October 12/01 7:21 am - Junior Women's Road Race Story
Posted by Editor on 10/12/01
2001 Road World Cycling Championships Lisbon, Portugal
This report made possible through the sponsorship of CompuTrainer and Peak Centre
Nicole Cooke of Great Britain has now pulled off an incredible triple - the 2001 world titles in mountain, time trial and road. Cooke soloed in the junior women's 72.6 kilometre road race today, dropping 3 breakaway companions in the last lap of the 6 lap race. Pleuni Mohlmann (Ned) was second and Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) was third. Top Canadian was Genevieve Leblanc (Cap-Rouge, QC) in 45th place. Laura Yoisten (Calgary) was 51st and Magalie Boulay (Quebec) 57th.
Cooke let attrition thin the 64 rider field in the early laps. Each 12.1 kilometre lap has two climbs, and the high tempo of the top riders cut the peloton in half by the end of the first lap. Leblanc, a first year junior, was the only Canadian to make the initial selection, and she finally fell off the pace on the third lap.
"I got dropped on the second climb of the third lap. I wasn't strong enough to stay with them on the climbs. But, now I know how strong the girls are, so I will work hard and be ready next year."
Cooke and 5 other riders broke away from the remainder of the leaders on that same third lap. In addition to the 3 medal winners, the lead group initially included Natalia Boiarskaia (Rus), Indre Janulviciute and Modesta Vzesniauskaite (both Lithuania).
Janulviciute was dropped on lap 4 and her team mate Vzesniauskaite the following lap, leaving 4 riders approximately 35 seconds ahead of a chase group of 12-15. Wloszczowska, silver medalist to Cooke at the mountain bike worlds, attacked on the last lap, but was quickly brought back. Almost immediately, Cooke launched her own attack and the group splintered into individual chasers.
"I was worried about the chasers coming up because the gap was closing, so I went hard."
The tactic worked, and the British rider won by 17 seconds.
The Espoir Men's race is just underway - 169.4 km, 14 laps. Canada has 3 riders in: Charles Dionne, Jean-Francois Laroche and Francois Parisien.