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11th Montreal World Cup - CDM
Quebec, Canada, May 31, 2008
Arndt builds on World Cup lead in Montreal
By Kirsten Robbins in Montreal, Quebec
German UCI Women's World Cup leader Judith Arndt (High Road) increased her lead in the series' standings by claiming victory at the sixth round in Montreal, Canada. Arndt took top honours from break away companion Fabiana Luperini (Menikini-Selle Italia), with the Italian unable to repeat her 2007 victory.
The pair broke away from a select group of eight climbers on the finale ascent over Mont Royal. Unable to contribute to the breakaway effort, Luperini did not contest the two-up sprint and accepted second place. Leigh Hobson (Canada) won the chase group sprint for third place and solidified a spot for position on the local Olympic Games team.
"I never expect to win a race like this - you can only expect to work hard," said former world champion Arndt. "We had a great team here so we were confident that we could have a good race. This was a race where every lap you lose more riders and in the end the best are left over."
Neither Arndt nor Luperini are strangers to the Montreal World Cup podium; Luperini winning the previous year's event on Park Avenue and Arndt succeeding the 2006 victory atop Mont Royal.
"It was more difficult today than when I won this race two years ago because of the weather and rain," said Arndt, with ominous black skies and buckets of rain marring the race. "Our plan was to be aggressive and I think we did a very good job, especially Ina [Teutenberg] out there on her own for many laps.
"I just tried to make it hard the last time up the climb and to see who could still be there," she added. "There was just the two of us, which was great. She said she was tired so she could not work with me but she also said that she would not try to sprint against me in the end. I believed what she said because she is a great champion - I thought that was very fair."
Luperini admitted that she lacked the fitness to work with Arndt on the last lap. The Italian's condition is due to a limited amount of racing prior to the World Cup, which led to her decision to bow out of the victory sprint against Arndt.
"Arndt did most of the work today and she deserves the victory," said Luperini. "After taking a month off I was not in the best fitness for that kind of effort. I prefer the heat over the rain and I'm missing a few racing kilometers.
"I think that is why in the end I was lacking a little bit," said the Italian. "It was important to ride well here for the Olympic selection. Some of the selection has already been made for us, but there is still the coach's selection for the third spot."
The Montreal World Cup marked the final race where UCI points could be accumulated toward the Olympic Games. This selection played an important role amongst many of the teams including the Canadian team where landing a third place on the podium earned Leigh Hobson a ticket to Beijing in August.
"It was sort of a race with in a race, important for the Canadians since it was an opportunity to gain an Olympic spot," said Hobson, who was proud of the overall teamwork. "The three of us were going for the selection today when we were trying to bridge across.
"Even tough this was the case, we all worked together and that gives our team a lot of credit," she added. "Even tough we needed to compete somewhat against each other, we also decided that we should work together to try to win the race - It made me feel like we had a great team with good sports."
How it unfolded
The dark skies opened up pouring rain on the 110 women who lined up to face 11 laps of a taxing 10 kilometre circuit. The peloton began at the base of Mont-Royal, a two-kilometre ascent that very few riders would survive on all 11 efforts.
According to team High Road manager, Kristy Scrymgeour, High Road's plan to be aggressive was not in order to protect Arndt's World Cup lead but to ensure the race victory. "We aren't racing to win the world cup leader's jersey," said Scrymgeour. "We're racing to win bike races and by doing that we can win the jersey."
After the first lap only two thirds of the field remained intact, partially due to the early tempo set on the front and partially due to several crashes and flat tires. "It feels good to win here because I like this race," said Arndt. "But it was horrible because it was raining and we couldn't really see anything in the beginning.
"There were large potholes and danger but in the end it turned out to a good day for High Road - maybe I'll donate my prize money today to help fix the roads," she joked.
France's Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who placed seventh in the previous year's event, fell victim to an accident on the second lap that eliminated her from the race. The women's racing legend was left with torn muscle tissue on her torso.
"I was on the front during the climb and one girl attacked but some how she hit something and crashed and I couldn't avoid her," said Longo-Ciprelli. "I was in very good shape for this race, better shape than last year. I would have liked to have done well here today."
High Road's double Tour de L'Aude stage winner, Ina Teutenberg, attacked the field on the third lap, beginning a five lap solo effort. Teutenberg gained a maximum of 45 seconds and took pressure off of her team-mates for the majority of the race.
A combination of riders from Cervelo-Lifeforce and Specialized Designs for Women brought the German powerhouse back with four laps to go, where the opportunity for a victory presented itself.
"Our tactics were to be in a position where I could go with attacks at the end of the race," said Hobson. "I had to make sure I was near the top 10 and able to follow wheels.
"I've done this race eight times and I know it's the kind of race that usually goes on the about the sixth lap where you need to conserve as much as possible before that happened," she added. "I tried to go with my gut feeling on where to conserve and where to spend energy."
Attacks and counter attacks reduced the main field to less than 20 riders and by the top of Mont Royal, on the penultimate lap, a break of five riders set sail. The split included Arndt, Luperini, Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce), Emma Pooley (Specialized Designs for Women) and Sara Carrigan (Team Australia).
A chase group of three Canadians, who successfully bridged across on the second last lap, comprised of Hobson, Anne Samplonius (Team Canada) and Erinne Willock (Webcor-Builders).
Samplonius attacked as the race entered its final lap and was quickly followed by Armstrong. The two time trialists worked together into the final climb however, the pair were no match for the chasers who welded the separation back together.
Arndt set a fast enough tempo over the remainder of the climb that only Luperini proved able to stick with. The two former race winners gained a 15 second advantage on the descent and into the twists and turns through the city streets. Willock and Armstrong tried one last effort to bridge to the leaders individually but succumbed to a small group sprint for third place upon entering the Park Avenue.
"We knew that it was going to be a race for third at the end," said Hobson. "Once we bridged across it was all about who had legs left over. There were a lot of attacks from our chase group and most of us realized it would be a sprint.
"Kristin Armstrong did most of the work coming into the hairpin turn," she added. "We came to a stand still at the turn around and I knew I had to jump first - I went as hard as I could."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by John Pierce/Photosport International
1 Judith Arndt (Ger) High Road Women 3.11.34 (34.452 km/h) 2 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors 3 Leigh Hobson (Can) Equipe Nationale Canada 0.32 4 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia 0.34 5 Kristen Armstrong (USA) Cervelo-Lifeforce 6 Anne Samplonius (Can) Equipe Nationale Canada 7 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders 8 Emma Pooley (GBr) Specialized Designs for Women 0.38 9 Priska Doppman (Swi) Cervelo-Lifeforce 0.51 10 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia 11 Edwige Pittel (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz 0.53 12 Lauren Franges (USA) Team TIBCO 1.10 13 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO 1.23 14 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 15 Chantal Beltman (Ned) High Road Women 16 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 17 Felicia Gomez (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team 18 Kimberly Anderson (USA) High Road Women 19 Giuseppina Grassi (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique 20 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Webcor Builders 21 Ruth Corset (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia 22 Julie Beveridge (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team 23 Kori Kelley Seehafer (USA) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors 1.26 24 Monika Schachl (Aut) UNIQA 3.00 25 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors 9.11 26 Nathalie Bates (Aus) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors 9.13 27 Karin Aune (Swe) UNIQA 28 Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 9.15 29 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 30 Sarah Grab (Swi) Specialized Designs for Women 31 Victoria Bastide (Swe) Team TIBCO 32 Christine Majerus (Lux) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion 33 Sue Schlatter (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS 34 Rachel Heal (GBr) Team TIBCO 35 Patricia Schwager (Swi) Cervelo-Lifeforce 36 Brooke Miller (USA) Team TIBCO 37 Oenone Wood (Aus) High Road Women 38 Lorian Graham (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia 39 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia 40 Yeugeniya Vysotska (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine 14.18 41 Johanne Cyr (Can) Equipe Cascades 42 Kristin Sanders (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team 17.17 43 Bettina Hold (Can) Equipe Nationale Canada 44 Moriah Jo Macgregor (Can) Equipe Nationale Canada 45 Sarah Düster (Ger) Cervelo-Lifeforce 46 Julie Bellerose (Can) Equipe Cascades 47 Min Gao (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 48 Sufen Ma (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 49 Daniela Pintarelli (Aut) UNIQA 50 Jen Stephenson (Can) Ultralink 51 Svitlana Galyuk (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine 17.20 HD Yeima Torres (Cub) Equipe Nationale Cuba HD Iraida Garcia (Cub) Equipe Nationale Cuba HD Belem Guerrero (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique HD Bernadette Schober (Aut) UNIQA HD Fei Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling HD Li Ping Zhang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling HD Marie Lindberg (Swe) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung HD Sophie Matte (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS HD Yong Li Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling HD Mary Zider (USA) Advil-Chapstick HD Sophie Creux (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion HD Kateryna Krasova (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine HD Julia Bradley (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS HD Alyssa Mellon (Can) Ultralink HD Catherine Hogan (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz HD Eugenie Mermillod (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz HD Thomas Béatrice (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion HD Dalila Rodriguez (Cub) Equipe Nationale Cuba HD Tricia K Spooner (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS HD Trine Schmidt (Den) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors HD Yumari Gonzalez (Cub) Equipe Nationale Cuba HD Yoanka Gonzalez (Cub) Equipe Nationale Cuba HD Joanie Caron (Can) Equipe Cascades HD Anne Guzman (Dom) Equipe Cascades HD Fanny Riberot (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz HD Genevieve Gauthier (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz DNF Estelle Patou (Fra) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion DNF Carmen Mcnellis (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team DNF Natasha Elliott (Can) EMD SERONO STEVENS DNF Jeannie Longo Ciprelli (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz DNF Mathilde Hupin (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz DNF Jessica Burns (Can) Equipe Cascades DNF Sarah Coney (Can) Ultralink DNF Louise Moriarty (Irl) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz DNF Allison Lampi (Can) Ultralink DNF Veronique Labonte (Can) Equipe Cascades DNF Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz DNF Foresilorena (Ita) Menikini-Selle Italia Master colors DNF Ina Teutenberg (Ger) High Road Women DNF Katherine Bates (Aus) High Road Women DNF Larissa Kleinmann (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Janel Holcomb (USA) Webcor Builders DNF Christine Thorburn (USA) Webcor Builders DNF Joelle Numainville (Can) ESGL 93 GSD Gestion DNF Jocelyn Loane (Aus) Equipe Nationale Australia DNF Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo-Lifeforce DNF Pascale Schnider (Swi) Cervelo-Lifeforce DNF Tanja Hennes (Ger) Specialized Designs for Women DNF Kristen Lasasso (USA) Specialized Designs for Women DNF Mirjam Hauser-Senn (Swi) Specialized Designs for Women DNF Andrea Knecht (Swi) Specialized Designs for Women DNF Julia Farell (Can) Ultralink DNF Chloe St-Arnaud-Watt (Can) Ultralink DNF Elizaveta Bochkarova (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine DNF Tetiana Stiajkina (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine DNF Olena Andruk (Ukr) Equipe Nationale Ukraine DNF Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux) UNIQA DNF Alison Testroete (Can) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team DNF Meredith Miller (USA) Aaron's Professional Cycling Team DNF Julie Dheruelle (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Emmanuelle Merlot (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Carissa Wilkes (NZl) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz DNF Brei Gudsell (NZl) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz DNF Susan Palmer-Komar (Can) Advil-Chapstick DNF Kirsten Robbins (Can) Advil-Chapstick DNF Elisa Gagnon (Can) Advil-Chapstick DNF Helen Kelly (Aus) Team TIBCO DNF Julie Marceau (Can) Specialized Carrefour Multisport Maz DNF Veronica Leal (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique DNF Mayra Rocha (Mex) Equipe Nationale Mexique
1 Judith Arndt (Ger) High Road Women