The Anna Millward Diary 2001

Tour of the Gila

New Mexico, May 2-6, 2001

Stage 2 - May 3: Silver City-Mogollan Road Race, 92 miles/70 miles (m/w)

There were a few corrections from yesterday's time trial before we started the race today. Genevieve Jeanson (Roner team) won, but it was Kim Bruckner (Saturn) in second place, 1.12 behind and Lyne Bessette (Saturn) in third, another 10 seconds back. I finished 4th, 2 minutes down. Fifth place was Sarah Ulmer (Autotrader), sixth was Elizabeth Emery (Intersports), seventh was Jessica Phillips (Intersports) and eighth was Kristy Scrymgeour (Saturn).

Today's stage was 114km long, finishing with an 8 km climb, and the last 5 kms of that climb were very steep. Genevieve is a very strong climber so we knew it would be difficult to beat her on that course. The best climbers for the Saturn team are Kim Bruckner and Lyne Bessette so we planned to save those two as much as we could for the final climb, while the rest of us tried to make Genevieve work hard in the wind so she would be a little tired by the time the climb began.

But first of all there was a time bonus sprint at the 30km mark that we wanted Lyne Bessette to get as it was worth 15 seconds to win. Genevieve's team were all on the front of the pack from the very start of the race, setting a good tempo so everything remained together until that first sprint. We worked hard to lead Lyne out for the sprint and she did well to outsprint everyone else and take the time bonus.

From that point, Suzanne Sonye, Kristy Scrymgeour, Ina Teutenberg and myself became aggressive, trying to force a breakaway that would make Genevieve nervous and get her to chase on the front of the pack. Eventually Ina Teutenberg succeeded in getting away with Stacey Peeters ( and Laura Charameda (Fanini). They were later joined by Catherine Marsal (Intersports) and Pam Schuster (Autotrader).

Genevieve's team did their best to chase the breakaway group and for 45 kms they held the group between 30 and 45 seconds. Genevieve was doing a little bit of chasing but it was mainly her team doing the work and so around the 85km mark I thought it was time to try and put the hurt on Genevieve a little more. Kristy Scrymgeour and Suzanne Sonye started attacking again and they managed to make Genevieve nervous enough to ride hard on the front by herself. With the increase in tempo, we soon caught the breakaway and Genevieve blasted straight past them up the next little hill. She was riding so strongly that by the time we reached the top of that hill, there were only Lyne Bessette, Kim Bruckner and myself left on Genevieve's wheel.

From there, things didn't go all our way. On the next hill, Genevieve's high speed dropped both Kim Bruckner and me, leaving only Lyne Bessette with her. We were still around 6 km from the start of the final climb and so I turned myself inside out over the next 6 km, trying to get Kim back on terms with Genevieve before the climb began. I couldn't believe that I made virtually no headway against Genevieve over those 6 km. By the time we turned onto the final climb, Genevieve and Lyne were still together with Lyne sitting behind Genevieve, and Kim and I were about 15 seconds behind.

I was totally blown at that point and so Kim set off alone in pursuit up the climb. Lyne managed to stay with Genevieve until about 4 kms to go, when the road steepened even more and Genevieve rode away from her. Genevieve crossed the finish line for a solo win, at least a minute and probably around 2 minutes in front of Lyne Bessette. Kim Bruckner finished thirrd, about 15 seconds behind Lyne. I was caught on the climb by Andrea Ratkovich, Elizabeth Emery, Jessica Phillips and one other rider and I finished just behind them in eighth place.

Our other three riders rode tempo up the climb, their jobs finished for the day. So Genevieve has increased her lead in the tour pretty dramatically. Lyne Bessette is probably now in second place, with Kim in thirrd and I am still holding fourth. But the time gaps are pretty big now! There are three days left in the race for us to try and work out a way of cracking Genevieve.