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Anna Millward diary

In charge in Idaho
In the mountains

Teamwork pays

Breakaway day

Two-up winner

Final stage

Chris Davidson diary

Parking lot games
Giant killers
Saturn turns it up
Crash city
Saturn train a-coming
Diesel power

Billy Cornelius diary

Itera arrives
Thirsty work
Making the break
Saturn cleans up
The not-so-big chill
Jeanson takes lead
Saturn team TT
Highs, lows & routine
Crit & cake
Mr Potato hitches a ride

2001 results


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.

Teamwork to the fore as Saturn uses the wind to its advantage

HP Women's Challenge,

Stage 6 - June 20: Burley to Magic Mountain, 97.1 km

Well after the disappointment of yesterday we were prepared for battle today! We raced 97km, finishing at the top of Magic Mountain, a long, gradual climb. The climb goes for something like 25km although the first part is really gradual undulations and the more difficult climbing doesn't begin until about the last 14 or 15 kms.

At the start of the day, Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) was in the lead overall with Judith Arndt (Saturn) 55 seconds behind and Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn) 1 minute 13 seconds behind. Then came Lyne Bessette, Valentina Polkanova, Amber Neben and finally me in seventh place, four and a half minutes behind. With three riders among the top 10, we wanted to be very aggressive and we were praying for a windy day so that we could use our team strength in the cross winds.

Things went according to plan with a nice strong wind blowing up before the start. Everyone in the bunch was prepared for action and there was a fast pace from the start. There was an intermediate sprint at six kms and the speed of the sprint had the whole bunch in a line. Judith Arndt (Saturn) attacked after the sprint and Ina Teutenberg (Saturn) went across to her group to try and make a breakaway succeed. However, the rest of the bunch was alert to the danger and soon brought them back.

We tried a few more attacks but the wind was a little too much at our backs to hurt the bunch a lot. Things settled down for a few kms and then a group went clear of the peloton all of a sudden. I joined the group to make a total of nine riders: Mari Holden and Katrina Berger from the T-Mobile team, Modesta from Lithuania, I think it was Solrun Flataas from Sponsor Service, Leah Goldstein from Boise Cascade, Sue Palmer from Canada, someone from Itera and I think Alison Littlefield. We hovered around 20 seconds in front of the peloton until about the 35 km mark, and then the road swung to the right and all of a sudden there was a strong cross-wind.

That was the moment we had been waiting for, and in the bunch behind me, the rest of the Saturn team went to the front and started hammering into the cross wind, putting the rest of the field in the gutter, with no protection from the wind. Within a couple of kms, they had caught my group and I joined the effort at the front, trying to split the group into pieces. We worked at our absolute limit for five or six kms and all of a sudden, our plan succeeded and we had five Saturn riders in front, with only Lyne Bessette (Canada) able to survive the split. Ina Teutenberg, Petra Rossner and I, continued to set the pace in front, with our better climbers, Judith Arndt and Kim Bruckner sitting on to conserve energy for the final 20kms.

Genevieve JEanson (Rona) somehow managed to cross the gap to us and so there were seven of us for a little while. However, when the road next swung to create difficult crosswinds, we went for it again, allowing Lyne Bessette and Genevieve Jeanson no protection from the wind and finally our efforts put them in trouble and they had to let us go.

Amazing stuff - we then had five Saturn riders alone in the front of the race. We still had 35 or 40 kms to the finish of the race and we needed to get Judith and Kimberley about one minute in front before they would take over the race lead. So Ina Teutenberg, Petra Rossner and I completely hammered ourselves, trying to stretch the lead as much as we could. With 17 or 18 kms still to travel, we couldn't do any more and as the road began to get steeper we blew up and had to let Judith and Kimberley travel on to the finish by themselves.

Behind us, a group of around 20 riders had caught Lyne Bessette and Genevieve Jeanson and their team-mates began to chase as much as they could for these two riders. But as the climb became tougher, Genevieve had to leave her teammates behind and chase herself.

In the end, Judith Arndt (Saturn) won the stage by around 1 minute from Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn). Genevieve (Rona) finished another minute behind and so Judith moved into the overall lead, with Genevieve in second and Kimberly third.

Petra, Ina, Cathy Marsal and I lost nearly half an hour making it to the top after our efforts!

Tomorrow is 132 kms with a couple of shorter climbs in it. We have some work to do now defending the jersey!

Photo: © Rob Karman


HP Women's Challenge - stage 6 results