World Road Championships - CM
Salzburg, Austria, September 20-24, 2006
Results & report
Race 5 - September 23: Women's road race, 132.6km
Live Commentary by Laura Weislo and Jeff Jones, with additional reporting
from Hedwig Kröner and Kristy Scrymgeour
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:45 CEST
Welcome back to Salzburg for our
continued live coverage of the World Championships. The second event for today
is the women's road race. The ladies will complete six laps of the challenging
22 km road circuit for a total of 132.6 km, and features two climbs per lap.
Many of the women's teams have strong sprinters today: Schleicher and Teutenberg
for the Germans, Nicole Cooke for the Brits, Susanne Ljungskog for Sweden, Oenone
Wood for the Aussies, de Goede and Gunnewijk for the Dutch, Pic for the Americans
and Kiesanowski for the Kiwis. So the speculations that the course is too difficult
for a field sprint in the women's race might unfounded.
And the women are off! The sun is
out and the skies are completely clear today, and the temperature is perfect
for racing. Surely all of the women are happy about that. Nicole Cooke told
the BBC this morning that she's very excited to start this World Championship
as the World Cup winner.
14:34 CEST 2km/130.6km to go
And a rider has
a flat - it looks like Alex Wrubleski, who had a flat in the TT as well. Bad
luck! But she should have enough time to catch back up. The bunch is still pretty
compact, although riders are starting to move up as the road goes up a bit.
14:37 CEST 4km/128.6km to go
And there's been
a crash! The start of women's races are often very nervous, and this kind of
thing happens. Evgeniya Visockaya (Ukraine) has hit the barricades, but is up
and chasing. Wrubleski, still chasing back from her flat, nearly ran into the
mechanic as he dashed across to help Visockaya.
14:41 CEST 5km/127.6km to go
Dorte Lohse Rasmussen
(Denmark) has made it back up to the bunch after being caught up in the crash.
She's getting some aid from the support car. The group has started to settle
down a bit after the very nervous start, and is riding fairly easy up the start
of the first climb.
14:43 CEST 8km/124.6km to go
(Russian Federation) attacks! But she's quickly matched by the Italian and French
teams. She attacked just before the crest of the first climb, but couldn't quite
get the gap. The riders are now heading downhill toward the second climb.
14:51 CEST 11km/121.6km to go
The women are on
the second climb, and it's a kicker. And the Swiss and Italians are setting
a strong pace right now, with a Canadian rider well up in front, too. They're
over the top now, and still the bunch is not very strung out. The women will
likely start out a bit more conservatively than the U23 men did this morning.
The German powerhouse is still nowhere in evidence. The other teams will know
that this hammer is hanging over their heads, and save a bit for when it falls.
14:55 CEST 15km/117.6km to go
Whee! The women
are on the fast part of the descent from the Gschaiderberg, spread out across
the road and down in the aero tuck. The bunch up front is still very compact
as they leave the foot of the hill, and head back onto flatter ground.
A Swedish rider has stealthily attacked by powering in the saddle up the right
side of the road, but doesn't get much of a gap. She does succeed in stringing
out the bunch, and the front twenty or so are all single file.
15:01 CEST 19km/113.6km to go
Noemi Cantele (Italy)
calls for service - she seems to have a mechanical, perhaps her front brake
is rubbing. She gets an adjustment from the Italian team car, but is in no danger
of losing the field. It's pretty sedate up front at the moment.
a bike change - and a push from her team mechanic.
The roads coming
back into the finish get very narrow at times, and it will be crucial for the
finish to be in a good position at the squeeze point. One touch of the brakes
on the run-in and a rider could lose 20 positions.
Fabiana Luperini (Italy) is dropping
back to help her teammate get back to the bunch, as the riders near the 1km
to go banner. Under the kite, there's an attack from the Russians and a group
of four gains a bit of an advantage. There are a few more riders that make it
up to the Russian, including Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France).
15:09 CEST 23km/109.6km to go
A group of eight
is now clear of the bunch as the riders finish their first lap. It includes
Olivia Gollan (Australia), Anne Samplonius (Canada), Kirsten Wild (Netherlands),
Vera Carrara (Italy), Madeleine Sandig (Germany), Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France),
Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukraine), and Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation).
15:12 CEST 28km/104.6km to go
But there just
wasn't enough cooperation in that break, and the field is once again all together.
They're on the first climb of the second lap now, and it seems like that chase
thinned the bunch down some.
15:17 CEST 30km/102.6km to go
The Russian team
is still present at the front, with Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation)
doing the lion's share of the work. Longo is sticking to the front, and she
surely has a few more attacks up her sleeve. And as we approach the top of the
climb, there's an attack!
Ouch! Schleicher is dropped on the climb!!
Luperini is heading up to a break of two riders that got a gap at the top of
15:21 CEST 34km/101.6km to go
The descent is
allowing the bunch to catch the three leaders, and they're all back together.
Schleicher will be able to get back on during the descent, no problem. The group
has eased slightly, and the two who attacked earlier, Helen Wyman (Great Britain)
and Marta Vilajosana (Spain) have been dropped. That's what we call a "Boomerang
15:29 CEST 36km/96.6km to go
The peloton has
crested the second climb, and there's another attack from the Swedes on the
false flat that follows the banner. Emma Johansson is closely marked by Russian
Tatiana Shishkova. The second climb is made harder by the fact that there's
a pretty stiff headwind. This will really hurt by lap six.
it that Schleicher has been pretty ill this week with digestive issues, and
so she might not be on a great day, but the Germans have Teutenberg, who's no
slouch at sprinting, and who won two stages at the Holland Ladies tour last
The Russians will be protecting Svetlana Bubnenkova, who just won
the Giro della Toscana.
15:33 CEST 43km/89.6km to go
(Canada) has another dig, this time just out of the narrow section of road.
She has a passenger, though. It is Boyarskaya again! These two are very aggressive
today. They have a pretty good gap, but just a few seconds.
15:37 CEST 44.4km/88.2km to go
Samplonius are extending their lead as they go under the finish banner to start
their third lap. They've been racing only one hour so far, and the bunch is
reluctant to chase the pair just yet.
15:43 CEST 48km/82.6km to go
The peloton is in
the feed zone, and many of the riders are getting a hand-up. The Italian team
is keeping the gap under control, and Carrara, who has done a lot of work so
far, gets the nod to go back to the bunch to recover. The Americans have now
moved up as the riders begin the long drag to the first climb.
15:51 CEST 52km/80.6km to go
Tanja Slater (Great
Britain) leads Linda Villumsen (Denmark) in the chase, and have put a pretty
good dent into the leaders' gap, which is now down to 32".
Patricia Schwager (Switzerland) is
now leading the chase on the fast, twisty decent. The Swiss will be counting
on Nicole Brändli and Priska Doppmann today. They've both shown good form, with
Brändli winning a stage at the Giro della Toscana.
The leaders are
now on the second climb, and it they're struggling with the steep part. The
chase is on, and Schwager is still pushing the pace up front. The leaders are
coming up to the crest of the hill, and the cars are being pulled around. This
isn't a good sign.
15:59 CEST 58km/74.6km to go
(Switzerland) and Theresa Senff (Germany) take over the lead in the bunch as
they start down the long descent. The bunch is pretty strung out, but not going
too hard. They know they'll catch the break easily. Up front, Samplonius is
down in her lowest aero tuck, desperately squeezing every bit of speed out of
her bike. She wants to stay clear.
16:04 CEST 60km/72.6km to go
Oh dear, one of
the kits near the finish line has deflated! Workers are scrambling to get it
up and out of the riders' way. They still have time, as the break is about 5
km away. These inflatable banners look nice, but if someone pulls the plug on
the fan that keeps it inflated, it can be a very bad thing.
16:09 CEST 64km/68.6km to go
The peloton can
sense that they're getting close to the leaders, and the Swiss have started
to attack. We should start to see some really aggressive riding now that the
riders are reaching the halfway point. And sure enough, the Swedes are now pushing
the pace. They have two time world champion Susanne Ljungskog as their leader,
and she stands a great chance of getting her jersey back on a course such as
16:13 CEST 67km/65.6km to go
Samplonius and Boyarskaya
have done well to extend their lead to 32 seconds, but with half the race remaining,
they need to be pulling away faster than this to stand a chance of surviving.
The teams in the peloton seem to be doing just enough work to keep them close,
but not so much that they bring them back.
16:17 CEST 69km/63.6km to go
There's been a big
attack after the feedzone - it's Monica Holler (Sweden). She's gotten a really
good gap, and the bunch as let her go. This could be just the bit of steam the
16:24 CEST 71km/61.6km to go
Holler is having
difficulty making it up to the break, and is sitting in "no man's land" about
20" ahead of the bunch, but with still another 30" to go to the break. The break
is starting up the shoulder of the first climb, and still going strong. Back
in the bunch, Emma Johannson (Sweden) had upped the pace despite having a teammate
up the road.
16:30 CEST 75km/57.6km to go
Ah, it all becomes
clear: Holler has been caught, but her attack has been successful in reducing
the gap to the leaders down to 35".
The leaders have crested the
first climb, and passed through the second feedzone... The peloton is in hot
pursuit, strung out in a single line as they, too, begin the descent.
16:34 CEST 79km/53.6km to go
Samplonius and Boyarskaya
are on the second climb, and Boyarskaya is rocking her bike, struggling to keep
her momentum on this very steep section of the climb. Samplonius shows no emotion,
just turns over the gear, determined to stay away. As they start on the false
flat after the crest, Samplonius is doing most of the work, and motions back
to Boyarskaya - "just please do a little work? Please?"
16:41 CEST 82km/50.6km to go
back to her team car, checking on the situation in the pack. Boyarskaya looks
behind to see if the bunch is in sight.
16:44 CEST 87km/45.6km to go
The peloton is getting
restless, and Vera Carrara (Italy) attacks once again to try and get things
rolling. The riders are nearing the end of the fourth lap and Carrara is holding
her gap as she passes under the re-inflated 1km banner, looking very strong.
16:50 CEST 89km/43.6km to go
The break of Samplonius
and Boyarskaya was caught somewhere prior to Carrara's attack. The climb into
the headwind was their undoing. They did a good job for their teams, allowing
the rest of the ladies to stay out of the wind while the bigger teams had to
do all of the chasing. Canada has Susan Palmer-Komar, who was second at the
Fleche Wallone a few years back. Komar has had a fairly quiet season this year,
but she has years of experience and will be looking for a late-race breakaway.
16:54 CEST 92km/40.6km to go
Carrara has been
caught now, and it's the turn of Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukraine) to attack. Her
team immediately comes to the front to defend her lead. The bunch spreads out
across the road as the speed goes down. Stiajkina has a lead of 12" now as the
bunch is all the way across the road and looking much smaller than the start.
16:58 CEST 94km/38.6km to go
has been dropped from the bunch, as has Tina Pic (United States). That's a shame
for the US squad, who has lost their best hope for a bunch sprint. They'll have
to adjust their strategy.
Stiajkina has been caught as the bunch
heads up the first climb. Another rider counters, and gets a pretty decent gap.
It's Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan). That's a good move.
17:02 CEST 96km/36.6km to go
The bunch is not
letting Zabirova get far, and come across only 11" behind.
17:06 CEST 100km/32.6km to go
And there's a big
attack by Nicole Brandli (Switzerland) and Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)! They're
just flying up the second climb! They're joined by one of the Dutch riders,
but she can't hold the wheels of the two Nicoles.
17:10 CEST 103km/29.6km to go
That attack demolished
the buch. The pair did not get clear, but a group of about twelve more riders
split off the front at the start of the descent. The group is clear on the descent,
and the bunch is nowhere in sight! Stand by for some names...
bunch is significantly thinned down, and with little more than one lap remaining,
many riders will be climbing off in the feedzone.
17:12 CEST 107km/25.6km to go
Arndt is there
for Germany, as is Neben for the USA, Senff, Bubnenkova...
17:17 CEST 110km/22.6km to go
Germany has indeed
dropped their proverbial hammer! Arndt, Worrack and Senff have all made the
lead group. The Austrians have two, as do the Dutch - Beltman and Vos. Oenone
Wood has made the group, and the Germans will work hard to get rid of this sprinter.
Bubnenkova is also a threat, of a different sort.
Arndt and Vos
get a gap, but they are not going to work together. They're coming into the
end of the lap, and it's crunch time! They get it together, as they see Cooke
on the front of the chase, really working hard.
17:21 CEST 112km/20.6km to go
The smallish peloton
is strung out chasing, but are 58" behind the leader. The next lap will be interesting
- three Swiss, three Germans, two Dutch, two Austrians... and Wood, Cooke, and
17:25 CEST 113km/19.6km to go
The lead group
has settled down. Cooke had made it up to Arndt and Vos, and they had a bit
of a gap, but not enough. They've all decided to wait to play their cards. They're
only a few kilometers from the first climb. There's a short roller on the way
there, and Senff has a go - trying to soften the legs of the others for Arndt
17:26 CEST 114km/18.6km to go
And now it's Brandli's
turn to attack for the Swiss team. Cooke quickly bridges, but is so closely
marked by the Germans that she gets no gap. Cooke is going to have a hard time
with these numbers...
Senff, Cooke, Bubnenkova, Arndt and
Neben are all up front as the break begins the first climb. They're really biding
their time now, all riding in a tight bunch, closely watching each other.
The Germans have gone to the front
to set a steady tempo up the first climb. They'll want to discourage any attacks
on this climb so they can play their cards on the much more difficult second
17:31 CEST 118.6km/14km to go
The pace lifts
and everyone watches each other. Cooke attacks with one of the Germans, but
everyone marks them.
Doppmann rides through over the top,
keeping the tempo high and getting a small gap over the rest.
17:33 CEST 119.6km/13km to go
to drive it, forcing the others to chase hard as they go past the team boxes.
17:34 CEST 120.6km/12km to go
Doppmann sits up
just before the descent. The pace slows again, with Cooke on the front.
The start the descent and Cooke is
on the front with Worrack on her wheel. Arndt is at the back, shaking her legs.
Worrack takes the lead on the descent with Neben and Cooke in tow.
17:36 CEST 121.6km/11km to go
The group picks
up speed on the descent and gets ready for the final climb up Gschaiderberg.
Cooke, predictably, attacks and takes Vos and Brandli with her. Brandli looks
good and she and Vos put Cooke in the hurt box. But the others aren't far behind.
17:38 CEST 122.6km/10km to go
The three go over
the top and Brandli continues to drive it. Cooke is in difficulty, while Vos
doesn't want to work. In the chase group, Doppmann and Worrack have been dropped,
and Bubnenkova is in trouble.
Vos now does a turn, then Cooke and
Brandli. The bunch is still at 1'40 - not coming back today.
17:39 CEST 123.6km/9km to go
The three leaders
are giving it full gas as they hit the descent. All of them know they could
be world champion.
17:40 CEST 124.6km/8km to go
One rider attacks
the chase group as Senff is getting on the back.
Vos and Cooke work
on the descent, with the lead car about 30m in front. They have about 12 seconds
on the chasers.
17:41 CEST 125.6km/7km to go
Cooke is an excellent
descender, and Vos is no slouch either. Brandli is not working at the moment,
as the other two will probably destroy her in the sprint.
17:42 CEST 126.6km/6km to go
Nicole Brändli (Switzerland)
is getting a free ride at the moment. She has two teammates in the bunch, as
Doppmann has rejoined. The Germans are leading the chase.
17:42 CEST 127.6km/5km to go
Cooke and Vos continue
to work on the descent, with Brandli on their wheels. They can see the town
centre coming closer.
17:43 CEST 128.6km/4km to go
The gap is coming
down, thanks to Arndt, and it's perhaps five seconds. Brandli does a turn. But
it's too late. Soeder bridges up to them first.
It's all back together at 4 km to
go. Bubenkova puts in an attack which goes nowhere.
17:45 CEST 129.6km/3km to go
off as Arndt attacks again. But it's a weak move. Cooke sits at the back, watching.
Vos and Beltman chat to each other.
Brandli attacks just before 3 km
to go, but that goes nowhere. Bubenkova keeps it going with Beutler.
2.5 km to go and Neben attacks over
a bridge. She gets Beltman, Cantele and the rest for company.
17:48 CEST 130.6km/2km to go
Doppmann and Arndt
are at the front as they go under 2 km to go. Group sprint? Or...?
Senff attacks and gets Cooke for
company. That strings out the group, but the gap is too small.
17:49 CEST 131.6km/1km to go
The pace is one
as Arndt leads, then Beltman attacks with just over 1 km to go. Cantele takes
her wheel... Then Bubnenkova and the rest.
Buba continues to ride and the pace
is very high as they reach the final 500m.
17:51 CEST 132.6km/0km to go
Buba runs out of
gas and Arndt is leading out the sprint for Senff. Then Vos comes from nowhere
with a huuuuuuuuuuuge sprint and wins by about 16 bike lengths from Worrack,
it looks like. Wow!!
That was an enormous finish by Marianne
Vos, who went up the left hand side of the road with Worrack trying to follow.
Cantele was third ahead of Cooke.
It's very close between Cooke and
Cantele for the bronze. It looks like Cooke might have thrown her bike just
right to get it, but that will be confirmed later.
Thanks for following
the women's road race with us today. We'll be back for the main event at 10:30am
tomorrow: the men's road race over 265 km. Until then!
1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3.20.26
2 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
3 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)
4 Noemi Cantele (Italy)
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