pace quickened as the first of
4 sprint classification points needed to be fought out. The USA national
team moved to the front and secured the first of the points for Katherine
Road’s Wood counter attacked after the sprint and managed to string the
bunch out across 200m of the course. Riders were strung out with the back
markers scrabbling to stay in touch with the pace.
With 20 minutes
of racing left the decisive move of the race was made as a break of 12
riders formed. This group split a little as a number of riders fell back
into the chasing peloton which had managed to close in a little due to the
efforts of Amanda Spratt (AIS), Sara Carrigan (Lotto-Belisol) and Natalie
Bates (Menikini Selle Italia).
With 3 to go a
group of 10 riders had formed which contained a number of top riders
including Wood, and team mate Chantal Beltman, Bates, Carrigan, Cervelo-Lifeforce
team mates Kiesanowski and Kristin Armstrong Savola and Spratt. De Goede,
Lauren Franges (USA) and Alex Wrubleski (Webcor Builders)
The peloton were
20 seconds behind by the time they reached the start finish line and were
being controlled well by Cervélo-Lifeforce and Team High Road.
As the race
concluded the sprint for the line spread wide across the line. Suzanne de
Goede won by half a tires width
ahead of Wood who had gone wide round the corner and had to work hard to get
to the line.
In the bunch
sprint, Tina Pic (Vrienden van het Platteland) crossed the line ahead of
Brooke Miller (USA).
Carroll (USA) was awarded the Sprint jersey and Amanda Spratt (AIS) awarded
the U23 jersey.
de Goede (Équipe Nürnberger) was surprised to hear that she had
won the stage. “I
started sprinting late, so I did not think I had won” said de
Wood (Team High Road)
just missed out on first place apparently hitting some road furniture on the
final corner. “It was good to have two of us in the break and it sets us
up well for the GC [General Classification] but I make a mistake on the last
corner I hit one of the rivets in the road and had to swing really wide and
lost the wheel.
was hoping for a win in the first stage of her home country tour but today
it wasn’t the case. She did secure third though and reflected on this. “I
was hoping for a win of course but a place on the podium is good. It is an
okay result for the team and we will be hoping for a stage win later in the
week.” Kiesanowski was asked about the work her team mate
Armstrong did in the break, “Kristin
worked really hard to day she was extremely strong today and did about 5
laps on the front all by herself to ensure we had a chance at the end” added
Spratt (AIS) bridge a gap to ensure she was in the break and holding
the U23 leaders jersey going into stage 2. “This
is a good way to start the tour and I am in the young rider jersey so that
is a huge bonus for the team. We just went out knowing we don’t have a
team sprinter so getting in the break was great, I didn’t quite have the
legs in the end against the top class sprinters but I am really happy with
the result. This is the fittest I have been at this stage of the season and
it feels good” added Spratt.
Carroll (USA) was not the designated sprinter in the team but
managed to secure the sprint jersey.
“The team was awesome today. It wasn’t our intention for me to be going
for the sprint today but it got messed up on the lead out on the first one,
my team mate Lauren Franges is our sprinter and she was on my wheel but
didn’t quite get round. It worked out though as she ended up in the
break” said Carroll. Reflecting on the start to the season and
their first attendance at the tour Carroll added, “I
have never done such hard intervals in January and February to prepare for
this season but it is important for us to be here to prepare for April when
we head to Europe.”
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