World Cup Event, Round 2, CDM
BriefThe best womenís road race field to ever assemble in the United States put a show of speed, but a familiar face won the First Union Liberty Classic.
Petra Rossner (Vizir-Russian National) of Germany won the field sprint at the end of the 93.4 kms course, giving her two wins in three years in Philadelphia.
Twenty of the top 25 womenís riders in the world were present among the 114 riders as the race was also the second round of the UCI Womenís World Cup.
For the first three laps, the Dream Team -- a potent mix of European riders -- kept the pace high with Zinajda Stagourskaia of Belarus constantly appearing at the front. Several Americans, including World Cup leader Dede Demet (Saturn), Julie Young (Shaklee), Mari Holden (Vizir-Russian National) and Pam Schuster (Saeco-Timex) were also ever-present.
"It was a lot like a Worlds road race," Schuster said, echoing the opinion of others. "For strong countries like us, it was even better because instead of six riders, 20 of the strongest U.S. riders are here."
On the final, 23+ km lap, different took turns taking a shot at going off the front. Up the Manayunk Wall climb, it was Olympic champion Jeannie Longo (Longo-Ebly) of France, who was first up the climb. Longoís efforts came to an end on the ensuing descent. The string of brief attacks continued as a string of riders -- Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania), Linda Jackson (Saeco-Timex) of Canada, Young, Liz Tadich (AIS-Australia), Susy Pryde (Saeco-Timex) of New Zealand, world champion Alessandra Cappellotto (Dream Team) of Italy -- all took brief shots off the front, but in the end it was a field sprint.
"Actually, the only thing Iím good at is sprinting," Rossner said.
Rossnerís United Nations-esque teammates -- Holden and Russian Svetlana Samokhvalova -- kept the field together to the final meters, where Rossner took over.
"I was never seen in front except at the finish line," Rossner said.
It was a mixed result for the top American sprinters. Karen Bliss Livingston (Saturn) finished fifth in the field sprint, just ahead of world champion Alessandra Cappellotto (Dream Team) of Italy, while Kendra Wenzel (Saeco- Timex), the First Union Wilmington Classic winner, was involved in a crash near the arch over the course prior to the finish.
Livingston was the top American finisher. Demet finished seventh and retained the World Cup leaderís jersey. The third round of the UCI Womenís World Cup is Saturday, June 13 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Philadelphia, 93.4 kms:
1. Petra Rossner (Ger) Vizir-Russian 2.22.18 2. Diana Ziluite (Lit) Lithuania National Team 3. Gabriella Pregnalato (Ita) VC Mimosa 4. Evi Gensheimer (Ger) Longo-Ebly 5. Karen Bliss-Livingston (USA) Saturn 6. Allessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Mimosa Dream Team 7. Dede Demet (USA) Saturn 8. Pia Sunstedt (Fin) VC Mimosa 9. Sve Samokhvalova (Rus (Rus) Vizir-Russian 10. Heidi Van de Vijver (Bel) Hydro Quebec 11. Anna Wilson (Aus) Australia National Team 12. Marie Holjer (USA) Ralphs/Klein 13. Valeri Capelotto (Ita) VC Mimosa 14. Leigh Hobson (Can) Hydro Quebec 15. Karen Kurreck (USA) Saturn 16. Rosa Reekie-May (NZ) 17. Nada Cristofali (Ita) Mimosa Dream Team 18. Barbara Heeb (Swi) Hydro Quebec 19. Laura Van Gilder (USA) P0tomac Racing 20. Debby Mansveld (Ned) Nederlands National Team 21. Pam Schuster (USA) Saeco-Timex 22. Catherine Marsal (Fra) VC Mimosa 23. Cheryl Binney (USA) Ralphs Klein 24. Jolanta Polikevicuite (Lit) 25. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) Longo-Elby 26. Liz Tadich (Aus) Australia National Team 27. Lenka Ilavska (Slo) Slovakian National Team 28. Juanita Feldhahn (Aus) Australia National Team 29. Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Nederlands National Team 30. Rasa Urbonaite (Lit) 31. Jennifer Dial (USA) Snow Valley 32. Jacinta Coleman (NZ) 33. Vera Hohlfeld (Ger) Mimosa Dream Team 34. Joan Wilson (USA) Celestial Seasons 35. Tracey Gaudry (Aus) Australia National Team 36. Feral Loewenguth (?) Longo-Elby 37. Annie Gariepy (Can) Elita 38. Rasa Polikevieciute (Lit) 39. Sarah Ulmer (NZ) 40. Kimberly Langston (Can) Elita 41. Tina Mayolo (USA) PowerBar 44. Mari Holden (USA) Vizir-Russian National 45. Giana Roberge (USA) Saeco-Timex 47. Julie Young (USA) Shaklee 51. Elizabeth Emery (USA) Saturn s.t. .. 64. Karen Barrow (Aus) Australia National Team 2.20 65. Kathy Watt (Aus) Texas Composite Team 2.20 86. Kim Palmer (Aus) Australia National Team 2.20