World championships - CM
Madrid, Spain, September 21-25, 2005
Results & report
Race 4 - September 24: Women's road race, 126km
Commentary by Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Hernan
Alvarez and Shane Stokes
Live coverage starts: 9:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 12:30 CEST
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' Live
coverage of the wonderful World's in sunny Madrid, where the European summer
still won't turn into fall. For today's events - the Women's and U23 road races
- the weather is the Spanish capital is as beautiful as ever, with around 20°
celsius at the start of the girls' race. Just a couple of clouds hang in the
sky, and the sun will surely heat up the tarmac for this afternoon.
There are some small crowds at start,
and at the key moments of the 21-kilometres long circuit, which will be raced
six times. And the Women's World Championship has started! The 131 very best
women on the road bike are on their way.
The German 7-heads team got into
the competition heading the peloton, as many expect these women to dominate
the race even though defending champion Judith Arndt is not feeling at their
The peloton is still rolling along groupé, but the pace is
suited for the importance of this event so a couple of riders have trouble hanging
on at the back. It's stringing out now as the riders are on a long boulevard-like
Yulia Razenkova (Russian Federation)
is one of the riders getting dropped now.
09:31 CEST 21km/105km to go
The sun is not completely
out yet, as the morning is still a little hazy. There's no wind at all.
The bunch is on an even larger boulevard now featuring four lanes in Madrid's
city centre. The roads are dead straight at the moment, with a lot of skyscrapers
at either side. After 32 minutes and 23 seconds, the first lap has just been
Judith Arndt is now at the tail of
the bunch, which has picked up a tempo. She's not looking very good as it is
early in the race to be tired...
Regina Schleicher (Germany), the
team's sprinter, is now with her but the peloton is still in one bit - the women
in front are neutralizing each other.
The riders are now on the second
climb of the course, where there are a lot of names and countries' names painted
on the road. Some flags are being waved, as a French rider is currently leading
Johanna Buick (New Zealand) is also
at the back, while Siobhan Dervan (Ireland) is really struggling.
As Australia's Oenone Wood is winning this year's World Cup, the Aussie team
will be working for her if its comes to a sprint but its likely they will throw
Olivia Gollan and Sara Carrigan into breaks if they can.
Annette Beutler (Switzerland) is
now at the front, with Katleen Vermeiren (Belgium) on her wheel. The speed is
still high and the bunch is stretching out.
And we have the first
attack in this race: it's Elodie Touffet (France), who jumped away when riding
out of a right hand corner.
Touffet's got a small gap there,
as the road is slightly uphill. The bunch is getting organised for the chase.
They've got her back. Nina Ovcharenco
(Ukraine) and Katheryn Curi (United States Of America) are now sitting in front.
Bettina Kuhn (Switzerland) is now
trying to get away, but the girls are taking care of her too.
10:06 CEST 42km/84km to go
The pack is now crossing
the finish line after the second lap. Four laps to go after 1.04.48.
Swedish Ljungskog is very determined to have a good race. She's just coming
out of the overall win in Toscana - she has good form and will be wanting to
go in a break away.
After the feed zone, where some of
the women have taken a little extra energy from their team assistants, the situation
is still the same: peloton groupé. The average speed is 38.88 km/h until now.
Miriam Melchers-Van Poppel has been riding consistently as usual this year and
could also be good in a break. She has a good sprint, especially out of a small
And another French attack is on -
the French might want to prove themselves with Longo not present for the first
time since 26 years (!). But this break attempt has also failed.
Next up is Olivia Gollan (Australia). She's got a gap.
A German rider is leading the chase.
She's not far off and didn't look like she had the strength to make a difference.
There she goes... being swallowed again.
The riders have to make
quite some efforts now to hold on to the front. Looks like it's a crucial time
where one could easily get dropped - but the main bunch is still together.
The sun is out now, as the next attack
goes: Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuania) tries on a false flat drag but gets
Luise Keller (Germany) clinging on her wheel.
twins haven't been seen much this year and while it was thought that they were
retiring... but both are excellent teammates for Lithuania.
Annette Beutler (Switzerland) is
now leading the bunch again, with Keller watching her.
is split at times, as some of the women have trouble holding on on the uphill
parts. It all comes back together again once the terrain is flat or downhill,
but one can sense that it might only a matter of time until the race falls apart.
The race comes down the Plaza de
Castilla - and now the pack is really strung out...
10:38 CEST 63km/63km to go
The riders have now
crossed the line in front of the Bernabeu stadium one more time after 1.36.21.
More and more spectators gather at the course.
The Australian team is surely riding
this race remembering their deceased teammate Amy Gillett. Oenone Wood told
reporters at the start, "I don't think any of us have had an ideal year this
year. It is a very tough thing and that is something that will be with us always.
But I think we are all going to ride strong for Amy." Wood is the World Cup
champion for the second successive year and holds high hopes for a podium finish
Monica Holler (Sweden) and Yulia Razenkova (Russian Federation)
are two of several abandons until now.
10:48 CEST 70km/56km to go
Emma Pooley (Great
Britain) has crashed as things are really getting underway in front. She's still
laying on the ground, talking to the race officials but not daring to move.
Pooley is being taken away in an
ambulance. It looked bad but the fact that she's conscious is a good sign.
Marina Jaunatre (France) is breaking away now with the bunch split into several
She's getting company by Alessandra
D'Ettorre (Italy) and Adrie Visser (Netherlands) - but the Italian doesn't want
They're caught again.
Nicole Brändli (Switzerland) is trying
next, with German Keller on her wheel - she's still doing an excellent job watching
the break attempts.
Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spain) has some to the
front too, and the other favourites are watching out...
Karin Thürig (Switzerland), the TT
champion, is now trying a big gear in front - some riders are following her
closely but she's pulling a gap here.
But the bunch is able to bridge back
to the leaders and all is together again - this must hurt as so many riders
are testing their rivals to wear them down eventually... Thürig is still on
the front though, dragging the pack along the boulevards.
11:09 CEST 84km/42km to go
Judith Arndt (Germany)
is on Thürig's wheel, as well as the rest of the bunch. They're getting to the
line again: 2.07.33. Two laps to go. Average speed: 40.35 km/h - the pace has
picked up since the race start.
There's a group of about 25 riders
who's been dropped and is more than one minute behind the main bunch.
Eneritz Iturriaga Echevarria Mazag
(Spain) has attacked in the feed zone...
Iturriaga Echevarria is giving it
all here, getting a gap of already 20 seconds. It would be surprising if she'd
make it - but who will make the sacrifice of chasing her down?
Iturriaga Echevarria Mazag looks
good but the gap is getting smaller - 12 seconds now as the peloton moves up
on her again.
Meanwhile, her teammate Maria Mercedes Cagigas Amedo
has quit the race.
There she goes... peloton together.
There will surely be further attempts to break things up a bit, but until now
all the favourites have been very consistent.
Another uphill false flat sees Olivia
Gollan (Australia) at the front again, digging deep. But the bunch is hanging
on, strung out as it is but everybody's still there.
Next break attempt
comes from Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands), but she's not getting a chance neither.
The constant chasing must be wearing the riders down though - but the tempo
isn't that high neither. An Aussie and a Canadian rider have pulled the bunch
back onto Gunnewijk.
Off the right hand side, Theresa
Senff (Germany) is taking a Swiss rider with her on another attack. They're
back in the bunch as Olivia Gollan countered, making Arndt react.
The peloton is still together - they're looking at each other. Priska Doppmann
(Switzerland) is next to increase the pace.
Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russian Federation)
also tries as the riders approach the line for the final lap. It's very fast
11:41 CEST 105km/21km to go
The bunch crosses
the start/finish line after 2.38.49 with Bubnenkova still a little off the front
but the peloton is chasing her down. The Germans are still there to make a sprint
happen but Arndt is in trouble at the back.
Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands) attacks
again, going hard. But the bunch is following her and it's all coming back together.
As soon as the pace drops a little, another attack goes with a French girl:
Marina Jaunatre (France) again, with Noemi Cantele (Italy). They've got 150
A Russian rider bridges up to them,
it's Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation). She's trying but the bunch is also
following not far away.
Spanish Somarriba drove the pace
on that climb and led the bunch back on the two escapees.
Somarriba is forcing the pace at
the front, but those climbs are not steep enough to make a difference. They've
come over it together now.
The sprinters will be getting into
position soon. The Germans are right there as they've controlled the race all
along, as well as the Americans and the Dutch.
And Christine Thorburn (United States
Of America) is trying to get away! But there's no way, really... A good effort
on that little uphill stretch and Somarriba and Ljungskog are there too.
And the Americans are trying to destabilize
the race at this point, with Amber Neben also giving it a go. In the bunch,
the girls are looking at each other.
A German rider is leading the chase
- Neben has got five seconds but she's looking aver her shoulder.
12:02 CEST 120km/6km to go
Two Germans pulling
the bunch now: Senff and Worrack. The French and Swiss on their wheels. Judith
Arndt has moved up again too.
The gap to Neben is decreasing -
she's almost caught there, almost sitting up too.
12:05 CEST 122km/4km to go
Peloton together again,
dragged by a French girl. Next attack by a Dutch girl: Suzanne De Goede. She's
giving it all there but will surely be caught again.
have got her, too.
Nicole Brändli (Switzerland) and
Erinne Willock (Canada) are leading now... but they're caught too. The Germans
really control this race.
12:07 CEST 125km/1km to go
Tempo is as high as
it possibly could be for the final kilometre. Nicole Cooke is in fourth position
as three Germans are in front.
Arndt is leading, with all the sprint
favourites there. And it's the victory for Germany!! And Cooke is second, and
Australian girl third.
And now we finally know who took
the Gold medal: Regina Schleicher (Germany)! Wood is third, Rasmussen fourth.
Well, that was a tight and exciting
sprint finish this morning. In the brilliant sunshine, the medals are being
awarded. Cooke looks disappointed, but she does smile as she gets the medal.
Schleicher is very happy of course as she gets the jersey, waving to the crowd
and laughing. That was a perfect race by the German team.
again in about one hour for the Men's U23 race which will surely be interesting
after what we've been watching so far!
1 Regina Schleicher (Germany)
2 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)
3 Oenone Wood (Australia)
4 Dorte Lohse Rasmussen (Denmark)
5 Chantal Beltman (Netherlands)
6 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
7 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden)
8 Anita Valen (Norway)
9 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania)
10 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
11 Diana Ziliute (Lithuania)
12 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland)
13 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands)
14 Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada)
15 Mette Fischer Andreasen (Denmark)
16 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania)
17 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America)
18 Christine Thorburn (United States Of America)
19 Nicole Brändli (Switzerland)
20 Maria Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spain)
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