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Tour of New Zealand 2008    (UCI 2.2)


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Stage 4

Miramar Penninsula, circuit race 120km


Race Writeup

Oenone Wood (Team High Road) just managed to take the win ahead of Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini Selle Italia) after her team had completed a 3 lap chase down of the break of three riders.

Despite some pre-race weather warnings the rain did stay away until the last lap of the race. Local weather predications had said that if the bunch road at 40km per hour, the mid day wind shift that would bring some rain to the race would hit the last lap of the race, how right they were.

The bunch tested out the course for the first three of twelve laps of the circuit. The first of the sprint classifications was won by Kath Carroll (USA) whose team worked hard to head her out.

It wasn’t until the first of the QOM points classifications that the pace increased and on the climb Lorian Graham (Vrienden van het Platteland) attacked and gained the maximum points to secure overall victory for her in that competition.

With 30km completed Natalie Bates (Menikini Selle Italia) attacked and Lauren Franges (USA) and Marina Duvnjak (New Zealand National Team) went with her. The three riders managed to gain a maximum gap of 3 minutes 3 seconds on the peloton before Team High Road, Nürnberger and Cervelo-Lifeforce decided to pick up the pace with 4 laps to go. On the accent of the climb the gap was down to 1 minute 30 seconds. Graham decided to attack the peloton and managed to get a small gap of 20 seconds. However by two laps to go the Team High Road train led by Alexis Rhodes was on the front and the gap was down to 15 seconds. By the time the bunch turned into the start finish line for the final time, Natalie Bates decided to attack again. She gained a small lead but was caught on the final turn up the climb.

With 6km to go Serena Sheridan (New Zealand National Team) attacked and managed to gain a small advantage before she was reeled by the chasing peloton. As predicted the rain started this resulted in the roads becoming a little slippery and as a result a number of riders were involved in a crash with 5km to go and after recovering from that one, another crash at 1 km to go caused disarray in the peloton.

On the final corner Teutenberg moved to the front with Wood on her wheel and with 50m to go, Wood moved out of the win protection to cross the line in first place. Gilmore who had been involved in one of the earlier crashes just missed out on first place. She had swept left of Wood and could not quite make it to the line first.

Lorian Graham (Vrienden van het Platteland) can not be caught on points, therefore secured the mountain jersey for the race. Katherine Carroll (USA) increased her lead in the Sprint leader’s jersey. Carla Ryan (AIS) retained the U23 jersey. 

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Post Race Comments

Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) managed to hold onto the leader jersey for a second day. Her lead cut to just 11 seconds. “We didn’t care that much about the break going up the road today as long as they didn’t get too much time on us. Once the break was caught, High Road tried a couple of attacks, Oenone, Judith Arndt and Ina all tried to have a go but it was a really windy day so it was difficult for any team to really get away alone. My team worked well together to control the leader jersey for me, they did a great job and worked really hard” said Armstrong She was asked if it was enough to start the final day with a time trial particularly given the fact that she had been World Champion at that discipline. Armstrong added “I definitely want to perform well tomorrow. I hold the time trial close to my heart so it doesn’t matter if I am in the leader jersey or not I am going to go out there and give 110%. I know that the team are sacrificing themselves for me so I really want to bring the jersey to the line for them”  



Oenone Wood (Team High Road) was a very deserving winner of the stage today, her team played it perfectly for her. Wood was very happy “The team did an awesome job today. They kept it all under control and brought the break back and still managed to provide a great lead out for me. To be honest I didn’t have to do all that much today. It was a bit close there in the sprint but we managed first and third so it was a good day” said Wood. Looking at the final two stages Wood was asked if she felt there was a chance of closing the 11 second gap to the overall leader Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce). “To be honest with a 6.5km time trial and being up against a former World Champion time trialist, I don’t fancy my chances of putting much if any time into the gap. I will be happy just to be on a similar time to Kristin [Armstrong] but that is going to be challenging” added Wood.  


Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini Selle Italia) just missed out on first place today but was pleased with her performance. “I felt really strong at the finish. I came off Oenone’s wheel, she went one side of Ina [Teutenberg] who gave her the perfect lead out and I went the other side. Maybe if the line had been a little bit further away I might have won because I could see that Oenone was tiring a little. It is all about tactics, Team High Road have done that a million times and maybe if I had gone the other side onto Oenone’s wheel I might have one but that is how it goes, I was beaten by Oenone Wood into second so I have to be happy with that” said Gilmore. Reflecting on the performance of Natalie Bates she added “It was great to have Natalie [Bates] out in the break, it took pressure of me and the rest of the team. When she was caught it put the pressure back on me, but I avoided the crash and jumped on the High Road train to the finish.


Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team High Road) provided her team mate with a great lead out for the finish. “I didn’t even think I would make it to the finish today” said Teutenberg. “I felt really bad for most of the race until the last four laps when I felt a little better and was able to provide the lead out. I was able to rest after the last time over the climb with the rest of the team on front so that was perfect for me. Nürnberger helped out a little which was really great. Trixi [Worrack] took over from Judith [Arndt] for a while which helped. Oenone is still in contention it’s only 11 seconds so anything can happen. There are going to be enough times later in the season for her to lead me out so doing it for her here is no problem” added Teutenberg.


Lorian Graham (Vrienden van het Platteland) secured the overall QOM jersey today with a strong performance over the first climb. ”I am so glad that I recovered from yesterday. I was a bit disappointed with the overall finish yesterday but today my team was amazing. They managed to help me to get into a great position for the early QOM points and the women in the break took enough points away from other people that were close to me. Thankfully I have done enough to take this jersey to the finish tomorrow. I am so happy to have finally won the QOM jersey. That is not to say that I will be taking it easy tomorrow. I will be working hard for my sprinter so no chance to put my feet up” added Graham.


Katherine Carroll (Team USA) held onto the Lithoprint Sprint leader jersey after securing maximum points in the fist sprint of the day. “ I was held up by the crash coming into the finish, it happened in front of me and I had nowhere to go” said Carroll. She landed on her back but she is confident of going into the last day and holding onto the jersey.


Carla Ryan (AIS) managed to hold onto the U23 jersey after another solid performance in stage 4. “It is a real bonus for me I wasn’t expecting to come into this tour and be going for the U23 jersey. The New Zealand tour is always exciting for me because it has lots of climbing and I love that. My goal was to get as high as possible on GC but to hold the U23 jersey, I am very happy about that” said Ryan.


Natalie Bates (Menikini Selle Italia) and her compatriots were away for almost 90km today, Bates reflected on her race. “When you are out for so long, particularly when you go so early, every lap there is a part of you that thinks that maybe I can stay away. As always though it is just a matter of time when you have Team High Road in the race to know that they will and can chase it. I attacked the other two just to try to get away and again in the final lap but today it was a good day for the team and helped to set Rochelle [Gilmore] up for the sprint

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time/Gap
1 Oenone Wood THR 3.28.52
2 Rochelle Gilmore MSI "
3 Ina-yoko Teutenberg THR "
4 Brooke Miller USA "
5 Miho Oki MSI "
6 Suzanne De Geode NUR "
7 Judith Arndt THR "
8 Alex Wrubleski WBC "
9 Trixi Worrack NUR "
10 Tina Pic VVP "

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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC

Position Name Team Time/Gap
1 Kristin Armstrong CLP 11.08.52
2 Oenone Wood THR 0.11
3 Ruth Corset TBK 1.18
4 Erinne Willock WBC 1.37
5 Trixi Worrack NUR 2.02
6 Miho Oki MSI 2.04
7 Judith Arndt THR 2.05
8 Carla Ryan AUS 2.12
9 Christina Rutter USA 2.27
10 Sharon Laws TBK 2.43

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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