Women's World Cup Round 1 - CDM

Australia, March 3, 2002

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Petra Rossner: Queen of the Mountains

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Petra Rossner
Photo ©: Tom Balks

By Jeff Jones in Thredbo

The first round of the women's World Cup in the Snowy Mountains has finished with Saturn's sprinting superstar Petra Rossner taking line honours in front of Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) and Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands). These three were the best out of the front selection of 15 or so riders, whittled down from the 75 who started in Cooma.

It went, as Saturn team manager Giana Roberge told Cyclingnews afterwards, "according to one of the many plans." And with teammates Judith Arndt, Cathy Marsal, Kim Bruckner and Jessica Phillips all there in the front bunch to lead out Rossner, the plan did not fail.

"My teammates did an awesome job to bring me back all the time," said Rossner. "I could just take it easy over the hills and not hammer myself, because I know if I have to kill myself during the race then I don't have the kick for the sprint at the end anymore. They were still able to give me a leadout at the end and I was amazed."

"With a kilometre to go the pressure was up to here, because I knew they had done everything right and it was on me now to win the sprint and I was scared to death. I'm quite psyched now."
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The sprint
Photo ©: Tom Balks

Few riders can get around Rossner in a sprint, even though it's March and she "doesn't enjoy sprinting that much at this time of year." Only last year's third place getter Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS-Trek) got close, gluing herself to the German's back wheel with 100m to go but unable to go round.

The always consistent Mirjam Melchers was a little further back in third place, followed by Hayley Rutherford (AIS), Hanka Kupfernagel (Vlaanderen) and Priska Doppmann (International).

The outcome of the race was dictated by the tactics at the start, as the peloton rolled gently out of Cooma under cool, grey skies. The wind was in the riders' faces and no-one really wanted to attack until Olivia Gollan (AIS) took a flyer after 16 kilometres. She quickly gained time, with her gap reaching 2'40 before it stabilised thanks to the efforts from the Dutch team.

The peloton climbed Barney's Ridge (45.7 km, 1080 m) at a steady pace, not considering Gollan to be a serious threat to win the race. As they headed towards Jindabyne (km 70) the tempo picked up with Swiss International rider Priska Doppmann putting in several attacks to try and split the peloton. She succeeded, and each time the peloton would regroup with a few less riders.
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Olivia Gollan
Photo ©: Tom Balks

Gollan's solo effort came to a conclusion after 57 kilometres battling the wind, being reabsorbed at the 73 kilometre point. By this stage, the only serious climb left was that of Ivo's Farm (km 84), a tough 2 kilometre drag with no let up. The peloton still had around 55 riders in it, but the elastic had been stretched too many times on the undulations beforehand, and only 25 were still in contention over the top.

The sun had broken through the clouds and the riders now had less than 20 kilometres to go until the finish. Along with the favourites Rossner, Gilmore and Melchers, there was a strong Saturn presence (Marsal, Bruckner, Arndt, Phillips), New Zealanders Melissa Holt, Kirsty Robb and Roz Reekie-May, Vlaanderen's Hanka Kupfernagel, Susanne Ljungskog and Heidi van der Vijver, International's Priska Doppmann, and Australian champions Margaret Hemsley and Hayley Rutherford.
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Saturn too strong
Photo ©: Tom Balks

With Rossner still in the peloton, the other riders knew they had to do something because the German would be unstoppable in a sprint. Fortunately for Rossner, all of the late attacks were chased down by her teammates, who then lifted the pace with 5 kilometres to go to prevent any further moves.

They kept up the tempo until the finish, leading out Rossner up the final pinch before the finishing straight. The German champion's jersey was clearly visible at the front as she stomped on the pedals a few times with 200m to go to ensure her victory. Even Rochelle Gilmore's late burst was not enough to get past Rossner's rear wheel, but she could certainly be satisfied with her surprising (and painful) result.

So as last year, Round 1 of the World Cup goes to Saturn. With Rossner likely to improve her form as the year goes on, it's going to be tough for the other World Cup challengers to get close to her. She's already taken a liking to her first World Cup jersey after conquering the Australian high country today.


Photography by Tom Balks


1 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn                         3.14.25 (31.78 km/h)
2 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team
3 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) The Netherlands
4 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) AIS
5 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Vlaanderen
6 Priska Doppmann (Swi) International
7 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand
8 Mari Holden (USA) Cannondale USA
9 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen
10 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand
11 Kym Shirley (Aus) Australian National Team
12 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn
13 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen
14 Kimberly Anderson (USA) Cannondale USA
15 Maragret Hemsley (Aus) Australian National Team      0.14
16 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn                       0.38
17 Catherine Marsal (Fra) Saturn
18 Jessica Phillips (USA) Saturn
19 Naomi Williams (Aus) AIS
20 Emma James (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team                     0.46
21 Kirstie Robb (NZl) New Zealand                       0.54
22 Olivia Gollan (Aus) AIS                              1.49
23 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan 1                               2.00
24 Sue Thomas (GBr) International
25 Amy Safe (Aus) Australian National Team              2.17
26 Alison Wright (Aus) AIS                              4.50
27 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) International
28 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) The Netherlands
29 Sara Carrigan (Aus) AIS
30 Emma Rickards (Aus) Australian National Team
31 Jennifer Manefield (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team
32 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen
33 Lorain Graham (Aus) Cycle Cooma
34 Liz Tadich (Aus) AIS
35 Helen Kelly (Aus) Australian National Team
36 Susie Wood (NZl) New Zealand
37 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan 1
38 Julie Hooper (GBr) International
39 Claire Baxter (Aus) Southern Regional Team
40 Oenone Wood (Aus) Cycle Cooma
41 Nicky Solomon (NZl) New Zealand
42 Dorothy Cowden (USA) Cannondale USA
43 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) The Netherlands
44 Briget Evans (Aus) Cycle Cooma
45 Natalie Bates (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team
46 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) Japan 2
47 Jodie Vaassen (WC) Northern Regional Team
48 Nicola Bedwell (GBr) International
49 Johanna Buick (NZl) International
50 Emily Williams (Aus) Cycle Cooma
51 Kristy Scrymgeour (Aus) Saturn
52 Katrina Berger (USA) Cannondale USA                  9.53
53 Kanako Nishi (Jpn) Japan 2
54 Tamamo Nakamura (Jpn) Japan 1
55 Jacqueline Balancio (Aus) Southern Regional Team
56 Raeleigh Tennant (Aus) Cycle Cooma                   9.57
57 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) New Zealand
58 Rebecca Cleveland (Aus) Southern Regional Team
59 Erin Philp (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team
60 Vanessa Cheatley (NZl) Vlaanderen                    9.57
61 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Japan 2                        13.01
62 Alison Urquhart (Aus) Northern Regional Team        14.33
63 Anna Jones-Perrin (Aus) Northern Regional Team
64 Harue Kimura (Jpn) Japan 1                          15.45
65 Liz Hickey (Aus) Cycle Cooma                        18.06
66 Esther van der Helm (Ned) The Netherlands           18.18
67 Risa Sakaida (Jpn) Japan 2
68 Mary Lou Webb (Aus) Northern Regional Team
69 Josephine Groenveld (Ned) The Netherlands           33.23
70 Rebecca McConnell (Aus) Southern Regional Team      38.13
71 Katie Knight (Aus) Southern Regional Team           52.20
72 Helen Lee (Aus) Northern Regional Team            1.12.40
DNF Vanessa Crawford (Aus) Australian National Team

World Cup standings after round 1

1 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn                              75 pts
2 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team                  50
3 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) The Netherlands                   35
4 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) AIS                             30
5 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Vlaanderen                      27
6 Priska Doppmann (Swi) International                     24
7 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand                          21
8 Mari Holden (USA) Cannondale USA                        18
9 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen                    15
10 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand                  11
11 Kym Shirley (Aus) Australian National Team             10
12 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn                               9
13 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen                      8
14 Kimberly Anderson (USA) Cannondale USA                  7
15 Maragret Hemsley (Aus) Australian National Team         6
16 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn                          5
17 Catherine Marsal (Fra) Saturn                           4
18 Jessica Phillips (USA) Saturn                           3
19 Naomi Williams (Aus) AIS                                2
20 Emma James (Aus) NSWIS Trek Team                        1

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