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5th Fleche Wallonne - CDM

Belgium, April 17, 2002


Three times La Flèche for La Luperini

Melchers takes over World Cup lead

Italian Fabiana Luperini (Edilsavino) has taken another win in the women's Flèche Wallonne, the fourth round of the women's World Cup. Luperini has dominated this race since its inception in 1998, winning in 1998, 2001 and 2002. A superb climber, she timed her run just right to pull away from her rivals on the final ascent of the Mur de Huy.

Compared with some previous editions of this race, today's 93 kilometre loop around Huy was held in pleasant spring conditions, with temperatures around 12 degrees and occasional bursts of sunlight. The field of 148 was one of the best yet assembled this year, with plenty of Italian, Belgian, French, and other trade teams to mix things up.

Luperini's Edilsavino team began attacking early in the race, keen to break things up for their outstanding climber. A break of ten formed on the second to last climb before the Mur de Huy, but with an effort from the peloton, it was closed down.

It was however, an indication of who was on form on the climbs, as the best of the climbers came to the fore including Luperini, Priska Doppmann, Nicole Brändli (Acca Due) and Lyne Bessette (Saturn).

On the final climb, Doppmann and Luperini raced away and gradually put time into what was left of the field. However, turning onto the last 800 meters of the climb, they were in sight of Mirjam Melchers, Bessette, and Britain's Caroline Alexander.

On the steepest portion of the climb, Luperini was well clear of her chasers and had enough time to celebrate her worthy victory. Meanwhile back on the 19 percent grade, Bessette attacked and never looking back stayed clear for a second place victory. Doppmann crossed the line for third.

World Cup leader Petra Rossner (Saturn) fought hard to minimize the damage, but Melchers had a strong ride to finish fourth and therefore moved into the World Cup Jersey by eight points.

Courtesy of Giana Roberge, Team Saturn


1 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino                        2.33.15 (36.411 km/h)
2 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team                     0.12
3 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Swiss National Team
4 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol
5 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Deia-Pragma-Colnago
6 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team                0.23
7 Caroline Alexander (GBr) British National Team              0.27
8 Regina Schleicher (Ger) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
9 Simona Parente (Ita) Edilsavino
10 Aline Camboulives (Fra) French National Team
11 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
12 Trixi Worrack (Ger) German National Team                   0.39
13 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team       0.43
14 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) Team Sponsor Service
15 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
16 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Power-Plate-Bik                        0.48
17 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
18 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Edilsavino
19 Miho Oki (Jpn) C.A. Mantes La Ville 78
20 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team
21 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Australian National Team
22 Sandrine Marcuz (Fra) French National Team                 0.57
23 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Power-Plate-Bik               1.02
24 Zoulfa Zabirova (Rus) Figurella Dream Team                 1.05
25 Daniela Veronesi (Smr) Edilsavino                          1.14
26 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team                    1.17
27 Kimberly Bruckner (Usa) Saturn Cycling Team
28 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team
29 Angela Brodtka (Ger) German National Team
30 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung      1.23
31 Sara Symington (GBr) British National Team                 1.30
32 Corine Hierckens (Bel) Power-Plate-Bik                     1.34
33 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Ha    1.52
34 Sonia Huguet (Fra) French National Team                    2.01
35 Olga Zabelinskaia (Rus) Itera Team                         2.04
36 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Australian National Team               2.11
37 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Deia-Pragma-Colnago
38 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol
39 Ioulja Martissova (Rus) Itera Team
40 Marianna Lorenzoni (Ita) Team Aliverti Kookai Imm. Luca Atet
41 Vera Carrara (Ita) Itera Team
42 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Loren    2.19
43 Rosa Bravo (Spa) Spanish National Team
44 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
45 Katie Mactier (Aus) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
46 Virginie Moinard (Fra) French National Team
47 Marina Jaunatre (Fra) French National Team
48 Elizabeth Tadich (Aus) Australian National Team
49 Evy Van Damme (Bel) Belgian National Team                  2.34
50 Lisbeth Simper (Den) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
51 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Australian National Team
52 Alison Wright (Aus) Australian National Team
53 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Cami    2.43
54 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
55 Marina Khodtchenkova (Rus) Edilsavino
56 Guun-Rita Dahle (Nor) Team Sponsor Service
57 Monica Valen (Nor) Team Sponsor Service                    2.50
58 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Edilsavino                          2.53
59 Martine Bras (Ned) Ondernemers Van Nature                  2.57
60 Tanja Hennes (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
61 Anke Wichmann (Ger) German National Team
62 Naomi Williams (Aus) Australian National Team              3.13
63 Silvia Parietti (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                 4.54
64 Roberta Bonanomi (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                5.11
65 Andrea Graus (Aut) Austrian National Team                  5.17
66 Susan Thomas (GBr) British National Team                   5.23
67 Rachel Heal (GBr) British National Team                    5.28
68 Vanja Vonckx (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team        5.31
69 Jessica Phillips (Usa) Saturn Cycling Team
70 Andrea Purner (Aut) Austrian National Team
71 Katherine Bates (Aus) Ondernemers Van Nature
72 Anja Nobus (Bel) Belgian National Team
73 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Itera Team
74 Denise Baumann (Swi) Swiss National Team
75 Ronda Quick (Usa) Figurella Dream Team
76 Sonia Traxel (Swi) Swiss National Team                     5.48
77 Annette Beutler (Swi) Swiss National Team
78 Solrun Flataas (Nor) Team Sponsor Service                  5.51
79 Minke Van Dongen (Ned) Dutch National Team
80 Vera Koedooder (Ned) Dutch National Team
81 Ine Wannijn (Bel) Belgian National Team                    5.56
82 Nataliya Kachalka (Ukr) Deia-Pragma-Colnago                6.02
83 Fany Lecourtois (Fra) Deia-Pragma-Colnago                  6.05
84 Jenny Algelid (Swe) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
85 Sandra Wampfler (Swi) C.A. Mantes La Ville 78              6.10
86 Sophie Creux (Fra) French National Team                    6.19
87 Letizia Giardinelli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
88 Sylvie Riedle (Fra) C.A. Mantes La Ville 78
89 Susan Carter (GBr) British National Team                   6.35
90 Tania Belvederesi (Ita) Power-Plate-Bik                    7.01

World Cup standings after round 4

1 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol       158 pts
2 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team             150
3 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Australian National Team     100
4 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino                    75
5 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Swiss National Team            70

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