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2002 Road World Championships - CM
Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002
Day 4 - October 11: Junior Women Road Race, 76.8km
De Goede benefits from Dutch teamwork
By Jeff Jones in Zolder
The Netherlands won its first medal of the 2002 World Championships with 18 year old Suzanne de Goede taking the Junior Women's Road Race in a bunch sprint. De Goede benefited from the excellent work of her Dutch team, which controlled the race throughout and managed to organise a lead out for her in the final 2 km. She had to wait until the last 150m before making her move to come around Germany's Claudia Stumpf (2nd), but she timed it well and won by a bike length. Third place went to Sweden's Monica Holler, who also scored her country's first medal of the Championships.
"There were a lot of attacks but we brought them all back," said De Goede afterwards. "That meant a mass sprint which was perfect for me."
The Junior Women had to race over 6 laps of the 12.8 km Zolder course, starting in very chilly conditions at 9:30am. "It was very hard with the wind and it was very cold in the morning," De Goede commented about the conditions. "But then the sun came out and it was a bit better."
The Dutch plan was clear from the start - to make the race hard by putting two of their riders on the attack, namely Loes Markerink and Marion Spijkerman. Coached by Monique Knol, who watched the race nervously on one of the big screens, it was obvious that they had the strength and the knowledge to make it work. The other strong teams in the race were the Germans and the Australians, although they seemed to want to keep it together for a bunch sprint.
"Now they [the other teams] have a lot of sprinters, but we don't know if they have the fast sprinters," Knol told Cyclingnews from the sidelines. "I hope we have the best ones but we don't know because we've never cycled with the other riders. We can't compare them."
Any plan is better than none however, and Knol had instructed her riders well as they initiated a number of moves and covered the others. Each time the peloton hit the climb with 2.5 km to go, riders were shed from the pack with small breaks occurring over the top. But each time it came back together on the descent just before they entered the Zolder circuit.
The other factors that reduced the size of the peloton were a number of crashes, which were mostly caused by nervousness and inexperience, as there were no dangerous parts of the course. Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt, although a number of riders spent the rest of the race chasing.
With two laps to go it appeared very likely that the race would finish in a big sprint, as there were still 45 riders left in the peloton. The last lap was very watchful, with no-one willing to risk their legs before the finish. Czech Petra Bublova accelerated on the climb but had a Dutch rider glued to her wheel, and the peloton regrouped on the descent.
The final kilometre saw three Dutch riders and an Australian in front, with the Dutch doing an excellent job of keeping the tempo high. It appeared to come apart in the final 300m as the sprint was started from behind, but De Goede kept her cool and accelerated on the final downhill 150m to take the win clearly in front of Claudia Stumpf (Ger) and Monica Holler (Swe).
A delighted De Goede was immediately swamped after the finish and congratulated by her team. A question asked was "Can you be the next Leontien?"
"I don't think so. She races very hard. I hope to make the best out of myself," replied De Goede.
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.com
Images by AFP
Images by Cyclingnews.com/Jeff Jones
1 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) 1.59.00 (38.723 km/h) 2 Claudia Stumpf (Ger) 3 Monica Holler (Swe) 4 Nathalie Tirard (Fra) 5 Magen Long (USA) 6 Belinda Goss (Aus) 7 Audrey Lemieux (Can) 8 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) 9 Judith Baumann (Swi) 10 Monika Krawczyk (Pol) 11 Monia Baccaille (Ita) 12 Clothilde Giraudo (Fra) 13 Audrey Werner (Bel) 14 Miranda Vierling (Ned) 15 Svitlana Semchuk (Ukr) 16 Vicky Fournial (Fra) 17 Eleonora Soldo (Ita) 18 Sara Peeters (Bel) 19 Kateryna Burova (Ukr) 20 Larssyn Staley (USA) 21 Magdalena Zamolska (Pol) 22 Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr) 23 Agne Radzeviciute (Ltu) 24 Monika Furrer (Swi) 25 Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 26 Petra Bublova (Cze) 27 Christine Heiny (Ger) 28 Sandrine Le Berre (Fra) 29 Paulina Fiuk (Pol) 30 Isabelle Hoffman (Lux) 31 Loes Markerink (Ned) 0.04 32 Stephanie Williams (Aus) 0.05 33 Marjon Spijkerman (Ned) 34 Charlot Verhaeghe (Bel) 0.06 35 Kristina Scheludiakova (Rus) 0.07 36 Lina Baltrusaityte (Ltu) 37 Genevieve Leblanc (Can) 38 Sally Cowman (Aus) 39 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) 0.09 40 Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 41 Naiara Telletxea Lopez (Spa) 42 Laura Telle (Lat) 0.10 43 Carolina Asplund (Swe) 0.16 44 Bernadette Schober (Aut) 0.20 45 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) 46 Magalie Boulay (Can) 3.25 47 Iryna Shpylyova (Ukr) 48 Dianne Emery (RSA) 49 Inese Paegleskalne (Lat) 50 Agne Bagdonaviciute (Ltu) 4.20 51 Marta Jimenez Jimenez (Spa) 4.23 52 Nina Ovcharenko (Ukr) 5.57 53 Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) 54 Monica Haydee Huerta Barron (Mex) 55 Halina Asipenka (Blr) 5.58 56 Laura Dargyte (Ltu) 10.37 57 Fu Shimei (Chn) 12.21 58 Valentina Gavrilova (Rus) 12.27 59 Erika Almeida Garcia (Spa) 15.27 60 Lore Txurruka Ansola (Spa) 16.20