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Canberra, Australia, March 10, 2001
First round to Millward
By Jeff Jones
Australian Anna Millward (Saturn-Timex) has completed a hat-trick in the Canberra World Cup, winning her third race in three years courtesy of her devastating finishing sprint. The 29 year old beat Dutch Champion, Mirjam Melchers (Acca Due O) and up and coming Australian Rochelle Gilmore (AIS) in a mass sprint, thereby earning the first World Cup leader's jersey for 2001.
The 20 lap, 102 kilometre race was an exhibition of control from the strongest teams: Saturn, Acca Due O, AIS, Autotrader.com, Alfa Lum and GAS Sport. Alfa Lum, Autotrader and GAS had the most to lose if it came down to a bunch sprint, and they were often seen up the front. However, any attack was vigilantly chased down, in particular by Millward's cohorts Kristy Scrymgeour, Anke Erlank, and Kim Bruckner.
The pace was fairly pedestrian until lap seven, when a series of attacks strung out the peloton on the descent and along the lake. However, there were still approximately 50 riders in the peloton and that's how it remained. Autotrader.com was the principal aggressors, sending Kim Smith and Pam Shuster up the road on several occasions. It was all to nought though, as most of the teams wanted a bunch finish.
On the climb on the second last lap, World Champion Zinaida Stahurskaia (GAS) launched a powerful attack, which was covered by Mirjam Melchers. Although predictable, the move was potentially quite dangerous and Saturn and AIS wasted no time in chasing it down. Anna Millward responded with a counter attack on the descent, but this was more to show the others who was boss.
On the last lap, the AIS team got to the front and set a fierce tempo, allowing nothing to get away. They were hoping that either Rochelle Gilmore or Alison Wright would get up for the sprint, and were not far wrong. However, with one kilometre to go, Saturn's Kristy Scrymgeour and Anke Erlank dragged Anna Millward up into a perfect position, just as Vera Hohlfeld and Priska Doppmann were doing the same for Mirjam Melchers.
Melchers led out the sprint, but Millward's red and yellow jersey was right next to her. Millward came round the Dutch champion with 200 metres to go to win by over a bike length, as she has done so many times in the past.
"I was extremely nervous before the race today, trying to do it for the third time running," said Millward. "In bunch sprints, so many things can happen - you might not get a clean run through and it might all come to nothing."
"I had my teammate Kristy Scrymgeour take me to the front with a kilometre to go, and she just buried herself from there. Vera Hohlfeld was trying to lead out Mirjam Melchers and she came up alongside Kristy and moved to take over. I was pretty happy about that and Mirjam actually let me take Vera's wheel because she wanted my wheel for the sprint. That all worked out pretty well for me."
"I came round the corner with Vera first and I was on her wheel. As soon as I saw an opening to get past Vera I went for it and got to the front, but it was still a fair way to go. I baulked a bit, then kicked again for the sprint."
"I think the Autotrader team was particularly aggressive today, as they didn't have a real sprinter. A lot of the other teams seemed content to keep it together. Acca Due O was happy to have Mirjam Melchers run second today, and as she rides into form through the year she'll pick up more World Cup points. Even the GAS team were content to keep it together, hoping that Zinaida could sprint well."
Millward's teammate, and recent winner of the Tour de Snowy admitted that her legs "weren't so hot" today. "It was the most mentally stressful race I've ever done. It was mentally taxing, we were always watching the attacks because we knew we had to be there."
Second placed Mirjam Melchers is already starting to hit some form. "I'm satisfied. I was looking for form at the beginning of the Tour de Snowy. I had a good day today and I'm satisfied. I was beside Anna but she had another acceleration, and at the moment she's a bit stronger than I am. It was the highest place to get."
Third placed Rochelle Gilmore proved again that she is not just a track rider, as she came through strongly at the end of the race. "To be up there with the best girls in the world is unbelievable," she said. "Being my first year on the road and only having three weeks training in the hills, it's a great honour to be up there with the rest."
Gilmore will concentrate on the track World's this year, and "just use the road tours for a base."
1 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn 2.48.11 (36.39 km/h) 2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 3 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) AIS 4 Sara Felloni (Ita) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 5 Alison Wright (Aus) AIS 6 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan Cycling Fed. 7 Bridget Evans (Aus) Bicisport 8 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) Autotrader.com 9 Priska Doppmann (Swi) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 10 Susy Pryde (NZl) Autotrader.com 11 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand 12 Mari Holden (USA) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 13 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Bel) GAS Sport 14 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) AIS 15 Lara Ruthven (USA) Carpe Diem-Itera 16 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand 17 Emma James (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team 18 Anke Erlank (RSA) Saturn 19 Vera Carrara (Ita) Carpe Diem-Itera 20 Pam Shuster (USA) Autotrader.com 21 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Carpe Diem-Itera 22 Luisana Pegoraro (Ita) Carpe Diem-Itera 23 Kerry Hellmuth (USA) Carpe Diem-Itera 24 Giovanna Troldi (Ita) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 25 Vera Hohlfeld (Ger) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 26 Kirsty Robb (NZl) New Zealand 27 Annie Gariepy (Can) Autotrader.com 0.05 28 Jennifer Manefield (Aus) Bicisport 29 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 30 Natalie Bates (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team 31 Fany Lecourtois (Fra) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 32 Nora Moeke (NZl) New Zealand 33 Kim Smith (USA) Autotrader.com 34 Olivia Gollan (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team 35 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn 36 Gabriella Pregnolato (Ita) GAS Sport 37 Jessica Amy (Aus) Jayco VIS 38 Elizabeth Tadich (Aus) Jayco VIS 0.12 39 Naomi Williams (Aus) Jayco VIS 0.15 40 Rebecca Cleveland (Aus) Team-Bizar.com 41 Kim Shirley (Aus) AIS 42 Karen Sumpton (Aus) AIS 43 Silvia Parietti (Ita) GAS Sport 44 Vanessa Cheatley (NZl) New Zealand 0.22 45 Roberta Bonanomi (Ita) GAS Sport 46 Kristy Scrymgeour (Aus) Saturn 47 Sara Carrigan (Aus) AIS 1.02 48 Oenone Wood (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team 1.29 49 Alex Harrison (Aus) Team-Bizar.com 50 Erin Philp (Aus) Australian Regional 51 Emma Rickards (Aus) Team-Bizar.com 6.38 DNF Ljudmila Corneo (Ita) Carpe Diem-Itera DNF Jeanette Schwarz (Aus) Australian Regional DNF Natasha Harrigan (Aus) Bicisport DNF Helen Kelly (Aus) Jayco VIS DNF Rebecca Locke (Aus) Australian Regional DNF Sue McCarthy (Aus) City Cycles Melbourne DNF Sophie Freshwater (Aus) Australian Regional DNF Kanako Nishi (Jpn) Japan Cycling Fed. DNF Katie Mactier (Aus) Jayco VIS DNF Julia Busquets (Aus) Bicisport DNF Kate Bates (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team DNF Victoria Kirkby (Aus) Team-Bizar.com DNF Mary Rogers (Aus) City Cycles Melbourne DNF Rebecca McConnell (Aus) Team-Bizar.com DNF Mutsumi Fugino (Jpn) Japan Cycling Fed. DNF Julie Hooper (Aus) City Cycles Melbourne DNF Belinda Probert (Aus) Bicisport DNS Mary Grigson (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team DNS Katie Knight (Aus) Team-Bizar.com DNS Louisa Hamilton-White (Aus) City Cycles Melbourne DNS Simone Poulos (Aus) Bicisport DNS Tania Shipton (Aus) Australian Regional DNS Emma Carney (Aus) Jayco VIS World Cup standings after round 1 1 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn 75 pts 2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 50 3 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) AIS 35 4 Sara Felloni (Ita) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 30 5 Alison Wright (Aus) AIS 27 6 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan Cycling Fed. 24 7 Bridget Evans (Aus) Bicisport 21 8 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) Autotrader.com 18 9 Priska Doppmann (Swi) GSF Acca Due O-H.P. 15 10 Susy Pryde (NZl) Autotrader.com 11 11 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand 10 12 Mari Holden (USA) Alfa Lum R.S.M. 9 13 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Bel) GAS Sport 8 14 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) AIS 7 15 Lara Ruthven (USA) Carpe Diem-Itera 6 16 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand 5 17 Emma James (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team 4 18 Anke Erlank (RSA) Saturn 3 19 Vera Carrara (Ita) Carpe Diem-Itera 2 20 Pam Shuster (USA) Autotrader.com 1