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WCN quicklink >> Rund um die Nurnberger Aldstadt (Round 11)    GP De Plouay, (Round 10)   Open de Suede TTT (Round 9)   

                             Open de Suede (Round 8)    Tour of Montreal (Round 7)   Tour De Berne (Round 6)   Fleche Wallone (Round 5)   

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Round 8

Open de Suede, Vårgåda   132km

Race Writeup

On a hot, sunny day in Vårgåda, Kori Seehafer (Menikini Selle Italia) initiated the winning break with 104km of the race completed and held off the threat fellow escapee Kim Anderson (Team Columbia Women) leaving it until the 250m to go mark before launching her winning sprint for the line. The race was contested over a technical 11 kilometre circuit based on the town of Vårgåda, which includes the leg-sapping Hägrungabacken climb.

With just 27km of the race completed the first of many attacks started. At the bottom of the Hägrungabacken climb the Swede Emma Johansson (AA Drink) tried to get away with Carla Ryan (Cervelo Lifeforce) and Linda Villumsen (Team Columbia Women). The break only managed a 5 second gap and did not succeed any further as Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung, Bigla and DSB moved to the front to close it down,  

Grete Treier (Estonia) fresh from her recent success in the Thüringen Rundfahrt with her team Gauss, tried in shake things up with Pascale Schneider (Cervelo Lifeforce) and Loes Gunnewijk (Team Flexpoint) but again the peloton did not allow the break to go.

Gunnewijk tried to attack on the climb again but this was countered by Villumsen and Eleonora van Dijk (Vrienden van het Platteland). Villumsen and van Dijk counter attacked and with 38km completed the pair had a 5 second gap.

Treier was on the front trying to bring the break back this time. She was joined by Sarah Duster (Cervelo Lifeforce), Andrea Thürig (Bigla) and Silvia Valsecchi (Menikini Selle Italia), a couple of Team Flexpoint riders and Janel Holcomb (Webcor Builders). They group could not do enough to bring the break back and the two riders managed to gain a 30 second advantage.

With 58.7km of the race completed, Villumsen and van Dijk were just maintaining their 30 second advantage but the peloton were chasing hard up the climb to try to catch them. Cervelo Lifeforce rider, Christiane Soeder, was on the front driving hard and the leaders were caught on the decent and the break was over.

There was an immediate counter attack, it was Treier again who was joined by Edita Puckinskaite and Regina Schleicher (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) with Kirsten Wild (AA Drink), Karin Thürig (Cervelo Lifeforce) and Luise Keller (Team Columbia Women), Emma Johansson (AA Drink) Iris Slappendel (Team Flexpoint), An van Rie (Vrienden van het Platteland), Andrea Bosman (DSB) Christine Thorburn (Webcor), Karin Aune (Swedish National Team), Suzanne De Goede (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Anderson and Oxana Kozonchuk (Menikini Selle Italia) on their wheels. This break gained 25 seconds, before being ended, due to an unfortunate crossing of wheels and a crash. Two of the Équipe Nürnberger riders and Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) went down, Wild landed on Schleicher.  Wild was able to continue and Puckinskaite rode on for a further lap before retiring, Schleicher had to retire immediately.

With 68km completed, the accident had caused a small split in the race and a number of top riders who were held up including Ina Teutenberg (Team Columbia Women) had to chase hard to get back on and managed to do so, on the decent. With the bunch back together it was not long before the attacks started again. At Olstorp on the route into back into the town of Vargarrda a small group of riders managed to get away.

This group included Andrea Thürig, Nicole Brändli, Noemi Cantele and Monica Holler (Bigla), Duster, Keller and Teutenberg. They had a small gap on the chasing peloton at the base of the 8th time up the climb. Three riders attacked off the front of this group, Cantele, Duster and Keller. Treier was again on the front and brought the break back, in doing so, she created a split in the peloton. 11 riders went with her including Seehafer, Anderson, Erinne Willock (Webcor), Charlotte Becker (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) and both Thürig’s. 

Willock attacked this group on the climb and it split again, Seehafer, Andrea and Karin Thürig and Becker. Anderson bridged the gap and the six quickly gained momentum and a 9 second gap on the peloton. This gap increased steadily as the majority of the top teams were represented and it was clear that tactically the peloton was being controlled by the members of the teams represented in the break.

The six leaders had a gap of 1 minute 35 seconds at the 100km point. At the climb for the tenth time, Seehafer attacked and gained a small advantage. Anderson was the only one able to go with her and the pair worked hard to increase their lead. They held the lead for the next two laps of the race

At the start of finishing straight, on the approach to bell lap, Seehafer and Anderson had a 26 second gap over the four chasers. As the chasers crossed the through the start finish line Karin Thürig was on the front and the break was down to 22 seconds. Karin and Andrea Thürig worked together to bring the gap to the leaders down to 7 seconds at the foot of the climb.

Seehafer and Anderson responded and increased their lead again to 20 seconds on the climb. On the decent the Thürig sisters moved to the front and the gap came down to 15 seconds. The effort was too much however and the two leaders increased their lead again.

At 500m to go, Anderson was on the front with Seehafer on her wheel. Seehafer attacked at 250m to go and Anderson did not have enough left in the tank to respond, Seehafer won. In the sprint for third, Becker managed to cross the line ahead of Karin Thürig, Willock and Andrea Thürig 1 minute 10 seconds down on the leaders.

Angela Hennig (DSB) led the remaining peloton home at 2 minutes 43 seconds with the World Cup leader Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Women) safely on her wheel. Arndt had a commanding lead going into the race and secured enough points to maintain the lead into the next round, the team time trial  in Vårgåda, then the next road round, the GP de Plouay on the 24th August 2008.

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Post Race Comments

Kori Seehafer (Menikini Selle Italia) was overjoyed at winning the race of her life. “I am so happy, we were going quite slowly and Kim [Anderson] was in the front with 500m to go and in the past I have had a good sprint but it hasn’t been that good lately. I just wanted to believe in myself and I waited until the250m mark to jump. I went and did not look back” said Seehafer. 

Kim Anderson (Team Columbia Women) had bridged the gap to the break and was a little disappointed at being beaten at the finish. “I do so much and I get so excited for the team and then all of a sudden I think ‘oh not it’s me’. When the break went I pushed myself to cover the gap. When I got there, most of the teams were represented so they sat up and I thought ‘here we go’. The break worked really well and then Seehafer attacked over the climb. I went with her and we worked well together. I just didn’t have anything left in my legs at the end” said Anderson. 

Charlotte Becker (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) gave a two finger salute over the line to win third and talked about the race and finish. “From the beginning, it was tough, I went with every attack and normally I want to drive the first eight laps as hard as I can and then the best of our team take over. Today though I ended up in the break and it was hard. When the two went we wanted to make sure that they didn’t get more than 30 seconds and we worked hard to do that. Then the two sisters [Karin and Andrea Thürig] attacked and worked together, it was really hard for me to stay with them, I  knew that I was ok at sprinting but the sisters tried hard to break away” said Becker.  

Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Women) held onto the World Cup leader jersey and was very relaxed at the end of the race. “I am happy for Kim, I think it is great for her” she said. “Everyone in the team has the same rights and a job to do and today it turned out that Kim was in the break. It is pretty good, she is such a strong rider that no one really sees” added Arndt.  

Arndt had a relatively calm race as the World Cup leader. “We tried to gain some points today and it worked out well, I finished 8th so that is good for my lead” said Arndt.  

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Surname, Team Time/Gap
1 Kori SEEHAFER MSI 03:21:12
3 Charlotte BECKER NUR +1:10
6 Andrea THÜRIG BCT +1:13
7 Angela HENNING DSB +2:43
8 Judith ARNDT TMP
9 Suzanne DE GOEDE NUR
10 Martine BRAS VVP

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Standings Top 10 - click here to see full list

Rank revious Riders Team Points
1 1 Judith ARNDT TMP 260
2 2 Marianne VOS DSB 152
3 3 Suzanne DE GOEDE NUR 148
4 4 Emma POOLEY TSW 117
5 5 Chantal BELTMAN TMP 114
7 7 Kristin ARMSTRONG RLT 88
10 10 Katheryn CURI MATTIS WEB 75


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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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WC1_9137 WC1_9145 WC1_9148 WC1_9171 WC1_9231
WC2_8220 WC2_8318 WC2_8340 WC2_8374 WC2_8391
WC2_8414 WC2_8461      


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