BMC Tour of Arlington - NE

USA, July 8, 2001

Men    Women

Poignant wins for Cooke & Bessette

Report by Giana Roberge, team Saturn

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Trent Klasna (Saturn) at the start line
Photo: © Jonathan Devich

In an emotionally intense day, the Saturn Cycling Team raced the second race in the four race series sponsored by BMC Software. It was this race on September 17, 2000, that the Saturn Team, the world of cycling, and all the people who were lucky enough to meet her, lost a dear and sweet friend.

The weekend began with a lovely tribute to Nicole's life as a friend, daughter, cyclist and team-mate, as the citizens of Arlington and cyclists from around the world gathered to honor her memory with a ride and Memorial Service on Saturday. This was followed by the dedication of the Nicole L. Reinhart Park, built for the children of Arlington by Saturn.

Sunday's 3.5-mile loop through the up and down streets of Arlington was similar to last year's course. The climb was a little more of a stair step hill, with three fairly steep sections in about one and a half kilometres. The descent, although on different streets than those where Nicole crashed, was still steep, technical and very fast. With three races in one, the tactics throughout both races were interesting. Up for grabs was the win for the day, points for the Pro Cycling Tour, and points for the overall BMC Series.

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Anna Millward (Saturn)
Photo: © Jonathan Devich

The men’s 62-mile race, held on 18 laps of the 3.5-mile circuit, broke up very quickly. A solo effort by Mercury's Chris Horner forced Saturn and Navigators (racing to protect Vassili Davidenko’s lead of the BMC Series and standing in the Pro Cycling Tour) to work together. After several laps of hard work by Saturn’s Soren Peterson, Tim Johnson, and Mark McCormack, Horner was reabsorbed, but his impressive ride took a toll on the remainder of the very small peloton. With three laps to go, the group was whittled down to 15 men. On the steepest part of the climb with three laps to go, Michael Barry put the hurt on those who were left. The only two riders able to react to the pressure were Davidenko and eventual race winner, Baden Cooke (Mercury). Once clear of the chase group, Barry attacked the two but with only one lap remaining, they were stuck to him. In the finish it was Cooke over Davidenko, and Barry in third. Barry's team-mate Trent Klasna still retains his lead of the Pro Cycling Tour.

As in the men's race, there was an early selection in the women's 12-lap race. By the time the women had raced up the climb twice, the main field was down to 20 riders. As the laps went by, a race of attrition began to play out with a group of five eventually forming. Saturn’s Anna Millward and Lyne Bessette lead the group including Intersport’s Pia Sundstedt, newly signed Autotrader rider Amber Neeban, and Roz Reekie May. The group of five quickly put time into the chase group which contained Ina Teutenberg, Clara Hughes, Anke Erlank and Kimberly Bruckner. On the last lap it was Sundstedt throwing down the gauntlet and attacking on the climb. Bessette responded, and Sundstedt pulled the two clear of Millward, Neeban and May. In the finish, Sundstedt took an early lead, but Bessette was able to come by her for the win. Millward was third behind Sundstedt, 15 seconds back. Teutenberg won the field sprint for seventh. Millward now leads the Pro Cycling Tour over teammate Petra Rossner. Teutenberg will retain her lead of the BMC Series.

Official report

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Vasili Davidenko (Navigators)
Photo: © Jonathan Devich

Ten months ago, people worldwide were stunned when Saturn cyclist Nicole Reinhart, on the verge of winning the BMC Software Cycling Grand Prix, was killed in a tragic accident during the 2000 BMC Software Tour of Arlington. However, those same people today bore witness to an event that was memorable for all the right reasons; a difficult new course, tremendous support from the local communities, and, most of all, the performances of Saturn's Lyne Bessette and Mercury-Viatel's Baden Cooke, who won the women's and men's events, respectively.

The key to the day's results was the redesigned Arlington race circuit, which included a 3/4-mile climb with an average grade of 14 percent. It was a course that rewarded aggressive riding, as was quickly borne out by the women, who started their 42-mile race at 12:30 p.m., following a moment of silence. From the start, the pace was hot, as over half of the 70 starters were dropped during the first two 3.5-mile laps.

Prominent in the action were the usual suspects from Saturn, Bessette, Kimberly Bruckner, and Anna Millward, as well as a few new faces, converted mountain biker Amber Neben, who was just picked up by; and Finnish sensation Pia Sundstedt, riding for Intersports of Canada. Sundstedt in particular was active at the front lap after lap, forcing the pace in much the same way as she did when she won the Women's World Cup race in Montreal last year. By the sixth lap, a natural selection had occurred, with the five strongest riders, Bessette, Millward, Neben, Sundstedt, and New Zealander Roz Reekie-May (UPMC/Pittsburgh Cycling) going clear of the rest of the field not to be seen by them again until after the race.

The quintet worked fairly well together over the next 15 miles, quickly building a lead of over three minutes before they reached the climb for the final time. About a third of the way up, Reekie-May launched an attack that was quickly reeled in; however, no sooner had she been returned to the fold than Sundstedt launched a blistering countermove that shattered the breakaway. Only Bessette was able to match her, and the duo topped the climb together, with less than two miles of racing remaining.

Following a descent where the duo reached speeds in excess of 40 mph, it all came down to the sprint, which Bessette took convincingly from the Finn, who commented afterwards, "I'm not very good at sprinting, so I'm not surprised by the result! I gave it my best, but Lyne was able to stay right with me, and she's a very good finisher". To top off the Saturn women's performance, Anna Millward earned the final podium spot, ahead of Reekie-May and Neben.

If onlookers were surprised by the ferocity of the women's race, then they must have been downright shocked by the display the men put on during their 63-mile event. Of a starting field of over 80 riders, only 31 managed to finish, due in large part to the sheer aggressiveness of the big teams. On the very first lap, an eight-man breakaway escaped; joined at the 20-mile mark by five others, the group quickly left the remnants of the shattered field behind.

Things did not get any easier from there, as, at mile 25, Chris Horner (Mercury-Viatel) jumped away from his hardworking breakaway partners halfway up the climb. Dancing effortlessly on his pedals, Horner amassed a solo advantage of 1:15 within five miles and it continued to grow. By the 42-mile mark, he had a 2:17 lead on a 17-man chase that included no less than six of his Mercury-Viatel teammates, and none of the other teams in the following group seemed to want to take responsibility for bringing him back.

However, the Navigators squad of BMC Software Grand Prix leader Vassili Davidenko knuckled down to the job at hand, whittling away Horner's lead over the next 15 miles. With just 2 laps remaining, they had both brought the courageous Horner back and reduced the lead group to just 10 riders, setting the stage for the final act. Mercury-Viatel led much of the way up the penultimate climb, before Saturn climbing ace Michael Barry came to the fore, splintering the group and drawing Davidenko and Baden Cooke (Mercury-Viatel) away with him.

The trio stayed away for the rest of the lap and were together on their final ascent, where Barry launched one more legbreaking attack. However, the others were able to match him, and it seemed inevitable that it would come down to a sprint, though it surprisingly became a four-up sprint, as Connecticut-based amateur Jonathan Hamblen (Wheelworks-Cannondale) bridged up to them on the final descent.

Barry was first through the final corner and shot up the left side of the road, while sprinters Davidenko and Cooke jumped up the right. With 50 meters remaining, it looked like Davidenko might have the win, but Cooke found a second wind and took the win going away from Davidenko, with Barry and Hamblen filling out the top four. Afterwards, Cooke talked about his win, "I wasn't doing too much work on the last lap, we had six other guys behind, so it really wasn't my place to set the pace. But it's great, we've had some disappointments this year, and this win is a big one for us."

In the BMC Software Grand Prix standings, Anna Millward's third place finish moved her into the lead in the women's standings; while Cooke and Davidenko, tied on points, stand together atop the men's standings. The next BMC Software Grand Prix events are September 8th and 9th in the Bay Area, as BMC Software presents the San Rafael Grand Prix (September 8th, women only) and the San Francisco Grand Prix (September 9th, men only). Meanwhile, the Pro Cycling Tour standings remained unchanged, as Ina Teutenberg and Trent Klasna (both Saturn) retained their orange hats of Tour leadership. The next Pro Cycling Tour event is the Chris Thater Memorial, August 26th in Binghamton, NY.


Men, 62 miles
1 Baden Cooke (Mercury-Viatel)                 2.51.55
2 Vassili Davidenko (Navigators)      
3 Michael Barry (Saturn)              
4 Jon Hamblen (Cannondale Wheelworks) 
5 Kirk O'bee (Navigators)                         0.33
6 Derek Bouchard-Hall (Mercury-Viatel)   
7 Chris Horner (Mercury-Viatel)          
8 Mark Walters (Navigators)              
9 John Lieswyn (7 Up-Colorado Cyclist)   
10 Soren Peterson (Saturn)                        0.35
11 Chris Wherry (Mercury-Viatel)                  0.39
12 Floyd Landis (Mercury-Viatel)                  0.43
13 Gord Fraser (Mercury-Viatel)                   1.16
14 Tim Johnson (Saturn)                           1.48
15 Czas Lukaszewicz (Independent)          
16 Andrew Randall (7 Up-Colorado Cyclist)  
17 Charles Dionne (7 Up-Colorado Cyclist)         2.07
18 Trent Klasna (Saturn)                          
19 Mike Sayers (Mercury-Viatel)                   
20 Domingo Gonzalez (Corona Citibank)             
21 Alex Lavallee (Kissena Elite)                  
22 Gabriel Rampollo (Defeet-Lemond)               
23 Clark Sheehan (7 Up-Colorado Cyclist)          
24 John Peters (Mercury-Viatel)                   
25 Curt Davis (Cannondale Wheelworks)             
26 Dylan Casey (U.S. Postal Service)              
27 Oscar Pineda (7 Up-Colorado Cyclist)           
28 Oleg Grishkine (Navigators)                    
29 Chris Pic (Mercury-Viatel)                  
30 Gustavo Actacho (Argentian National)           7.13
31 Siro Campogonara (Navigators)
Mens Points - 2001 Pro Cycling Tour Points Standings (after 8 events)
1 Trent Klasna (Saturn)                                 405
2 Julian Dean (USPS)                                    260
3 Leon Van Bon (Mercury)                                245
4 Baden Cooke (Mercury)                                 239
5 Vassili Davidenko (Navigators)                        234
6 Fred Rodriguez (Domo Farm Frites)                     220
7 Jans Koerts (Mercury)                                 200
8 George Hincapie (USPS)                                176
9 Jakob Storm Piil (CSC World On Line)                  130
10 Soren Peterson                                       129
11 Graeme Miller (Net Zero)                             120
12 John Lieswyn (7Up Colorado Cyclist)                  110
13 Michael Barry (Saturn)                               110
14 Oleg Grishkine (Navigators)                          103
15 Arvis Piziks ((CSC World On Line)                    100
16 Gord Fraser (Mercury)                                 93
17 Levi Liepheimer (USPS)                                85
18 Harm Jansen (Saturn)                                  83
19 Viatechslav Ekimov (UPS)                              80
20 Charles Dionne (7Up Colorado Cyclist)                 77
Women, 42 miles
1 Lyne Bessette (Saturn)                       2.10.00
2 Pia Sunstedt (Team Intersports) 
3 Anna Millward (Saturn)                          0.37
4 Roz Reekie May (UPMC)  
5 Amber Neben (Autotrader.Com)   
6 Julie Young (Autotrader.Com)                    2.48
7 Ina Teutenberg (Saturn)                         3.07
8 Sarah Ulmer (Autotrder.Com)          
9 Andrea Hannos (Verizon Wireless)      
10 Laura Van Gilder (Verizon Wireless)  
11 Anne Samplonious (Team Intersports)  
12 Kori Kelly (Proctor & Gamble)        
13 Katrina Berger (Autotrader.Com)      
14 Jessica Phillips (Team Intersports)  
15 Paula Macnamara (Verizon Wireless)   
16 Charmain Breon (Talgoamerica.Com)    
17 Anke Erlank (Saturn)                 
18 Kim Smith (Autotrader.Com)           
19 Trish Choo (Jane Cosmetics)          
20 Emily Thorne (Trek Cybc)             
21 Kim Bruckner (Saturn)                
22 Kim Morrow (Talgoamerica.Com)        
23 Susan Palmer-Komar (Jane Cosmetics)  
24 Sophie St. Jacques (Team Intersports)
25 Clara Hughes (Saturn)                          3.51
26 Kim Davidge (Saturn)                           7.26
27 Lauren Franges (Tri State Velo)  
28 Naomi Williams (Trek Cybc)       
29 Melissa Holt (Autotrader.Com)    
30 Nicole Freidman (Credit Suisse)  
31 Marjon Marik (
32 Petra Ford (Verizon Wireless)
33 Katrina Davis (Trek Cybc)
34 Suzy Pryde (
35 Kristy Scyggemour (Saturn)
36 Catherine Marsal (Team Intersports)
37 Tina Mayolo (           
38 Elizabeth Begosh (Tri State Velo)              7.30
39 Skelley-Kuntsbec (
40 Shauna Gillies Smith (Gearworks Srp Spin Arts)
41 Yvonne Ilton (Verizon Wireless)
42 Cindy Bauwens (Verizon Wireless)
Women Points - 2001 Pro Cycling Tour Points Standings (after 6 events)
1 Anna Milward (Saturn)                                 310
2 Petra Rossner (Saturn)                                293
3 Ina Teutenberg (Saturn)                               260
4 Sandy Espeseth (Team Intersports)                     115
5 Roz Reekie May (UPMC)                                 106
6 Joanne Kiesanowksi (Procter & Gamble)                 103
7 Lyne Besett (Saturn)                                  100
8 Laura VanGilder (Verizon Wireless)                     87
9 Kim Bruckner (Saturn)                                  78
10 Debbie Mansveld (Vlaanderen)                          75
11 Pia Sundstedt (Team Intersports)                      75
12 Andrea Hannos (Verizon Wireless)                      74
13 Kim Smith (AutoTrader.Com)                            68
14 Sarah Ulmer (AutoTrader.Com)                          65
15 Julie Young (AutoTrader.Com)                          65
16 Tina Mayolo Pic (AutoTrader.Com)                      63
17 Mirjan Melchers (Acca Due)                            60
18 Anke Erlank (Saturn)                                  60
19 Katrina Berger (AutoTrader.Com)                       57
20 Suzanne Ljungskog (Vlaanderen)                        55