Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on

Mont Ventoux
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.

Anna's Grand Boucle Féminine diary

Hitting the mountains

Stage 6 - August 9: Lyon - Villard de Lans, 125.4km

Today was the first of the mountain stages in this tour, finishing on a 22km climb after 128km of racing. It was time to see who had the legs in the climbs and who did not. In the middle of the stage we went over a cat 3 and a cat 4 climb and these were tough enough for me! I suffered over them with the bunch, determined to be around for the last half of the stage, to help if I could.

The bunch regrouped over the top of these climbs and then we hit a beautiful descent and Arenda Grimberg (Farm Frites) took off at lightning speed, closely followed by Cathy Marsal (Saturn). These two disappeared quickly down the descent. Once we hit the bottom, many more riders tried to cross the gap and eventually a group of 16 riders established itself off the front. We had Kimberly Bruckner in there which we were very happy about as Kimberly is a very strong climber and we thought if she got a head-start on the climb, she might never come back. Also in the group was Zoulfia Zabirova (Chiro) and Matusiak (Powerplate).

The group got out to two minutes before the other teams realised how big a threat it was and began to chase. The Acca Due O team was the first to respond and start chasing hard and once they blew, the team of defending champion Somaribba (Deia Pragma Colnago) hit the front and set the tempo the whole way up the final climb to the finish.

On the climb, the leading group gradually blew apart until only Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn), Zoulfia Zabirova (Chirio) and Matusiak (Powerplate) were left. Zabirova and Matusiak began attacking and with 8 kms to go, Zabirova got away solo. Kimberly spent the rest of the stage chasing, with Matusiak sitting on her wheel. Matusiak just rolled Kimberly on the line for second place, 12 seconds behind Zabirova.

1 minute and 30 seconds behind Zabirova was a group of 13 containing all the favourites, including the yellow jersey of Judith Arndt. With that performance, Judith retained her yellow jersey, Leontien Zjilaard is still holding second place overall, 46 seconds down and Kimberly has moved into third overall, 52 seconds behind Judith. Zabirova also climbed up the general classification and is now in 4th place, 1 minute 26 seconds down.

Tomorrow the mountains only get harder and so hopefully our two climbers are up to the challenge!


Photo: © Rob Karman