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6th Geelong World Cup - CDM
Australia, February 24, 2008
Mattis takes biggest victory to date
By Paul Verkuylen in Geelong
Katheryn Curi Mattis of the Webcor Builders cycling team took the biggest win of her career, after outsprinting Emma Rickards (Cervelo - Lifeforce), her breakaway companion for five of the eight laps to race. The pair broke clear during the third lap after High Road brought back a 12-rider escape, which got away towards the end of the first lap. The duo slowly built their lead to 6'50", before ultimately holding off the fast moving peloton, led home by Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, by 1'08" at the finish.
"It's a great way to kick off the year, I am still speechless," Mattis said shortly after receiving the first leader's jersey in this year's world cup.
With High Road the team expected to set the pace for most of the race, the pair was never expected to hold off the peloton, but as they approached the final lap with over three minutes in hand it became obvious that High Road and the other sprinters' teams had left it too late.
Mattis was the first of the pair to attack in the final lap, testing her opponent's legs as they neared the top of the climb. But Rickards was still riding well and was easily able to jump on her wheel. From here the pair rode together to the finish, only starting to play a game of cat and mouse in the final kilometre, at one stage coming to a complete stand still. But with a two minute advantage for the pair, even this move was not enough for the peloton to shut the break down, and with 100 meters to go, Mattis opened up her sprint to take her first World Cup race.
"Coming into the roundabout with about a kilometre to go, I swung right and got her in front of me and then we were kind of doing a little bit of track standing," Mattis explained of the run to the line.
"I was certainly nervous about the charging peloton but I think we had about two minutes. I haven't been in a match sprint situation before so I just tried to be patient and I jumped with about 200m to go and just held her off.
"This is definitely my top win for me. In 2005 I won the National championship [USA] on the road which at the time was probably the best. I don't think of myself as a one day racer. I love stage racing but this is definitely the biggest win," she said.
Perhaps the most important outcome of this victory is that Curi Mattis has now fulfilled the selection criteria for the US Olympic team - an important feat because the competition for the three spots available to the USA is strong this year.
Rickard crossed the line, slamming her fist on the handlebar, obviously thinking of what could have been, but after some time to reflect the Australian was gracious in her defeat.
"I am ecstatic that I am on the podium to come second in a World Cup is my best result ever, and definitely coming into the year that is ahead of us," she said.
"It is a great day for me and my team. I think I bashed the handlebars because I knew that I could win this race. When you are that close your perspective changes a bit. Afterwards when you think about it you have to say 'hey it's a world cup and in your home country and your on the podium and that is a great achievement."
Rickards was surprised by her breakaway companion's move on the final lap, expecting them to wait until the final sprint to settle the race after being away together for almost the entire race.
"After she attacked on the climb I just thought that I have to stick with her and wait to have a go at the finish.
"I was a bit surprised, I thought that we would go to the finish first and then we would start this. I wasn't sure how close the bunch was getting in the final lap, but when I heard it was still two minutes I was a bit more relaxed."
For Rickards, her move early in the race was more of a tactical move by her Cervelo Lifeforce team, than an attempt to win. "Our game plan was to not finish this race in a sprint. We don't have a sprinter here in our team, but we have six very strong riders."
But as the gap grew, so too did her confidence, "I thought we were in with a very good chance [when the gap was at its maximum of 6'50"]. When we went into the final lap and we still had three minutes, I was more confident that we could stay away," she said.
Shortly after the pair crossed the line, Teutenberg stormed across the line to take third place. The German sprinter was not so happy with how the race had unfolded, expecting other teams to help take control in the final few laps.
"It's a bit frustrating because there are a lot of other sprinters in there and yeah, we did win the last two stages but it's a different sprint and bike race. They said that they would help us and there was a little bit of help but not much," she said.
"We did everything that we could, the girls were falling off their bikes after the race, and they did everything that we could ask for. We probably just miscalculated, so next time we just have to start a bit earlier."
How it unfolded
A large field of ninety women took off at 10.30am in fine but chilly conditions. A slight wind was gradually picking up and would later make life difficult for a number of competitors as they began to feel the effects of the eight laps of the 14.8km circuit.
As the field approached the end of the first lap a move containing 12 rider's rode clear of the main peloton, and quickly built a lead of around 30 seconds. The move contained some of the fastest finishers in the field, such as Belinda Goss (VIS) and Suzanne De Goede (Equipe Nurmberger Versicherung).
By the end of the second lap, the gap had grown to 55 seconds and High Road sensing the danger that the move represented to their fast finishers began closing the gap. The next time through the start finish, two new leaders appeared 45 seconds ahead of the peloton.
High Road had closed the gap in just one lap to the 12-rider break and almost instantly Emma Rikards (Cervelo - Lifeforce) attacked, with Katheryn Mattis (Webcor Builders) joining her shortly after.
From here, the two leaders built a lead of 45 seconds by the end of the third lap and looked set to continue to take time out of the main field. By the end of the fourth lap they had two minutes, and just two laps later they were more than four minutes ahead.
Working well together, the pair continued to take strong turns and with the main field seemingly not interested, they gained a maximum of 6.50 at the top of the climb in the sixth lap before the main field, led by High Road, which now had sprung into action.
From here, the pairs lead began to steadily drop as High Road began taking control of the race, but it was a case of too little too late as they underestimated the strength of the two so early in the season. With two laps remaining the gap was still hovering at around the six-minute mark and even after Alexis Rhodes, Judith Arndt and Chantal Beltman, with some help from the Nürnberger squad, took a further three minutes out of them in penultimate lap the pair still held an insurmountable three minute-lead as they crossed the line to receive the bell for the final lap.
Mattis was the first to take the initiative in the final lap, attacking Rickards on the final ascent of the climb, but the pair was too evenly matched, as only the final sprint to the line could separate them in the end.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Veage
1 Katheryn Mattis (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 3.04.46 2 Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 3 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road 1.08 4 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini Selle Italia 5 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 6 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 7 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Australian National Team 8 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 9 Gina Grain (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 10 Sarah Düster (Ger) Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 11 Miho Oki (Jpn) Menikini Selle Italia 12 Peta Mullens (Aus) Australian National Team 13 Carly Hibberd (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team 14 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 15 Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Landlink ACTAS Cycling Team 16 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 17 Carissa Wilkes (NZl) BikeNZ 18 Carlee Taylor (Aus) QAS 19 Tina Mayolo Pic (USA) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 20 Yong Li Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 21 Leonie Burford (Aus) NSWIS - CBD - Degani 22 Lauren Franges (USA) US National Team 23 Catherine Cheatley (NZl) BikeNZ 24 Lorian Graham (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 25 Jemma O'brien (Aus) NSWIS - CBD - Degani 26 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 27 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 28 Katie Mactier (Aus) VIS 29 Serena Sheridan (NZl) BikeNZ 30 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 31 Ruth Corset (Aus) QAS 32 Fei Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 33 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) BikeNZ 34 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australian National Team 35 Carla Ryan (Aus) Australian National Team 36 Emma Mackie (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team 37 Kristin Armstrong Savola (USA) Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 38 Oenone Wood (Aus) Team High Road 39 Alison Powers (USA) US National Team 40 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 41 Min Gao (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 42 Natalie Bates (Aus) Menikini Selle Italia 43 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Cervelo-Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 44 Christina Ruiter (USA) US National Team 45 Christine Thorburn (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 46 Belinda Goss (Aus) VIS 2.51 47 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team 48 Carmen Mcnellis (USA) US National Team 49 Helen Kelly (Aus) VIS 50 Alex Rhodes (Aus) Team High Road Women 51 Jaccolien Wallaard (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 5.34 52 Marina Duvnjak (NZl) BikeNZ 53 Linda Villumsen Serup (Den) Team High Road 54 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Team High Road 7.26 55 Kathryn Watt (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team 7.39 HD Deborah Fagg (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team HD Olivia Gollan (Aus) Menikini Selle Italia DNS Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Menikini Selle Italia DNF Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road DNF Eva Lutz (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Marina Riomoli (Ita) Menikini Selle Italia DNF Nikki Egyed (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland DNF Xiao Mei Huang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Li Chen (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Amy Dombroski (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team DNF Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team DNF Jocelyn Loane (Aus) Australian National Team DNF Bridie O'donnell (Aus) Australian National Team DNF Katharine Carroll (USA) US National Team DNF Brei Gudsell (NZl) BikeNZ DNF Lisa Friend (Aus) NSWIS - CBD - Degani DNF Kate Finegan (Aus) NSWIS - CBD - Degani DNF Sue Forsyth (Aus) NSWIS - CBD - Degani DNF Louise Kerr (Aus) QAS DNF Tahlia Paskin (Aus) QAS DNF Rachel Neylan (Aus) QAS DNF Nicole Whitburn (Aus) VIS DNF Katherine O'shea (Aus) VIS DNF Jessica Berry (Aus) VIS DNF Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Landlink ACTAS Cycling Team DNF Josephine Tomic (Aus) Landlink ACTAS Cycling Team DNF Liz Young (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team DNF Hayley Wright (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team DNF Patricia Palmer (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team DNF Sheree Mckenzie (Aus) MB Cycles Womens Cycling Team