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Geelong Tour - 2.9.2

Australia, February 22-25, 2004

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Stage 3 - February 24: Barwon Heads Road Circuit, 80km

Rossner takes stage as Wood edges into lead

By Mikkeli Godfree in Barwon Heads

Petra Rossner wins
Photo ©: John Veage

Oenone Wood (AIS) will carry a seven second lead into the final stage of the Geelong Women's Tour after a fantastic stage at Barwon Heads which was won by German super-champ Petra Rossner. The 37 year old Team Nurnberger rider attributed the race win to her team who "looked after me so well... I felt like a queen! I had to win for them because they did such a good job protecting me from the wind."

However, while the German took the victory spoils, all eyes were on the sprint behind where Wood finished third, ending a fantastic day of sprinting which put her in the race lead. The stage today highlighted the need for a strong team as the AIS perfectly delivered Oenone Wood to the sprints, enabling her to gain a total of 12 seconds in bonuses. Conversely, the race leader coming into the day, Katie Mactier (Jayco), wasn't able to hold her position in the sprints, only managing to gain one second bonus (thanks to a third place in the second sprint).

Like the AIS team, Nurnberger showed its strength by wrapping the team's sprinter, Petra Rossner, in cotton wool until the last 100m where she blasted out of the group to win over a mechanically cursed Rochelle Gilmore (who pulled her foot yet again in the sprint) and the new race leader Oenone Wood.

Wood is far from home and hosed though as Mactier and Kate Bates (NSWIS) are only seven and ten seconds behind her, respectively, despite neither featuring in the final sprint.

How it unfolded

Keeping all the riders happy, particularly the Euros, the weather was again fine for the third day of racing, but a strong southerly wind whipping off Bass Straight was expected to present the women with some tough gutter action during the 77.5km race. However, with the AIS and NSWIS keen to contest the sprints, they were very reluctant to let anyone get up the road.

Oenone Wood (R) picks up valuable sprint points
Photo ©: John Veage

With sprints at the end of every 15.5km lap except the fourth, the riders seemed to cruise for most of the lap only to fire up in the last few kilometres before the sprint. In the first, Wood delivered a psychological blow to Mactier, taking the maximum amount of bonus seconds over Kate Bates, while New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer took third and one the second. This put Wood a mere one second behind Mactier in the GC with three bonus sprints (including the finish) remaining.

It was not surprising then that when the riders bore down on the second sprint, Mactier was sitting second wheel in the AIS train. It wasn't enough though, as Wood again took the maximum time bonus over Ulmer, with Mactier picking up a single second for third. At this point, Wood hit the lead and was the race leader on the road by a single second over Mactier.

In one of the only significant moves of the day, T-Mobile's Amber Neben attacked half way through the third lap. She built up a maximum lead of 36 seconds and although she held on to take the third sprint, she was reeled in soon after it. Wood took second (and two seconds) over Kate Bates. This meant that Wood's lead had grown to three seconds, whilst Bates had closed to within three seconds of Mactier in second place.

As the race finish loomed, Sarah Carrigan (QAS) launched an attack and was quickly followed by Alison Wright (Nobili-Fanini). With ten, six and four second win bonuses for the stage win and Carrigan and Wright only 25 and 38 seconds behind the virtual race leader Wood, respectively, they were never allowed to venture far. Wright said that "with 2km to go I thought we might do it but then Nurnberger got on the front... Whenever I looked around, all I could see was blue. With 1km to go, Judith Arndt sucked us up!"

Indeed, the Nurnberger train delivered Rossner, a 24-time German champion and Olympic pursuit gold medallist, to the finish line where she won by a clean set of wheels. Rossner commented that her team was the deciding factor in her win.

"This time of the year it is usually hard for me to win a sprint (...this is the second race I have done since the first of September, 2003)," she explained, "but the main thing was that my team kept me out of the wind, the other sprinters probably were in the wind too long and that is why I won."

The peloton makes its way along 13th beach
Photo ©: John Veage

Rossner, whose absence from the 2003 World Championships was caused by a crash in September, felt the pressure of such good teamwork coming into the finale. "I didn't know how fast I would be and I was a bit nervous because they did such a good job!... I am happy that I could win as a 'thank you' to them."

The stage winner was also sure to point out how fun it is racing in Australia in February, citing the "great training conditions, great countryside, great beaches...the great Australian attitude, pubs and beer...and the stage win" as reason for her team's high spirits.

Second place in the stage went to Rochelle Gilmore, who again suffered from mechanical failure in the sprint. Gilmore explained her situation. "Last night, we confirmed that I had the correct cleats fitted and that they were done up as tight as they could be," she said. "I had to start today knowing that I might pull a foot again. So, when I kicked to get onto Rossner, I was very conscious to keep my leg straight but when I tried to kick again my foot came out." As opposed to the previous day, where Gilmore said she was "devastated," she was more philosophical after today's stage, saying "I'm really amazed with my speed because I know I haven't tapped into it all. When I start to do a lot of speed work it will be very interesting to see how I go."

The third place getter and picking up another four seconds at the finish, Oenone Wood was very happy with her new race leader's jersey and was not at all disappointed to come third. "Sprinting for the time-bonuses during the race probably took the edge of my final sprint but hey, I was sprinting against Petra Rossner! What can I say? She has got a huge background in sprinting. I am not unhappy to come third to her at all."

Wood's AIS team showed itself to be one of the strongest teams in the race today, achieving the goal of taking the race lead with one stage to go. Despite this, Wood noted that, "anything can happen tomorrow, it is a very different course so it will be a really tough race."

With only 10 seconds separating Wood, Mactier and Kate Bates, the open and undulating final stage will surely allow the strongest team, and rider, to shine as the AIS, Jayco and NSWIS pitch themselves against each other. While the AIS was able to control the race today, Mactier still has Yaxley in fourth place on GC, only 17 seconds down, which could work to Jayco's advantage. All eyes will be on the Mt Wallace climb at 57km which will most likely be a launch pad for the decisive move in the race, as it was last year when Mactier took the stage and Gollan sealed her tour win.

Mikkeli Godfree is powered by Big Blue Internet


Images by John Veage


1 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger           2.03.57
2 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) S.A.T.S.                 
3 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                           
4 Tanja Hennes (Ger) World                        
5 Nicole Freedman (Isr) World                     
6 Frances Newstead (GBr) Great Britain            
7 Bridgett Evans (Aus) Freedom Machine            
8 Sara Symington (GBr) S.A.T.S.                   
9 Katie Mactier (Aus) Jayco                       
10 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan                           
11 Iryna Simonova (Ukr) Ukraine                   
12 Emma Davies (GBr) Great Britain                
13 Narrelle Peterson (Aus) Body Torque            
14 Amber Neben (USA) T-Mobile                     
15 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World                    
16 Deirdre Barry (USA) T-Mobile                   
17 Lorian Graham (Aus) AIS                        
18 Belinda Goss (Aus) Jayco                       
19 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) New Zealand           
20 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF Couriers            
21 Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Body Torque             
22 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Nobili-Fanini          
23 Rosalind Reekie (NZl) New Zealand              
24 Stacey Peters (USA) T-Mobile                   
25 Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukr) Ukraine                
26 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) T-Mobile               
27 Katherine Bates (Aus) NSWIS                    
28 Tina Mayola (USA) Jayco                        
29 Manon Jutras (Can) S.A.T.S.                    
30 Sara Carrigan (Aus) QAS                        
31 Cathy Marsal (Fra) Nobili-Fanini               
32 Desiree Schuler (Ger) World                    
33 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Ukraine                 
34 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) New Zealand                  
35 Alison Wright (Aus) Nobili-Fanini              
36 Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukr) Ukraine               
37 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger              
38 Charlotte Goldsmith (GBr) Great Britain        
39 Julie Pekarkova (Cze) World                    
40 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Ukraine               
41 Michelle Hyland (NZl) Avanti                   
42 Emma Rickards (Aus) Freedom Machine            
43 Kateryna Krasova (Ukr) Ukraine                 
44 Jessica Ridder (Aus) FRF Couriers              
45 Kristin Armstrong (USA) T-Mobile               
46 Rachel Heal (GBr) Great Britain                
47 Susie Wood (NZl) Avanti                        
48 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan                       
49 Kym Shirley (Aus) Nobili-Fanini                
50 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand                 
51 Meredith Miller (USA) S.A.T.S.                 
52 Emma James (Aus) S.A.T.S.                      
53 Olivia Gollan (Aus) AIS                        
54 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger                  
55 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Japan                     
56 Amy Safe (Aus) AIS                             
57 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Nürnberger                 
58 Michelle Kiesanowski (NZl) Avanti              
59 Akemi Morimoto (Jpn) Japan                     
60 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) Avanti                     
61 Helen Kelly (Aus) Jayco                        
62 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) NSWIS                      
63 Johanna Buick (NZl) New Zealand                
64 Cristine Foster (Aus) Body Torque              
65 Kathy Watt (Aus) Freedom Machine               
66 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Jayco                      
67 Natalie Bates (Aus) AIS                        
68 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) Japan                      
69 Jessica Phillips (USA) Nürnberger              
70 Kirsty Robb (NZl) Avanti                   0.20
71 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger        1.48
72 Naomi Williams (Aus) AIS                       
73 Karen Hopkinson (Aus) Body Torque          1.49
74 Katie Brown (Aus) NSWIS                        
75 Laura Bortolozzi (Aus) FRF Couriers            
76 Nadene Boyle (NZl) Avanti                  2.35
77 Leonie Aisbett (Aus) NSWIS                     
78 Nina Davies (GBr) Great Britain                
79 Zoe Southwell (Aus) FRF Couriers           4.15
80 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF Couriers            7.00
81 Jennifer Findlay (Aus) QAS                12.05
82 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Body Torque               
83 Caroline James (GBr) Great Britain             
84 Emi Onoyama (Jpn) World                        
85 Karina Sorensen (Den) S.A.T.S.                 
86 Hannah Banks (Aus) QAS                         
87 Jessie Maclean (Aus) NSWIS                     
88 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF Couriers            
89 Kirsty Bortilin (Aus) Freedom Machine     15.14
90 Linda Capello (Aus) Body Torque                
91 Louisa Judd (Aus) Freedom Machine              
92 Anna Perrin (Aus) QAS                          
DNF Lynn Gaggioli (USA) T-Mobile                  
Sprint No 1 (15.5km)
1 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                          3 pts
2 Katherine Bates (Aus) NSWIS                    2
3 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) New Zealand                  1
Sprint No 2 (31km)
1 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                          3 pts
2 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) New Zealand                  2
3 Katie Mactier (Aus) Jayco                      1
Sprint No 3 (46.5km)
1 Amber Neben (USA) T-Mobile                     3 pts
2 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                          2
3 Katherine Bates (Aus) NSWIS                    1
General classification after stage 3
1 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                    3.09.24
2 Katie Mactier (Aus) Jayco                   0.07
3 Katherine Bates (Aus) NSWIS                 0.10
4 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Jayco                   0.17
5 Sara Carrigan (Aus) QAS                     0.29
6 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) New Zealand               0.30
7 Kathy Watt (Aus) Freedom Machine                
8 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger           0.34
9 Deirdre Barry (USA) T-Mobile                    
10 Kristin Armstrong (USA) T-Mobile           0.35
11 Amy Safe (Aus) AIS                         0.37
12 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World                0.39
13 Manon Jutras (Can) S.A.T.S.                0.39
14 Amber Neben (USA) T-Mobile                 0.39
15 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger              0.42
16 Melissa Holt (NZl) New Zealand             0.43
17 Alison Wright (Aus) Nobili-Fanini          0.43
18 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Nobili-Fanini      0.47
19 Emma Davies (GBr) Great Britain                
20 Stacey Peters (USA) T-Mobile               0.48
21 Olivia Gollan (Aus) AIS                    0.48
22 Natalie Bates (Aus) AIS                    0.51
23 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) NSWIS                  0.52
24 Lorian Graham (Aus) AIS                    0.53
25 Tina Mayola (USA) Jayco                    0.53
26 Sara Symington (GBr) S.A.T.S.              0.53
27 Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukr) Ukraine            0.54
28 Emma James (Aus) S.A.T.S.                  0.55
29 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) T-Mobile           0.56
30 Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Body Torque         0.58
31 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) Japan                  0.59
32 Rachel Heal (GBr) Great Britain            1.00
33 Johanna Buick (NZl) New Zealand            1.05
34 Frances Newstead (GBr) Great Britain       1.06
35 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan                       1.07
36 Cathy Marsal (Fra) Nobili-Fanini           1.08
37 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) New Zealand       1.08
38 Jessica Ridder (Aus) FRF Couriers          1.10
39 Rosalind Reekie (NZl) New Zealand          1.11
40 Michelle Hyland (NZl) Avanti               1.12
41 Meredith Miller (USA) S.A.T.S.             1.12
42 Nicole Freedman (Isr) World                1.12
43 Jessica Phillips (USA) Nürnberger          1.13
44 Helen Kelly (Aus) Jayco                    1.13
45 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Nürnberger             1.14
46 Susie Wood (NZl) Avanti                    1.16
47 Emma Rickards (Aus) Freedom Machine        1.20
48 Kym Shirley (Aus) Nobili-Fanini            1.20
49 Belinda Goss (Aus) Jayco                   1.21
50 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF Couriers        1.24
51 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) S.A.T.S.            1.25
52 Narrelle Peterson (Aus) Body Torque        1.25
53 Akemi Morimoto (Jpn) Japan                 1.25
54 Bridgett Evans (Aus) Freedom Machine       1.29
55 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Ukraine             1.33
56 Kirsty Robb (NZl) Avanti                   1.33
57 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) Avanti                 1.34
58 Tanja Hennes (Ger) World                   1.37
59 Julie Pekarkova (Cze) World                    
60 Iryna Simonova (Ukr) Ukraine               1.40
61 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger             1.45
62 Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukr) Ukraine           1.52
63 Charlotte Goldsmith (GBr) Great Britain    1.58
64 Michelle Kiesanowski (NZl) Avanti              
65 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger        3.05
66 Katie Brown (Aus) NSWIS                    3.05
67 Leonie Aisbett (Aus) NSWIS                 4.14
68 Cristine Foster (Aus) Body Torque          4.49
69 Kateryna Krasova (Ukr) Ukraine             4.49
70 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Japan                 4.55
71 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Ukraine           5.08
72 Zoe Southwell (Aus) FRF Couriers           6.19
73 Karen Hopkinson (Aus) Body Torque          7.40
74 Nadene Boyle (NZl) Avanti                  7.54
75 Nina Davies (GBr) Great Britain            8.09
76 Naomi Williams (Aus) AIS                   8.40
77 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF Couriers            9.08
78 Desiree Schuler (Ger) World                9.58
79 Laura Bortolozzi (Aus) FRF Couriers       11.03
80 Caroline James (GBr) Great Britain        13.20
81 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan                  13.36
82 Karina Sorensen (Den) S.A.T.S.            14.45
83 Linda Capello (Aus) Body Torque           16.35
84 Kirsty Bortilin (Aus) Freedom Machine     17.11
85 Hannah Banks (Aus) QAS                    17.29
86 Jennifer Findlay (Aus) QAS                17.40
87 Jessie Maclean (Aus) NSWIS                21.00
88 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Body Torque          21.54
89 Anna Perrin (Aus) QAS                     22.34
90 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF Couriers       22.59
91 Emi Onoyama (Jpn) World                   26.07
92 Louisa Judd (Aus) Freedom Machine         29.54
Sprint classification
1 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS                          8 pts
2 Katherine Bates (Aus) NSWIS                    5
3 Katie Mactier (Aus) Jayco                      4
4 Amber Neben (USA) T-Mobile                     3
4 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Nobili-Fanini          3
6 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) New Zealand                  3
7 Sara Carrigan (Aus) QAS                        2
8 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger                 1
8 Deirdre Barry (USA) T-Mobile                   1