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World Championships - CM

Verona, Italy, September 27-October 3, 2004

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Race 9 - Saturday October 2: Road Race - Elite Women, 132.75km

Commentary by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 13:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

13:25 CEST   
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' Live coverage of the World Championships in Verona. Today's second race features the World's most successful Elite Women riders racing a total of 132.75 km on a 14 km course. Nine laps have to be completed before the finish line, with the Torricelle climb being the main obstacle and very probably the decisive part of the circuit. Today's lineup includes many of the same women who raced on almost the same parcours at the World's in 1999, including the winner of the event, Edita Pucinskaite from Lithuania.

13:29 CEST   
With her teammates Jolanta and Rasa Polikeviciute, the main favourites for today are the Lithanians, as well as a strong German team led by Judith Arndt and Trixi Worrack. Challenging them are Oenone Wood, Olivia Gollan and their Australian team, a good American selection with Dede Barry as well as Christine Thorburn, Kristin Armstrong, Kimberly Bruckner, Tina Pic and Amber Neben, and, last but not least, Welshwoman Nicole Cooke.

Finally, one should not forget Joane Somarriba Arola (Spain), current UCI points leaders Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands) and of course the reigning world champion Susanne Ljunskog (Sweden) who won both last year in Hamilton.

13:33 CEST    2km/130.7km to go
The women's field rolls out along the Adige river at a steady tempo. The skies are still overcast, but it doesn't look like raining.

13:44 CEST    8km/124.7km to go
The peloton is together over the top of the climb, led by the Swiss and US teams.

13:56 CEST    16km/116.7km to go
The women's field comes through for the end of lap 1 all together, led by the British team. The lap time was 24'47 - not too fast yet.

13:57 CEST   
Diane Emery (RSA) has abandoned on the first lap.

13:59 CEST    19km/113.7km to go
The field rolls across the Adige and towards to the Torricelle for the second time, now strung out by one of the Moldavian riders. Longo is towards the back of the field.

14:07 CEST    22km/110.7km to go
The peloton moseys on up the Torricelle on lap two, not really doing anything at the moment. It's still one of the Moldavian riders in front.

14:10 CEST    24km/108.7km to go
Hayley Rutherford (Australia) is now leading at the top of the descent. It's very watchful.

14:18 CEST    28km/104.7km to go
The bunch takes the descent at a watchful pace and heads back into Verona a second time. No-one has attacked yet, as it's a bit early in the piece.

14:19 CEST   
Maria Licilene Silva (Brazil) is out of the race.

The Swiss team leads up towards the start/finish now.

14:20 CEST    30km/102.7km to go
The second lap was ridden in just over 25 minutes. The Swiss are really driving over the cobbles at the start of lap 3.

14:22 CEST   
Cindy Pieters (Belgium) has abandoned, looking very disappointed.

14:25 CEST    33km/99.7km to go
The peloton is strung out as it heads to the Torricelle for the third time, with Anna Ramirez Bauxell (Spain) leading.

Sharon Van Dromme (Belgium) has also abandoned.

14:28 CEST    37km/95.7km to go
Monika Kiraly (Hungary) is out, looking a bit shot.

The Spaniard Anna Ramirez is setting a good tempo on the climb, putting more riders in trouble at the back.

14:31 CEST   
Sarah Grab (Switzerland) attacks hard, and takes four riders with he. They can't follow, and the Swiss rider is solo.

14:32 CEST   
Grab is still in the lead as she nears the top of the Torricelle, but there is a counter attack now from Maribel Moreno Allue (Spain), Tina Liebig (Germany) and three more.

14:36 CEST    40km/92.7km to go
Grab powers on the descent, with a group of five behind her containing: Tina Liebig (Germany), Maribel Moreno Allue (Spain), Natalia Boyarskaya (Russia), Tatiana Shishkova (Moldova) and an Australian. They catch her.

14:38 CEST    41km/91.7km to go
The chasers make contact on the descent and we now have six leaders. But the peloton is coming back too and it looks like it will be all together at the bottom.

14:41 CEST    43km/89.7km to go
Anna Zugno (Italy) does a big turn on the flat now, with the rest of the bunch strung out behind her. Now is a good time to attack, and it's another Italian - Fusar Poli. But she is marked by three others, including Zita Urbonaite (Lithuania) and a few more. Maybe a dozen as they ride through the team box area.

14:42 CEST   
Sofie Goor (Belgium) crashes in the team box zone.

14:43 CEST    44km/88.7km to go
The peloton closes the gap to the lead group at the end of the lap, despite some hard work from Fusar Poli and Zugno. All together again, but strung out. This will be a tough race.

14:45 CEST    46km/86.7km to go
The third lap is completed in 24'34, with the average speed around 35.5 km/h now. Daniela Fusar Poli (Italy) continues to put the pressure on across the cobbles at the start of lap 4.

14:46 CEST    47km/85.7km to go
Daniela Fusar Poli (Italy) now has a nice gap as she crosses the Adige. Maybe 7 seconds.

14:47 CEST   
Tania Belvederesi (Italy) rides on the front of the peloton, slowing it down so that Fusar Poli gets a 20 second lead at the foot of the climb.

14:51 CEST    50km/82.7km to go
Fusar Polio has a 24 second gap as she commences the Torricelle. There is no reaction from behind just yet.

Kristin Armstrong (USA) and Eneritz Iturriaga (Spain) crash in the peloton, but they're up again very quickly.

14:54 CEST    52km/80.7km to go
Tatiana Shishkova (Moldova) is setting the tempo in the peloton, 16 seconds behind Fusar Poli, who is nearly at the summit of the Torricelle.

14:57 CEST   
Noemi Cantele (Italy) crashes into a French rider on the climb. They're both up again quickly. It's fairly nervous though.

Fusar Poli is now just 5 seconds ahead of the bunch.

14:57 CEST   
Uenia Fernandes Souza (Brazil) has abandoned.

14:58 CEST    54km/78.7km to go
Fusar Poli sits up, just before the top. Stahurskaya (Blr) is well placed at the front of the bunch.

14:59 CEST   
Anna Zugno (Italy) counter attacks after he teammate is caught, and she has a few seconds lead over the top.

15:03 CEST    55km/77.7km to go
Zugno flies down the descent, opening up a 15 second lead. But she hits a bump in the road on the sharp left hander and stacks. He's back on, and rejoining the peloton. Ouch.

15:05 CEST   
Longo is now at the head of the peloton with Stahurskaya on her wheel. They're at the foot of the descent.

15:10 CEST    60km/72.7km to go
The peloton hits the start/finish for the fourth time, having ridden that lap in 25'43. The Swiss are driving on the cobbles again.

15:11 CEST   
Madeleine Lindberg (Sweden) has pulled out.

15:12 CEST    61km/71.7km to go
Alison Wright (Australia) has abandoned.

Italy continues its offensive by Tania Belvederesi (Italy) on the attack. She takes three riders with her, and the peloton is strung out in pursuit.

15:15 CEST    63km/69.7km to go
With Belverdersi are Lyne Bessette (Canada), Sarah Grab (Switzerland), Hayley Rutherford (Australia) and Frances Newstead (Great Britain). But they are all caught by the bunch just before the climb.

15:23 CEST   
Another crash during the climb - it's Maribel Moreno Allue (Spain) and Natalia Boyarskaya (Russia). But they are up again and continuing.

Rasa Polikeviciute (Lithuania) has attacked, but its not a serious attempt. The pace is high.

15:26 CEST    67km/65.7km to go
Louise Moriarty (Ireland) has abandoned.

The bunch is still together, speeding down the twisty descent again.

15:32 CEST    70km/62.7km to go
The field is stretched at the flat part, led by Anna Zugno (Italy), doing a right turn onto a main road getting to the boxes.

15:34 CEST    72km/60.7km to go
As they pass the bridge, three riders have created a small gap in front, but all is well together again under the flamme rouge. The Italians control the field.

15:36 CEST    74km/58.7km to go
This lap was completed in 25'01, leaving four laps to go.

15:40 CEST    76km/56.7km to go
On the cobbles passage, a Swiss rider sits in front and the tempo does not get slower on the other side of the Adige. The French women Jeannie Longo Ciprelli and Edwige Pitel stay at the back of the peloton.

15:42 CEST    77km/55.7km to go
At the bottom of the Torricelle, a lot of riders toss their bottles away.

The bunch hits the climb with Tatiana Shishkova (Moldova) in front.

15:44 CEST    77km/55.7km to go
Everybody is able to follow now as the front riders look at each other, waiting for attacks.

15:47 CEST    78km/54.7km to go
Volha Hayeva (Belarus) has stepped off her bike and called it quits for today, as well as Veronica Leal Balderas (Mexico).

15:50 CEST    81km/51.7km to go
Another Belarusian rider, Tatsiana Sharakova, has abandoned, while Sarah Grab (Switzerland) attacks, with Moldovan Tatiana Shishkova struggling to hold onto her wheel. The Swiss manages to get away 30 metres, but no more.

All roll down the top of the climb together.

15:52 CEST    83km/49.7km to go
Erinne Willock (Canada) hammers downhill, trying to make contact with the front rider, Sarah Grab. The peloton follows, and the French women Pitel and Longo passed the top of the Torricelle slightly late - looks like one of them must have some problems.

15:58 CEST    84km/48.7km to go
Anna Zugno (Italy) has crashed in a left hand curve. Not sure if she'll continue...

Erinne Willock (Canada) and Sarah Grab (Switzerland) are together now, with a gap of about 10 seconds before the bunch, of which Dori Ruano Sanchon (Spain) comes out in a counterattack.

16:02 CEST    88km/44.7km to go
The peloton has now decided not to let them go, gearing up under the flamme rouge. The three front women look back, and the peloton led by a Brazilian rider is about 35 seconds back.

As they pass the finish line, the tempo of this race is 36,26 km/h. Three laps to go.

16:04 CEST    90km/42.7km to go
The Swiss rider doesn't really participate in the break, with Dori Ruano Sanchon (Spain) doing all the work now.

The bunch behind is stretched out on the cobbly section, and the lead of the break now amounts to 0.47.

16:09 CEST    93km/39.7km to go
The Italian team is now taking the lead of the peloton, as all the riders have now embarked on their journey up the Torricelle again. Jeannie Longo is still at the back, she must not be feeling well today.

There has been another crash involving 5-6 riders that went into the barriers at the side of the road, but nobody got hurt, all riding again.

16:13 CEST    93km/39.7km to go
The Spanish rider still leads within the break, with the Canadian second and the Swiss behind.

16:14 CEST    94km/38.7km to go
Another Swiss rider attacks from the bunch, taking an Italian with her... The Swiss don't seem to believe this will get anywhere. The peloton caught up with the two and is now reducing the gap to the front - only 0.26 left.

16:17 CEST    95km/37.7km to go
The peloton passes the top of the climb, and Jeannie Longo is at the front! Has she been playing a game?

The three breakaways are on their way down already.

16:22 CEST    99km/33.7km to go
Like a string of pearls, the bunch moves down the descent curves one rider behind the other. Longo is now leading.

The breakaway is approaching the feeding zone, the gap reduced to 18 seconds.

16:23 CEST    99km/33.7km to go
Margaret Hemsley (Australia) broke away from the bunch to join the front riders, the peloton not far away.

16:27 CEST    103km/29.7km to go
As they are approaching the finish line for the 7th time, the four riders still have a lead of 0.28. But the field is controlling this break.

The last lap was completed in 25'31.

16:29 CEST    104km/28.7km to go
Edita Kubelskiene (Lithuania) has abandoned. Two laps remain before we'll know the next World Champion.

16:31 CEST    105km/27.7km to go
Toward the Torricelle climb once more. The Dutch riders have formed at the front of the peloton, setting the pace.

The three breakaways are still attempting to take this to the end, with the fourth, the Swiss rider, not participating.

16:34 CEST    106km/26.7km to go
Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands) and Jeannie Longo Ciprelli (France) are up front now, leading the pack. The break has reached the foot of the climb, still leading by 18 seconds.

16:37 CEST   
Another abandon: Olga Slyusareva (Russia.

Christine Thorburn (USA) is inside the front part of the peloton, with Longo still leading.

And there's an attack: Edwige Pitel (France)! She's driving up to the break, and passing them.

16:41 CEST    110km/22.7km to go
Pitel got the break and he bunch reacted: They are all together now, and the tempo is fast on this climb. Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) is up front, and there are about 30 riders left in this group, with a lot of the favourites in it.

16:42 CEST    112km/20.7km to go
Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia) attacked on the descent. Judith Arndt (Germany) and Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands) are chasing at the front of this group, stretched downhill.

16:44 CEST    113km/19.7km to go
Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia) is caught by a very strong bunch, hammering down the Torricelle.

16:47 CEST    115km/17.7km to go
Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia) and Noemi Cantele (Italy) tried to escape this front group, but the leaders won't let them. Tempo is very high, as Jeannie Longo is up front again.

16:52 CEST    118km/14.7km to go
The bunch is now approaching the finish line, headed toward the last lap. All the favourite riders are within this front group.

16:54 CEST    120km/12.7km to go
Chantal Beltman (Netherlands) attacks an the cobbles. She drives away fast, with Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia) chasing after her.

16:57 CEST    122km/10.7km to go
The Russian rider caught the Dutch, looking very decided. Bubnenkova passes her, and Beltman takes her wheel. At the foot of the climb, the gap is already 0.24.

16:59 CEST    123km/9.7km to go
Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia) takes off on her own, and Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania) decides to fill the gap, but she's having a hard time. Beltman is caught.

17:02 CEST    124km/8.7km to go
Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) makes a move out of the bunch, leaving Pucinskaite, and catching Bubnenkova in front.

17:08 CEST    126km/6.7km to go
The break is caught just before the top of the climb, and now there are six riders hammering down the descent: Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia), Tatiana Guderzo (Italy), Judith Arndt (Germany), Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spain), Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania) and Nicole Brändli (Switzerland).

Behind is a chase group of eight, including two Americans.

17:10 CEST    127km/5.7km to go
Judith Arndt attacks during the descent, but cannot create a significant gap.

17:11 CEST    129km/3.7km to go
Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) is set to get her alone, the four others looking at each other. The gap is growing, as Arndt give it everything. The Italian might get her. Passing through the team boxes.

17:12 CEST    130km/2.7km to go
About six seconds between Arndt and Guderzo. Will the German make it?

17:14 CEST    131km/1.7km to go
Guderzo can't seem to catch her, and behind the two women there is a small bunch of ten riders possibly out for the bronze. Flamme rouge!

17:17 CEST   
And Judith Arndt wins the rainbow jersey, in front of Guderzo and Anita Valen!


1 Judith Arndt (Germany)	               3.44.38 (35.457 km/h)
2 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)	                  0.10                  
3 Anita Valen (Norway)                            0.12 
4 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
5 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuania)
6 Nicole Brändli (Switzerland)
7 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spain)
8 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia)
9 Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands)
10 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania)    

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