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Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale - 2.9.1
France, August 4-18, 2002
Stage 4 - August 7: Bar le Duc - Nogent-sur-Seine, 156.2km
Perseverance pays for Madeleine Lindberg
By Chris Henry, Cyclingnews correspondent
After a 20km neutral start, Stage 4 of the Grande Boucle Féminine took the peloton 159.7km through the Départements de la Marne, Haute Marne, and Aube today, between Bar le Duc and Nogent-sur-Seine, France. An almost entirely flat stage, today's racing was marked by some stiff winds and a day long break ultimately settled in a three way sprint. After single-handedly pulling the break for the final 10km, Swedish pro Madeleine Lindberg (Farm Frites-Hartol) still had the legs to win the sprint ahead of Iryna Chuzhynova (Edilsavino) and Ghita Beltman (Acca Due O).
Lindberg had no expectations that her escape would create the time gaps that it did, but she gave credit to her team for spurring her on. "I must say I had some great support from (Michael Zijlaard) in the car behind. He is a very good coach, and it made me worry less. With 500m to go, Chuzhynova started the sprint, and I easily got on her wheel and could then win the sprint."
Early in the stage, it was Ghita Beltman who made the first successful move, attacking and going clear at the 33km mark. After almost 30km of solo effort, Beltman was joined by Lindberg and Chuzhynova, and the three rapidly built a lead that would at its maximum reach almost ten minutes over the peloton which, no doubt to the relief of many, stayed together on the flat roads to Nogent-sur-Seine.
As the leading trio's advantage grew, Lindberg became the virtual race leader on the road, a fact which quickly threw a monkey in the works of the break's cooperative spirit. Beltman was not only paying for her day long break with occasional muscle cramps, she also decided that Lindberg's theoretical lead in the general classification was not worth working for, and the Acca Due rider refused to continue taking pulls at the front. Perhaps sensing opportunity at the finish, assuming the break would stay away, Chuzhynova began to sit on Lindberg's wheel as well. Despite Lindberg's assurances that the overall lead was not her objective, the other two would not work.
With 13km remaining in the race, the leading three still held an advantage of 9'58". However, with only Lindberg working to maintain the break, and a well-drilled Saturn squad chasing in defense of Judith Arndt's Maillot Or, the gap began to disintegrate.
Interestingly, for a short time, the only riders really making an effort to set the pace were Arndt's Saturn teammates at the head of the peloton, and the blue jersey of Liane Bahler (Nürnberger Versicherung), working for her own standing in the best young rider competition. In the breakaway, the three leaders soft-pedaled for some time while discussing the merits of their time advantage, while in the peloton the sprinters' teams felt no need to ride at the front knowing that the stage win was already lost.
With less than 10km to race, Lindberg decided to test her two breakaway companions with a new attack, though a determined Beltman regained her wheel, along with Chuzhynova, holding steady in third position. Under the 5km to go banner, and with their lead falling quickly, the three continued, assured at least that the stage victory would be decided between them. Beltman looked to be suffering the most, pushing a larger gear than Lindberg or Chuzhynova, who on her 30th birthday had her own added motivation for a possible stage victory.
In the final kilometre it was indeed Chuzhynova who attacked in search of the stage win, though Lindberg would not be denied her own opportunity after her work of the last 10km. The tall Swede nailed back Chuzhynova's surge and replied with a final acceleration of her own, taking a well-deserved victory. Local hero and former men's yellow jersey holder François Simon presented the day's prize to Lindberg on the winner's podium.
As the peloton entered the final kilometre, by this point just under 4 minutes behind the winners, Saturn was still in control of the group with the green jersey of Petra Rossner working selflessly to protect overall leader Arndt. Just under the 1km banner, 9th place overall Zinaida Stahurskaia (USC Chirio) crashed along with Debby Mansveld (Vlaanderen-T Interim), although the two remounted and finished with the same time as the main peloton, fortunate that their fall occurred within the final kilometre. Olga Slioussareva of the Itera Team took the field sprint, 3'47" back of stage winner Lindberg, and just ahead of Judith Arndt, who kept her Maillot Or for another day.
Arndt was once again pleased with the team's effort and the defense of her jersey. "We wanted to keep things calm today, with the time trial tomorrow it's going to be difficult. At the end we just tried to make it safe for me and keep the jersey."
Images by AFP
1 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Farm Frites-Hartol 4.15.21 (37.525 km/h) 2 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Edilsavino 3 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O 4 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) Itera Team 3.47 5 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling 6 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Michela Fanini 7 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 8 Alison Wright (Aus) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 9 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T Interim 10 Sara Felloni (Ita) Edilsavino 11 Youlia Martissova (Rus) Itera Team 12 Miho Oki (Jpn) C.A Mantes la ville 78 13 Alessandra d'Ettore (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 14 Leontien Van Moorsel (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 15 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling 16 Francesca Castrucci (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 17 Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus) Itera Team 18 Baukje Doedee (Ned) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 19 Edita Kubelskiene (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team 20 Goulnara Ivanova (Rus) USC Chirio ... 40 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 41 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 61 Sissy van Alebeek (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 71 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 101 Anouska van der Zee (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol General classification after stage 4 1 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling 14.21.56 2 Valentina Polkhanova (Rus) Itera Team 0.28 3 Leontien Van Moorsel (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 1.25 4 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 1.42 5 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn Cycling 1.54 6 Youlia Martissova (Rus) Itera Team 2.10 7 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago 2.31 8 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) USC Chirio 2.33 9 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O 2.38 10 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O 11 Simona Parente (Ita) Edilsavino 2.39 12 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) USC Chirio 2.40 13 Liane Bahler (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 2.49 14 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Mixte Power Plate 15 Amber Neben (USA) USA National-T Mobile 2.54 16 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team 2.56 17 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T Interim 3.01 18 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 3.18 19 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 20 Miho Oki (Jpn) C.A Mantes la ville 78 3.32 21 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Michela Fanini 3.40 22 Karine Dalmais (Fra) French National Team 3.54 23 Sandrine Marcuz (Fra) French National Team 3.59 24 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen-T Interim 4.15 25 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 4.37 26 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O 4.44 27 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Edilsavino 4.48 28 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) Itera Team 4.50 29 Letizia Giardinelli (Ita) Michela Fanini 4.52 30 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Acca Due O 4.53 31 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 5.04 32 Elisabeth Chevanne Brunel (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78 5.11 33 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Deia Pragma Colnago 5.37 34 Helga Faccin (Ita) USC Chirio 5.59 35 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Mixte Power Plate 6.35 36 Mari Holden (USA) USA National-T Mobile 6.40 37 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn Cycling 6.41 38 Veronique Belleter (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 6.51 39 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O 6.52 40 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O 6.57 41 Lisbeth Simper (Den) Michela Fanini 7.04 42 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Edilsavino 7.08 43 Sara Felloni (Ita) Edilsavino 7.10 44 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Deia Pragma Colnago 45 Kym Shirley (Aus) Itera Team 7.11 46 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling 7.14 47 Sylvie Riedle (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78 7.23 48 Yvonne Brunen (Ned) Mixte Power Plate 7.31 49 Edita Kubelskiene (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team 7.35 50 Bogumila Matusiak (Pol) Mixte Power Plate 7.39 51 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 8.07 52 Francis Linthorst (Ned) Mixte Power Plate 8.16 53 Marcia Eicher-Vouets (Swi) C.A Mantes la ville 78 8.22 54 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O 8.30 55 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Deia Pragma Colnago 8.31 56 Birgit Sollner (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 8.44 57 Jenny Algelid-Bengtsson (Swe) Equipe Nurnberger Versich 8.45 58 Sissy Van Alebeek (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 8.49 59 Sandra Rombouts (Ned) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 60 Lada Kozlikova (Cze) Itera Team 8.53 61 Aline Camboulives (Fra) French National Team 8.56 62 Marina Khodtchenkova (Rus) Edilsavino 9.09 63 Daniela Veronesi (Ita) Edilsavino 9.27 64 Silvia Parietti (Ita) Figurella Dream Team 9.29 65 Christine Mos (Ned) Mixte Power Plate 9.42 66 Marta Vilajosana Andreu (Spa) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca 9.52 67 Laure Werner (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 10.16 68 Cristina Alcalde Huertanos (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 10.24 69 Shani Bloch (Isr) Michela Fanini 10.26 70 Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus) Itera Team 10.43 71 Alessandra d'Ettore (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 10.43 72 Penny Edwards (GBr) USC Chirio 10.47 73 Rhonda Quick (USA) Figurella Dream Team 10.51 74 Anouska Van Der Zee (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 11.03 75 Alison Wright (Aus) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung 11.57 76 Kim Anderson (USA) USA National-T Mobile 12.07 77 Kristin Armstrong (USA) USA National-T Mobile 78 Deirdre Demet-Barry (USA) USA National-T Mobile 12.22 79 Marianna Lorenzoni (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 12.29 80 Rosalisa Lapomarda (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 12.32 81 Emma James (Aus) C.A Mantes la ville 78 12.53 82 Montserrat Alonso Bernal (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 13.04 83 Anke Wichmann (Ger) Michela Fanini 13.09 84 Isabelle Moulis (Fra) French National Team 13.15 85 Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Saturn Cycling 13.17 86 Catherine Marsal (Fra) Saturn Cycling 13.42 87 Magalie Finot (Fra) French National Team 14.08 88 Baukje Doedee (Ned) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 14.19 89 Kim Davidge (USA) Saturn Cycling 14.36 90 Monica Ceccon (Ita) Michela Fanini 14.38 91 Goulnara Ivanova (Rus) USC Chirio 14.40 92 Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago 15.06 93 Tiziana Smorgon (Ita) Figurella Dream Team 16.12 94 Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 16.22 95 Vilija Purlite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team 17.03 96 Marta Evangelisti (Ita) Edilsavino 18.33 97 Katie Mactier (Aus) Michela Fanini 18.57 98 Eneritz Iturriaga Mazaga (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago 19.58 99 Stacey Peters (USA) USA National-T Mobile 20.29 100 Anna Ramirez (Spa) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet 20.39 101 Fany Lecourtois (Fra) Deia Pragma Colnago 21.40 102 Alexandra Nohles (Ger) Mixte Power Plate 22.28 103 Tetyana Andrushchenko (Ukr) USC Chirio 24.33 104 Francesca Castrucci (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Ate 24.42 105 Cornelia Cyrus (Rus) Itera Team 28.00 106 Agurtzane Elorriaga Derteano (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkai 31.46 107 Vanessa Rochelle Guyton (NZl) Vlaanderen-T Interim 34.29 108 Cynthia Compain (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78 36.53 109 Nikane Xuen Mallea Ludlon (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 53.16 110 Maitane Telletxea (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia 1.17.01