17th Hewlett Packard LaserJet International Women's Challenge - 2.9.1

USA, June 8- 18, 2000

Main Page    Results    Anna Wilson     Tracey Gaudry     Marion Clignet    Karen Kurreck    Pam Schuster

Stage 2 - June 9: Lowman - Stanley Road Race, 58.5 mi/94.3 km

Anna Wilson's report

Day 2 we raced 93 km from Lowman to Stanley. This was a day I remembered well from the year before when Jeannie Longo blasted off the front on the climb and did a 50 km time trial to the finish, riding herself into the leader's jersey. We were hoping that wouldn't happen again.

The stage started fast, with the Elita team setting high tempo at the front and putting in an all out effort to have Karen Dunne win the first intermediate sprint. We had a bit of bad luck with Lyne having mechanical problems with her back wheel. Petra, Dede and Susy all went back with Lyne to get a new wheel and they had to work really hard to make it back on with the high tempo. There was only a short time for them to recover before we hit the climb. The Timex team attacked immediately we hit the bottom of the climb with Tracey and Kim Smith setting it up for Mari to take off on the climb.

Longo capitalised on their work, attacking over the top and going solo to the top of the climb. Mari Holden and Diana Ziliute were in hot pursuit and Lyne, Clara and I were all in the next group. Diana was riding herself into my leader's jersey but there wasn't much I could do about it on the climb. As soon as we crested, we all started working as hard as we possibly could to chase down the three out in front. Mari and Diana managed to catch Longo after the climb but then Longo and Diana sprinted for the next intermediate sprint and Mari couldn't hang on to their wheels. We soon picked up Mari and that was a good bonus for us because then the Timex team also helped us to chase Diana and Longo. We worked as hard as we could all the way to the finish but couldn't catch the two out in front. We finished 41 seconds behind them.

So Diana is now leading the tour and I am in second place, 44 seconds in arrears. Clara is 9th and Lyne is in the same time as the next 20 riders. So we have three riders still capable of battling for an overall win.

Tracey Gaudry's report

After a big shake up in the first stage of the Laserjet Women's Challenge, all eyes were on Longo to see what she would do, being one of the main GC contenders who missed the winning break. Today's stage was basically uphill for 30 miles and superfast for the 30-odd miles to the finish.

The pace was blistering right from the start, with Elita riding a very fast tempo to make sure they had prime position for the first hotspot sprint. They took that out, and the peloton prepared for the 12-mile steady climb to the QOM. Timex swamped the front, keeping the tempo high to quash any attempts by others to make a break. The climb began and we got things going. First I attacked, then Kim, then Mari. This had the desired effect of splitting the group, but also having me blow up at the same time! I grovelled to the back of the dwindling bunch as Longo surged hard, taking only a few riders with her, Mari being one of them.

I got to the 20-odd rider bunch, with Kim also in it and we settled into a steady tempo, as Longo, Mari, Juanita Feldhahn, and Diana Ziliute rode away in a scattered fashion. Juanita blew soon after and came back to us. We prayed that Mari was ok. As we neared the top, many of the riders in yesterday's break were still in the group. Kim and I counter attacked the group to break it up. Lyne Bessette, Clara Hughes, Pam and a few other GC contenders dropped off. We rode over the top with too many riders still making our group. We wouldn't be able to get away with only a few.

The bunch regrouped and Saturn and Great Britain immediately started working to try to bring the breakaways back. Kim and I had an easy ride until we heard that Mari was in trouble. We jumped into the chasing echelon and soon had Mari back with us safely. From then it was a 10-rider time trial effort to try to bring the two breakaways back. In the end, we had brought them back to less than 40 seconds. I lead out for the sprint at 70km/hr to make sure that there was no further time lost at the end. Longo won the stage in record time, with Ziliute riding into the leader's jersey.

Marion Clignet's report

Drove out to the start this morning through rain, more clouds, all in all looking pretty grim. Funny thing too, when we drove up yesterday it really didn't look like that hard a climb, but as we descended this morning we understood what was waiting...

93km with 2350m altitude to boot. Last year Ms.Longo Ciprelli took off putting 4 minutes on the chase group. Having seen Diana progress in the past few months I was pretty confident that Longo wouldnt be leaving without her. So having made my predictions, I spent a good part of the first 35km in front trying to keep a decent tempo so perhaps no one would attack. When we hit the climb I hit the rear attempting to get my heart rate together. When I finally did I bridged up to what I guess would be the 3rd group. We could see a group of ten to fifteen about 40 seconds ahead of us but couldn't seem to catch them.

Meanwhile at the front a group of 4 - Ziliute, Holden, Feldhahn, and Longo put the pressure on the pack putting 40 seconds on them. After a bit Feldhahn dropped off to be followed by Holden with about 20km to go leaving Ziliute and Longo alone with Saturn, German National, and Timex chasing hard. Longo ended up with the win bringing her to 8th overall 3 minutes and 12 seconds down from Ziliute with Anna Wilson in 2nd at 40seconds. And just for the books I came in 9 to 10 minutes later with a group of 25 or so...

Karen Kurreck's report

Today we raced from Lowman to Stanley - 59 miles including the 7200ft Banner Summit. We spent the night in Stanley and drove back over the race course to the start (after having to jump start our team van - it doesn't seem to like the cold and atlitude either!). There were grim faces on the drive over as the temperature hovered in the low 40s and the rain pelted the windshield. Luckily, the sun started peeking out again when we got to Lowman. It was still cold and windy but at least it was dry.

The pace was fairly sedate until the first hot spot sprint at mile 11 which was won by Elita's Karen Dunne. The road is gradually up all the way to the summit, but it is very gradual until the last 12 miles which are about 5-6%. Marian Clignet (Dream Team) started setting tempo leading into the climb and I knew it would be a hard day. Saturn also went to the front as well as the Timex workers: Erin, Sanna and Odessa. The pace picked up as the road got steeper and we were strung out pretty much the whole climb. Longo took some turns at the front turning up the heat another notch. With 5-6 miles to go, Mari Holden attacked and a group of about 7 pulled away. Longo then countered and only Ziliute (Dream Team), Mari and Juanita Feldhahn (Aus) could follow and the others came back to us. Jaunita got dropped not too long after and dangled between us and the break until we picked her up shortly after the summit. Longo crested the top alone, about 40 sec. in front of Mari and Diana and about 2 min ahead of our group. Mari and Diana caught Longo but Mari came off eventually and we picked her up on the flats with about 20km to go. Longo and Ziluite were gone for good.

Our group was around 15-20 riders. Anna Wilson asked us to wait up just a bit over the top for Clara Hughes and Lynne Bessette who was chasing just behind. Anna promised her team would work and they did - hard - especially Anna and Clara. Germany was also driving the chase , especially Judith Arndt, along with Yvonne McGregor of Britian. I pulled through as well as did Laura. Once Mari was dropped, Tracey helped too. Zita Urbonite and Jolanta Polikevichuite were getting in the way a lot, but we did bring the gap down to 41 sec. at the finish. The crosswinds were strong and the oxygen lacking and it was a hard day. Vera Hohfeld (Germany) won the sprint for 3rd over her teammate, first year senior Trixi Worrack. Longo won the stage and Ziliute took over the leader's jersey from Anna.

Pam Schuster's report

The scenic ride saw another course record as Saturn never gave up to defend their G.C. lead. At the top of the 7000 ft climb Longo had broken away and had 1 minute on her closest chasers ZilIute and Holden. Enroute to Stanley Zilute and Holden caught the French rider but then Holden came back to the charging pack of 29 riders that finished 41 seconds down.

Karen and Pam's reports courtesy of racereport@vcnet.com