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Varazze to San Remo



Results & Reports

Milan, Italy, March 18, 2000

Marion Clignet's race    Karen Kurreck's report    Results

Bunch sprint ends La Primavera Rosa

A large field of 138 riders lined up for the second round of the women's World Cup, La Primavera Rosa in Varazze, Italy. Most of the European teams were there, and for many it was their first serious race of the year.

There was bad luck for Lucie Ruscakova (Cze) and Bridget Evans (Aus, Master Team Carpe Diem) who crashed after only two kilometres, forcing them to retire. The first hour of the race is quite fast, at 39.4 km/h, with the Dutch doing the driving, with no-one allowed to escape.

After 96 kilometers, the Cipressa climb sees Finland's Pia Sunstedt lead Daniela Veronesi (Smr, Alfa Lum) and Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite (Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie) over the top. However they can't maintain their advantage for long and were reeled in on the descent.

The bunch remained intact until the start of the Poggio, which saw attacks by Mirjam Melchers (Ned) and Pia Sunstedt again. They manage a 10 second gap by the top, but are caught with 2 kilometers to go.

1998 World Champion, Lithuanian Diana Ziliute (Acca Due o Lorena Camicie) was too strong in the sprint ahead of Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) and Giovana Troldi (Ita, Edilsavino), and won the race at an average of 37.97 km/h. She now holds an equal lead with Anna Wilson in the World Cup standings after two rounds.

Marion Clignet's race

The weather was aweseome - got to initiate my shorts and short sleeves for the first time this season. Kept the arm warmers on until the hills just in case. Got off to a flying start and were over the first sixty km before we knew it. For us tactically the race was easy. We knew the Gas team wanted to launch Pia Sunsted and we also knew that Alessandra Capelotto would rather win herself, so let them tempo the climbs and blow themselves.....worked like a charm, sort of.

On the third to last climb, Pregnolato set a wicked pace acclerating all the way. The field of 169 slimmed down a bit. On the first 3km of the Cipressa, the second to last and longest of climbs, the field slimmed down even more. With 2km to go on the climb, Capelotto attacked off the front and a lot of us attacked off the back. Pregnolato blew herself out and was off before me. I turned aound to assess the damage and saw Ziliute fighting for air. I was struggling to stay on as we only had one rider in the front bunch (Zabirova) and couldn't quite make it. At the bottom the moto held up a chalkboard to tell me I was 45 seconds down. I started to worry a bit, turned to see a French and Valeria Capelotto on my wheel. I put the hammer down and both flew off. I looked up to see the following cars and was relieved to see that the peleton was cruising.

When I caught back on, I wondered how far up the road the break was so I asked a Dutchie who turned to me and smiled-it's just us! Oh what a relief. I recovered quickly and contemplated attacking up the Poggio but Diana wasn't yet with us so I waited. At the foot of the Poggio, Gas rider Pia Sunstedt launched with a Dutchie on her wheel. They got a 14 second gap. Diana was back on and Tatiana was with us as well - they chased down the attack as I tried to get out of the group to launch a counter. Boxed in...damn...all was together again for the descent.

Don't believe I've ever descended that fast - 88kmh through the curves and all. With one km to go I told Diana I'd launch myself solo, before the two turns...Capelotto beat me to it so I told Diana to take my wheel. Two other riders were with Capelotto with 800 meters to go. My hope was that when I caught Capelotto she'd be going fast enough for me to get a bit of a lead out and sprint for myself as well. No go - she was out of gas when I caught her with 350 meters to go. I hammered on and at 200 meters to go Diana came around to win. I threw up my arms (losing 5 places in the process) and cried, yes I cried. We have the jersey until Fleche Wallone which I asume will be war.

Karen Kurreck's report

Round 2 of the women's World Cup started in Varazze, Italy and ended in San Remo. We raced the last 118 km of the men's Milan-San Remo World Cup course. The field was huge - at least 140 riders - all the normal World Cup players plus all the Italian trade and regional teams. I heard rumors that these first 2 European World Cup races are part of the selection for the Olympic teams of some European countries. It did seem that a lot of people's fitness was up a notch from this time last year. As for me, I spent Monday in Australia, Tuesday in America and arrived in Italy in on Wed. At one point early in the race, one of the other Italians who made the trek to Australia jokingly asked me what time it was, saying it was midnight in Sydney!

This was my first race with my trade team, Edil Savino. We had Valentina Polkhanova, Sara Savino, Sonia Rocca, Sylvia Parietti, myself and our sprinter, Giovanna Troldi. Missing was Svetlana Bubnenkova who crashed recently on a training ride and broke a rib. Missing as a team was Greenery Hawk and Hanka Kupfernagel. The story was she's having knee troubles after her cyclocross season.

This race ended in a reasonably sized field sprint last year as does the men's race in most years. Our team was racing for Giovanna and it was mine and Valentina's job to make sure she made it over the main climbs and that nobody got away after that.

The whole course winds up the coast on a wide, mostly flat road and ends with 3 climbs in the last 50km. We rode the first part the day before and seeing how full of traffic it was, made me realize how amazing it is that it could be completely closed for 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon for a bike race. This is the Italian equivalent of Hwy 1 in California at it's busiest parts.

The first 70 km of the race were physically pretty easy, but mentally tough. It was a non stop fight for position. On a narrow road with turns, it is actually easier to maintain position, I think because once you get to the front you can stay there because nobody else can move up. Here, it was a constant swarm. If you stayed in the middle of the road, you got swarmed by people moving up on the outside. On the outsides, you had to watch out for parked cars, spectators, spectator's mopeds, barricade legs etc. I'm going to have to get used to the Italian peloton thing again. Australia was really quite small and sedate by comparison.

There was a small bump around 60km, but the first real test of our legs was the Capo Berta at 72km. Pretty much everyone in the field who mattered made it over that. The real split occurred on the Cipressa which was about 6km long starting at 92km. The climb is not steep, but it was very fast. The group was large until about 2-3 km up it when Allessandra Cappellotto (GAS) attacked. GAS had so far really been the only team making any kind of attacks at all and it was clear that since they didn't really have a field sprinter, they wanted to do something on the climbs. Pia Sundstedt made a good attack as well, but was reeled in. By the bottom of the descent, the group was down to about 40 riders.

There was a short breather and then the final climb, the Poggio started 10km from the finish. This climb is shorter than the Cipressa - only about 3km, but a bit steeper. Again GAS was aggressive and Pia and a Dutch rider got a gap over the top but were reeled in.

The group was stretched on the climb and small gaps formed but a lot of them coalesced on the descent. I was in a small group in sight of the front group on the descent, when in a very tight turn, the rider in front of me missed it. By the time I could tell she wasn't going to make it, there was nowhere for me to go. She took me into the guard rail in a small turnout. We were going really slow by that time, so nobody was hurt. A spectator picked up my bike, but I had to put the chain back on. The whole incident probably took less than 30 sec. but it was only 4km from the finish so my race was pretty much over. 2 small groups passed me while I was down. I managed to catch the tail end of what I think was the 2nd main group just as they were starting to sprint at the finish. Somebody in the back of the group went down in the sprint which is pretty sad since I think there were few if any points left that that group was sprinting for.

Meanwhile at the front, '98 World Champ Diana Ziluite won what I believe is her 3rd career World Cup. Showing fine form on a hilly course was 2nd placed Ina Tuetenberg of Germany. Edil Savino's Goivanna Troldi was 3rd. I'm sure the rest of the results will be on the web long before I ever see them.

The men finished about 1 hr. after us, so we stayed to watch. I'm sure I would have seen more on TV! They also finished in a sprint, won by Erik Zabel. All I could see was a wall of spectators.

Karen's report courtesy of


1 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie                3.06.27 (37.973 km/h)
2 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) German National Team  
3 Giovanna Troldi (Ita) Edilsavino  
4 Yvonne Brunen (Ned) Farm Frites - Hartol  
5 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Dutch National Team  
6 Mirjan Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team  
7 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team  
8 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Master Team - Carpe Diem  
9 Géraldine Loewenguth (Fra) French National Team  
10 Marion Clignet (Fra) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie 
11 Sara Felloni (Ita) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
12 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Esp) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
13 Susanne Ljungsskog (Swe) Farm Frites - Hartol 
14 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
15 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie 
16 Jacinta Coleman (NZl) Team Nürnberger 
17 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) Gas Sport Team 
18 Simona Parente (Ita) Gas Sport Team 
19 Ragnhild Kostol (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
20 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Swiss National Team 
21 Marcia Eicher-Vouets (Swi) Master Team - Carpe Diem 
22 Monica Valen (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
23 Fany Lecourtois (Fra) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
24 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
25 Aline Camboulives (Fra) French National Team 
26 Daniela Veronesi (Shr) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
27 Vera Hohlfeld (Ger) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie 
28 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Farm Frites - Hartol 
29 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Gas Sport Team 
30 Solrun Flatas (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
31 Valentina Polkhanova (Rus) Edilsavino 
32 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie 
33 Lucia Pizzolotto (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox            1.00
34 Marielle Van Scheppingen (Ned) Dutch National Team               1.03
35 Magali Le Floc'h (Fra) French National Team 
36 Katia Longhin (Ita) Master Team - Carpe Diem 
37 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Master Team - Carpe Diem 
38 Ingunn Bollerud (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
39 Jorunn Kvalo (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
40 Elisabeth Chevanne Brunel (Fra) French National Team 
41 Luisiana Pegoraro (Ita) Gas Sport Team 
42 Albine Caillie (Fra) French National Team 
43 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie 
44 Valeria Cappellotto (Ita) Gas Sport Team 
45 Louise Jones (GBr) British Cycling Federation 
46 Oksana Saprykina (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 
47 Wenche Stensvold (Nor) Norwegian National Team 
48 Karen Kurreck (USA) Edilsavino 
49 Vanessa Cheatley (NZl) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
50 Alessandra Grassi (Ita) S.C. Dream Team Acca Due O               1.31
51 Susan Carter (GBr) British Cycling Federation                    1.48
52 Alessandra D'Ettorre (Ita) S.C. Dream Team Acca Due O 
53 Marion Brauen (Swi) Swiss National Team                          2.25
54 Sandra Wampfler (Swi) Swiss National Team 
55 Lada Kozlikova (Cze) Czech National Team 
56 Mirella Van Melis (Ned) Dutch National Team 
57 Erika Scherti (Ger) Team Nürnberger 
58 Vanja Vonckx (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
59 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Farm Frites - Hartol 
60 Cindy Bauwens (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
61 Evy Van Damme (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
62 Claudia Carceroni Saintagne  (Bra) Mista Danimarca - Brasile 
63 Alexandra Le Henaff (Fra) French National Team 
64 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Dutch National Team 
65 Gitana Groudite (Lut) La Rosa Dei Venti 
66 Janildes Fernandes Silva  (Bra) Mista Danimarca - Brasile 
67 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Dutch National Team 
68 Sara Symington (GBr) British Cycling Federation 
69 Line Lykke-Meyer (Den) Mista Danimarca - Brasile 
70 Lotte Schimt (Den) Mista Danimarca - Brasile 
71 Yuliya Murenka (Ukr) Ukranian National Team 
72 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Ukranian National Team 
73 Ruth Ellway (GBr) British Cycling Federation 
74 Caroline Cook (GBr) British Cycling Federation 
75 Vanja Vonckx (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team 
76 Regina Schleicher (Ger ) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M. 
77 Marianna Lorenzoni (Ita) Team Aliverti 
78 Natalya Kishchuk (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox            2.58
79 Elisa Neri (Ita) S.C. Dream Team Acca Due O 
80 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Blr) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 
81 Gabriella Pregnolato (Ita) Gas Sport Team                        3.13
82 Iryna Chuzhiova (Ukr) Ukranian National Team                     3.20
83 Edita Kubelskiene (Lut) La Rosa Dei Venti                        4.56
84 Sabrina Bonoso (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                        5.59
85 Natalya Kachalka (Ukr) Ukranian National Team 
86 Tetyana Andrushchenko (Ukr) Ukranian National Team 
87 Silvia Zoller (Swi) Team Nürnberger 
88 Olga Svyrchshuk (Ukr) Ukranian National Team 
89 Letizia Giardinelli (Ita) S.C. Dream Team Acca Due O 
90 Laura Benzoni (Ita) Ciclistica Femminile Rossella                6.23
91 Nerinca Raudonite (Lut) La Rosa Dei Venti                        6.32
92 Sonia Rocca (Ita) Edilsavino                                     6.55
93 Sanne Schimt (Den) Mista Danimarca - Brasile 
94 Julie Pekarkova (Cze) Czech National Team                        7.03
95 Mara Miotto (Ita) Ciclistica Femminile Rossella                  7.17
96 Carolin Dietmann (Ger ) Team Nürnberger                          7.24
97 Camilla Andersson (Swe) Team Aliverti                            7.30
98 Emma Davies (GBr) British Cycling Federation 
99 Magali Pache (Swi) Swiss National Team 
100 Kristina Obrucova (Cze) Team Aliverti
101 Olga Mikakovskaia (Rus) La Rosa Dei Venti
102 Olga Svyrchshuk (Ukr) Ukranian National Team
103 Monica Dal Col (Ita) Team Aliverti
104 Sara Savino (Ita) Edilsavino
105 Rikke Sandhoj Olsen  (Den) Farm Frites - Hartol
106 Anouska Van Der Zee (Ned) Farm Frites - Hartol
107 Denise Baumann (Swi) Swiss National Team                       10.02
108 Elisabet Gonzales (Ita) La Rosa Dei Venti                      12.00
109 Ilaria Pacini (Ita) Team Aliverti
110 Laura Vellucci (Ita) Monne
111 Valentina Parisi (Ita) Figurella Dream Team
112 Mirjan Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team
113 Samanta Gialdini (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
114 Tatiana Bertuccelli (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                 13.00
115 Rita Vada (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                           18.51
116 Monica Cantarini (Ita) Ciclistica Femminile Rossella

138 starters
116 classified

World Cup after two races:

1 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie            		75 pts
2 Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn Cycling Team                      		75
3 Mirjan Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team                  		59
4 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg  (Ger) German National Team            		50
5 Mirella Van Melis (Ned) Dutch National Team                		50
6 Giovanna Troldi (Ita) Edilsavino                           		35
7 Yvonne Brunen (Ned) Team Farm Frites - Hartol              		30
8 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Master Team - Carpe Diem               		30
9 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Dutch National Team                  		27
10 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Australian National Team          		27
11 Anne Samplonius (Can) Canadian National Team              		24
12 Jacinta Coleman (NZl) Team Nürnberger                     		23
13 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team   		21
14 Bridget Evans (Aus)                                       		21
15 Priska Doppmann (Sui) Master Team - Carpe Diem            		18
16 Géraldine Loewenguth (Fra) French National Team           		15
17 Susy Pryde (NZl) Saturn Cycling Team                      		15
18 Marion Clignet (Fra) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie          		11
19 Katie Mactier (Aus) Jacyo-VIS                             		11
20 Sara Felloni (Ita) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.                   		10
21 Karen Kurreck (USA) Edilsavino                            		10
22 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Esp) Team Alfa Lum R.S.M.          		 9
23 Sandy Espeseth (Can) Canadian National Team                		 9
24 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Farm Frites - Hartol          		 8
25 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Bicisport                           		 8
26 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 - Ladies Team          		 7
27 Erin Carter (Can) Team Elita                               		 7
28 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie        		 6
29 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan National Team                         		 6
30 Rosalind Reekie-May (Nzl) New Zealand National Team        		 5
31 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) Gas Sport Team                         		 4
32 Marielle Van Scheppingen (Ned) Dutch National Team         		 4
33 Simona Parente (Ita) Gas Sport Team                        		 3
34 Elisabeth Tadich (Aus) JAyco-VIS                           		 3
35 Ragnhild Kostol (Nor) Norwegian National Team              		 2
36 Kim Shirley (Aus) Australian National Team                 		 2
37 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Swiss National Team                   		 1
38 Tracey Gaudry (Aus) Timex Women's Professional Cycling Team		 1

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