Posted by Editoress on 08/23/01
GP Feminine International du Quebec-Stage 2
Frelighsburg-Frelighsburg, 123 km
AutoTrader.com Team Report
Today's stage 2 was a hilly 123 kilometer road race that again saw a small break, this time of 5 riders, escape the field and ride to the finish. The breakaway was established 20 kilometers into the race and had representation from each major team, with the exception of Rona. The breakaway riders included; Katrina Berger (AutoTrader.com), Nicole Cooke (Great Britain National), Ina Teutenberg (Saturn), Nicole Demars (800.com) and Catherine Marsal (Intersports).
The break of five riders worked efficiently together and found themselves gaining more time each lap, despite the chase efforts from the French Canadian Team Rona. Nearing the stage finish, it was AutoTrader.com's Katrina Berger who made the first move toward the finish line. Sadly enough, Berger was caught and attacked by Teutenberg who took the stage victory. Nicole Cooke sprinted to 2nd place, Catherine Marsal finished 3rd, while Berger held on for 4th place. Lyne Bessette (Saturn) won the field sprint for 6th place, 4:25 behind the breakaway.
AutoTrader.com's Julie Young, despite turning over the Yellow Jersey to Catherine Marsal, finished 5th in the field sprint and now leads the Green Jersey Points Classification. The AutoTrader.com Team also leads the Team Competition by 1:39 over the 2nd place team, Team Intersports.
Team RONA Report
Frelighsburg, Quebec, August 23, 2001- The cyclists in the Quebec International Women's Grand Prix gave cycling fans a real show today in the Eastern Townships. The second of the program's six stages went off rapid fire, with German Ina Teutenberg (Saturn Timex) nosing out Nicole Cooke (GBR, GBR National Team) and Cathy Marsal (FRA, Intersports) in the sprint after 3h03'31''.
Yesterday's favorite, Finn Pia Sundstedt (Intersports), finished 11th, 4'24'' after the winner. Her teammate Marsal took the Golden leader's jersey from Autotrader.com's Julie Young. Sundstedt managed to keep the white Queen of the Mountain jersey, however, and Julie Young will wear the green sprinter's jersey tomorrow.
For the second day in a row, GeneviÃƒÂ¨ve Jeanson (CAN, RONA) was unable to make her mark on a course that didn't play to her strengths. The young cyclist from Lachine finished in the pack at 12th place, while her fellow Quebecer, Lyne Bessette (CAN/Saturn Timex), took sixth.
Today's stage was much longer than yesterday's- 123 km today- and featured two climbs, in comparison to yesterday's one.
For the second consecutive day, the riders were off like rockets. In the very first minutes of the race, the Team RONA crew took control of the pack and set a steady pace. The Saturn Timexes and 800.coms rose to the challenge, and the pack was soon barreling along at over 50 kph.
Next came the attacks. Several groups of four or five cyclists tried to break away but were quickly reabsorbed by the pack.
Twenty-one km after the start, at the top of the first climb, in Dunham, GeneviÃƒÂ¨ve Jeanson moved to the fore, followed by Pia Sundstedt. The racers were followed by 23 other women, including MÃƒÂ©lanie Nadeau. A gap began to form between the 25 leaders and the main pack behind.
Around kilometer 49, a group of five of the leaders organized an attack. Initiated by Cathy Marsal, the group also included Teutenberg, Cooke, Katrina Berger (USA, Autotrader.com) and Nicole Demars (CAN, 800.com). Within 5 km they added another 30 seconds to the gap.
Behind, Jeanson was trying to organize a chase, with the help of teammate MÃƒÂ©lanie Nadeau. The two Team RONA cyclists bent themselves to the task but, in a repeat of yesterday's performance, the other 18 cyclists hung back. That was all the frontrunners needed to increase their lead to a whole minute by the time they reached kilometer 70.
After that, the five leaders didn't look back. Working tightly together, they moved fast, coordinating their efforts in seamless succession. It was too much for Jeanson and the chasers. By 80 kilometers, the gap had grown to 3'30'' and by 85 to 4'10''.
Meanwhile, the pack caught up with the chasers. Realizing that Katrina Berger, in the breakaway, now has a more than 4 minute lead and threatens Sundstedt chances for the final victory, Intersports try to organize a chase, with no more success than the preceding attempts.
Two hundred meters from the finish line, Berger launched the sprint. But Teutenberg finished strongly and crossed the line a hair before Cooke and Marsal. The pack followed 4'24'' later.
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