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Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira 2009

 

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Stage 1- Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Highroad) victory in first stage

Iurreta - Iurreta 75.9 km

Race Writeup

Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Highroad Women) won the first stage of the 22nd running of Emakumeen Bira, a stage round the town of Iurreta. Following an injury-blighted first half of the season, Judith Arndt’s successful return to racing has now seen the German star take her first victory of 2009. The Columbia-Highroad rider was the fastest in a 19-rider sprint that decided the 78-kilometre stage starting and finishing in Lurreta, and is now race leader of the prestigious Spanish event.  Second was Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke and third Emma Johannson of Sweden. 

A number of teams made the long trip from Montreal and Philadelphia races to take part in the Bira event. 

The race was fast and the peloton compact covering the course in an average speed of 40.8 km/hr. There were some noteworthy attempts to break away on the first ascension of the high Aretxabalgane climb.

The first attack was from Adrie Viser (DSB Bank) then as the race continued the battle for the queen of the mountain became a battle of the big teams and their climbers. The decisive move was on the last climb when Team Columbia's Mara Abbott attacked and created some gaps in the chasing peloton. As the race came back together on the decent, Abbotts's team mate Kim Anderson moved to the front to set up the run to the finish for team mate Arndt. 

The Columbia-Highroad rider was the fastest in a 19-rider sprint ahead of the 2008 Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) and Emma Johannson (Red Sun Cycling)

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Post Race Comments

Judith Arndt had a very tough spring in which she first broke a collarbone and then was unlucky enough to fracture her wrist in a crash in her first race back in April.  She returned to racing in the GP Montreal in Canada  and since then has made fast progress towards top condition.

“It was a great day’s riding by the team and payday for Judith after working so hard to come back ,” commented sports director Ronny Lauke. “Mara [Abbott] went for it with an attack on the last climb of the day, and then when part of the race came back together, [Kim] Anderson gave Judith the perfect lead-out in the sprint finish.  We could see that she was getting better and better after taking second in a one-day race in Spain earlier this week.  Then today it all came together in a big way.”

Arndt was equally delighted to have taken her first victory since the Tour of Tuscany last September.
“It was a tough sprint because you never know what’s going to happen with rivals as tough as Johannsen and Cooke.  But I thought I would give it a try and it all worked out fine in the end.”

 

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time
1 Judith ARNDT T.COLUMBIAHIGHROADW 1:59:40
2 Nicole COOKE VISION 1 Racing "
3 Emma JOHANSSON RED SUN CYCLING TEAM "
4 Andrea BOSMAN (NETHERLANS "
5 Julia MARTISOVA GAUSS RDZ ORMU "
6 Noemi CANTELE BIGLA "
7 Carla RYAN CERVELO TEST TEAM "
8 Edita PUCINSKAITE GAUSS RDZ ORMU "
9 Elena BERLATO SAFI-PASTAZARATITAN "
10 Vicki WHITELAW VISION 1 Racing "

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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC

 

To come

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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