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Photo ©: Sirotti

Photo: © Rob Karman

The Anna Millward Diary

Australian Anna Millward (Wilson until her marriage in 2000) is one of the best women's cyclists in the world, and was ranked number 1 for the first part of 2000. She has won races everywhere, from time trials in France, World Cup races in Switzerland to stage races in the USA, and was the first cyclist ever to break the Hour Record under the "new" UCI rules. Anna possesses an incredible sprint and this combined with her power and determination makes her a formidable cyclist on any terrain. She is also one of the friendliest and most optimistic people you could ever meet.


Montreal World Cup & Tour of Greater Montreal

The Montreal World Cup was the sixth of nine World Cup races this year and my teammate, Petra Rossner was leading the World Cup series going into the race. Her main rival for the overall title is Miriam Melchers (Farm Frites). The course is a very tough one, with 12 ascents of Mont Royale - a nasty 2km climb. A much better course for Melchers than Petra! So our goal for the race was to have as many people as possible beat Melchers across the line. Only if it became clear that we couldn't beat Melchers would we go back and try to help Petra and make sure she finished ahead of us, to get as many points as possible.

It was a very windy day which made it difficult for the climbers to really split things up early on. It wasn't until the second last time up the climb that the Canadian favourite for the race, Genevieve Jeanson (Rona), put some real pressure on and a group of 10 split from the pack over the climb. The only Saturn rider to make the split was Judith Arndt. I was dropped by about 15 seconds and found myself chasing with an ex-Saturn rider, Dede Demet (Talgo). We worked hard together on the descent and closed in on the lead group as they were sitting up, watching each other before the final climb to the finish. So Dede and I approached them with a lot of speed and we both decided to attack straight past them.

I took the left-hand gutter and Dede the right, and we both attacked at exactly the same moment. We had enough speed to get a good gap immediately and with the windy conditions, none of the top climbers wanted to make the effort to close the gap. Dede and I worked hard together to the base of the climb and got a lead of more than a minute. This was enough for us to hold off the climbers for the final ascent. I couldn't stay with Dede up the climb and she went on to win while I claimed second. Genevieve was the best of the climbers and took third place.

Miriam Melchers finished in 4th place and Petra took 12th and so Miriam took over the overall lead of the World Cup by about 14 points. It's going to be a nail-biting finish to the series!

After a day of rest, four Saturn riders competed in the two-day Montreal tour. We began with a 3.5km time trial, which was won by Genevieve Jeanson (Rona). Clara Hughes (Quebec) and Dede Demet (Talgo) both finished one second behind Jeanson. Lyne Bessette (Quebec) was fourth, Erin Carter fifth and I took sixth, seven seconds behind Jeanson.

That afternoon, we raced a 50km criterium. The racing was fast and furious, with an average speed of 43km/hr for the race! There were many attacks but they were all short-lived. The longest surviving break came with seven laps to go when Clara Hughes, Sara Symington and Erin Carter got away. The Rona team pulled out all stops to bring them back. Cathy Marsal (Saturn) and I tried counter-attacking but we were swept up as well and it came to a field sprint. Laura van Guilder (Verizon) won, I took second and Dede Demet took third. With the time bonuses, Dede moved into the leader's jersey.

On the second day of the tour, we raced a relatively flat 115km stage. Once again, there was a very high average speed making it difficult for breakaways to stay away. There was a fierce battle over the early time bonus sprints, with Dede's Talgo team having to work very hard to try to control the race. At the third bonus sprint, Lyne Bessette (Quebec) and Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) broke away together. They remained about 30 seconds in front of the bunch for the next 30 kms but after some determined chasing they were caught once again.

Many riders tried to slip clear in the final 20 kms of the race but once again, it was all in vain and it came down to a bunch sprint. Once again Laura van Guilder won and with the time bonuses she snatched the overall win as well. Clara Hughes finished second and I took third.

It was great fast, aggressive racing and the crowds were awesome as well. Very good prep for the race this Sunday in Philadelphia!

Photo: © Rob Karman


World Cup Results

Tour of Greater Montreal Results