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Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale - 2.9.1

France, August 4-18, 2002

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Stage 4 - August 7: Bar le Duc - Nogent-sur-Seine, 156.2km

Perseverance pays for Madeleine Lindberg

By Chris Henry, Cyclingnews correspondent

Madeleine Lindberg
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

After a 20km neutral start, Stage 4 of the Grande Boucle Féminine took the peloton 159.7km through the Départements de la Marne, Haute Marne, and Aube today, between Bar le Duc and Nogent-sur-Seine, France. An almost entirely flat stage, today's racing was marked by some stiff winds and a day long break ultimately settled in a three way sprint. After single-handedly pulling the break for the final 10km, Swedish pro Madeleine Lindberg (Farm Frites-Hartol) still had the legs to win the sprint ahead of Iryna Chuzhynova (Edilsavino) and Ghita Beltman (Acca Due O).

Lindberg had no expectations that her escape would create the time gaps that it did, but she gave credit to her team for spurring her on. "I must say I had some great support from (Michael Zijlaard) in the car behind. He is a very good coach, and it made me worry less. With 500m to go, Chuzhynova started the sprint, and I easily got on her wheel and could then win the sprint."

Early in the stage, it was Ghita Beltman who made the first successful move, attacking and going clear at the 33km mark. After almost 30km of solo effort, Beltman was joined by Lindberg and Chuzhynova, and the three rapidly built a lead that would at its maximum reach almost ten minutes over the peloton which, no doubt to the relief of many, stayed together on the flat roads to Nogent-sur-Seine.

As the leading trio's advantage grew, Lindberg became the virtual race leader on the road, a fact which quickly threw a monkey in the works of the break's cooperative spirit. Beltman was not only paying for her day long break with occasional muscle cramps, she also decided that Lindberg's theoretical lead in the general classification was not worth working for, and the Acca Due rider refused to continue taking pulls at the front. Perhaps sensing opportunity at the finish, assuming the break would stay away, Chuzhynova began to sit on Lindberg's wheel as well. Despite Lindberg's assurances that the overall lead was not her objective, the other two would not work.

With 13km remaining in the race, the leading three still held an advantage of 9'58". However, with only Lindberg working to maintain the break, and a well-drilled Saturn squad chasing in defense of Judith Arndt's Maillot Or, the gap began to disintegrate.

Interestingly, for a short time, the only riders really making an effort to set the pace were Arndt's Saturn teammates at the head of the peloton, and the blue jersey of Liane Bahler (Nürnberger Versicherung), working for her own standing in the best young rider competition. In the breakaway, the three leaders soft-pedaled for some time while discussing the merits of their time advantage, while in the peloton the sprinters' teams felt no need to ride at the front knowing that the stage win was already lost.

With less than 10km to race, Lindberg decided to test her two breakaway companions with a new attack, though a determined Beltman regained her wheel, along with Chuzhynova, holding steady in third position. Under the 5km to go banner, and with their lead falling quickly, the three continued, assured at least that the stage victory would be decided between them. Beltman looked to be suffering the most, pushing a larger gear than Lindberg or Chuzhynova, who on her 30th birthday had her own added motivation for a possible stage victory.

In the final kilometre it was indeed Chuzhynova who attacked in search of the stage win, though Lindberg would not be denied her own opportunity after her work of the last 10km. The tall Swede nailed back Chuzhynova's surge and replied with a final acceleration of her own, taking a well-deserved victory. Local hero and former men's yellow jersey holder François Simon presented the day's prize to Lindberg on the winner's podium.

As the peloton entered the final kilometre, by this point just under 4 minutes behind the winners, Saturn was still in control of the group with the green jersey of Petra Rossner working selflessly to protect overall leader Arndt. Just under the 1km banner, 9th place overall Zinaida Stahurskaia (USC Chirio) crashed along with Debby Mansveld (Vlaanderen-T Interim), although the two remounted and finished with the same time as the main peloton, fortunate that their fall occurred within the final kilometre. Olga Slioussareva of the Itera Team took the field sprint, 3'47" back of stage winner Lindberg, and just ahead of Judith Arndt, who kept her Maillot Or for another day.

Arndt was once again pleased with the team's effort and the defense of her jersey. "We wanted to keep things calm today, with the time trial tomorrow it's going to be difficult. At the end we just tried to make it safe for me and keep the jersey."


Images by AFP


1 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Farm Frites-Hartol               4.15.21 (37.525 km/h)

2 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Edilsavino
3 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O
4 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) Itera Team                           3.47
5 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling
6 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Michela Fanini
7 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim
8 Alison Wright (Aus) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung
9 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T Interim
10 Sara Felloni (Ita) Edilsavino
11 Youlia Martissova (Rus) Itera Team
12 Miho Oki (Jpn) C.A Mantes la ville 78
13 Alessandra d'Ettore (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet
14 Leontien Van Moorsel (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol
15 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling
16 Francesca Castrucci (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet
17 Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus) Itera Team
18 Baukje Doedee (Ned) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia
19 Edita Kubelskiene (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team
20 Goulnara Ivanova (Rus) USC Chirio
40 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol         
41 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol         
61 Sissy van Alebeek (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol       
71 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol            
101 Anouska van der Zee (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol 

General classification after stage 4

1 Judith Arndt (Ger) Saturn Cycling                        14.21.56
2 Valentina Polkhanova (Rus) Itera Team                        0.28
3 Leontien Van Moorsel (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol           1.25
4 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol                1.42
5 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Saturn Cycling                       1.54
6 Youlia Martissova (Rus) Itera Team                           2.10
7 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago             2.31
8 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) USC Chirio                            2.33
9 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O                          2.38
10 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O
11 Simona Parente (Ita) Edilsavino                             2.39
12 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) USC Chirio                        2.40
13 Liane Bahler (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung           2.49
14 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Mixte Power Plate
15 Amber Neben (USA) USA National-T Mobile                     2.54
16 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team                2.56
17 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen-T Interim                3.01
18 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol               3.18
19 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Team Farm Frites-Hartol
20 Miho Oki (Jpn) C.A Mantes la ville 78                       3.32
21 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Michela Fanini                      3.40
22 Karine Dalmais (Fra) French National Team                   3.54
23 Sandrine Marcuz (Fra) French National Team                  3.59
24 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen-T Interim                   4.15
25 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim              4.37
26 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O                             4.44
27 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) Edilsavino                           4.48
28 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) Itera Team                          4.50
29 Letizia Giardinelli (Ita) Michela Fanini                    4.52
30 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Acca Due O                             4.53
31 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol                  5.04
32 Elisabeth Chevanne Brunel (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78      5.11
33 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Deia Pragma Colnago                 5.37
34 Helga Faccin (Ita) USC Chirio                               5.59
35 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Mixte Power Plate                     6.35
36 Mari Holden (USA) USA National-T Mobile                     6.40
37 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn Cycling                          6.41
38 Veronique Belleter (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim               6.51
39 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O                              6.52
40 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O                              6.57
41 Lisbeth Simper (Den) Michela Fanini                         7.04
42 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Edilsavino                       7.08
43 Sara Felloni (Ita) Edilsavino                               7.10
44 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Deia Pragma Colnago
45 Kym Shirley (Aus) Itera Team                                7.11
46 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn Cycling                          7.14
47 Sylvie Riedle (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78                  7.23
48 Yvonne Brunen (Ned) Mixte Power Plate                       7.31
49 Edita Kubelskiene (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team                7.35
50 Bogumila Matusiak (Pol) Mixte Power Plate                   7.39
51 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                    8.07
52 Francis Linthorst (Ned) Mixte Power Plate                   8.16
53 Marcia Eicher-Vouets (Swi) C.A Mantes la ville 78           8.22
54 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O                            8.30
55 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) Deia Pragma Colnago                8.31
56 Birgit Sollner (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung         8.44
57 Jenny Algelid-Bengtsson (Swe) Equipe Nurnberger Versich     8.45
58 Sissy Van Alebeek (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol             8.49
59 Sandra Rombouts (Ned) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung
60 Lada Kozlikova (Cze) Itera Team                             8.53
61 Aline Camboulives (Fra) French National Team                8.56
62 Marina Khodtchenkova (Rus) Edilsavino                       9.09
63 Daniela Veronesi (Ita) Edilsavino                           9.27
64 Silvia Parietti (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                  9.29
65 Christine Mos (Ned) Mixte Power Plate                       9.42
66 Marta Vilajosana Andreu (Spa) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca      9.52
67 Laure Werner (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                    10.16
68 Cristina Alcalde Huertanos (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia      10.24
69 Shani Bloch (Isr) Michela Fanini                           10.26
70 Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus) Itera Team                     10.43
71 Alessandra d'Ettore (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet    10.43
72 Penny Edwards (GBr) USC Chirio                             10.47
73 Rhonda Quick (USA) Figurella Dream Team                    10.51
74 Anouska Van Der Zee (Ned) Team Farm Frites-Hartol          11.03
75 Alison Wright (Aus) Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung         11.57
76 Kim Anderson (USA) USA National-T Mobile                   12.07
77 Kristin Armstrong (USA) USA National-T Mobile
78 Deirdre Demet-Barry (USA) USA National-T Mobile            12.22
79 Marianna Lorenzoni (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet     12.29
80 Rosalisa Lapomarda (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet     12.32
81 Emma James (Aus) C.A Mantes la ville 78                    12.53
82 Montserrat Alonso Bernal (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia        13.04
83 Anke Wichmann (Ger) Michela Fanini                         13.09
84 Isabelle Moulis (Fra) French National Team                 13.15
85 Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Saturn Cycling                   13.17
86 Catherine Marsal (Fra) Saturn Cycling                      13.42
87 Magalie Finot (Fra) French National Team                   14.08
88 Baukje Doedee (Ned) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia                   14.19
89 Kim Davidge (USA) Saturn Cycling                           14.36
90 Monica Ceccon (Ita) Michela Fanini                         14.38
91 Goulnara Ivanova (Rus) USC Chirio                          14.40
92 Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago            15.06
93 Tiziana Smorgon (Ita) Figurella Dream Team                 16.12
94 Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia           16.22
95 Vilija Purlite (Ltu) Figurella Dream Team                  17.03
96 Marta Evangelisti (Ita) Edilsavino                         18.33
97 Katie Mactier (Aus) Michela Fanini                         18.57
98 Eneritz Iturriaga Mazaga (Spa) Deia Pragma Colnago         19.58
99 Stacey Peters (USA) USA National-T Mobile                  20.29
100 Anna Ramirez (Spa) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Atet          20.39
101 Fany Lecourtois (Fra) Deia Pragma Colnago                 21.40
102 Alexandra Nohles (Ger) Mixte Power Plate                  22.28
103 Tetyana Andrushchenko (Ukr) USC Chirio                    24.33
104 Francesca Castrucci (Ita) Aliverti Kookai Imm Luca Ate    24.42
105 Cornelia Cyrus (Rus) Itera Team                           28.00
106 Agurtzane Elorriaga Derteano (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkai    31.46
107 Vanessa Rochelle Guyton (NZl) Vlaanderen-T Interim        34.29
108 Cynthia Compain (Fra) C.A Mantes la ville 78              36.53
109 Nikane Xuen Mallea Ludlon (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia      53.16
110 Maitane Telletxea (Spa) Mixte Sabeco Bizkaia            1.17.01