Canadian Cyclist


May 2/03 5:36 am - Tour of the Gila: Jeanson Again

Posted by Editoress on 05/2/03

Tour of the Gila Stage 3
Courtesy Team Saturn

Unstoppable Jeanson scores another victory

Today's third stage of the five day Tour of the Gila got off to a mid-morning start which is equivalent to more wind in the Southwest. As the riders headed out of Fort Bayard into the warm and mellow tones of the red splashed mountains, the wind was already brisk and the sun high in the sky. A right hand turn at mile six brought the riders into the first of what was to be several climbs for the day, however with a tailwind to greet them. The blue and white jerseys of the Rona Team were at the front, as a good climber's team should be, setting pace for the race leader Genevieve Jeanson. With 76 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing ahead of them, this was the most challenging of the races yet in the Tour.

By the feed-zone at mile 21, the riders had tackled two category three climbs as appetizers. Jeanson already had over four minutes on the chase group, and the group behind her was not interested in an organized effort to recollect the Rona rider only to lose her again on the next climb. The young Canadian was left to time trial by herself into strong cross and head winds. It was quipped in the feed-zone that Timex's were no longer needed to keep splits on Jeanson at a race like this; perhaps a calendar would be more suitable.

As Jeanson powered into the wind putting more time into second place Manon Jutras, behind her the group worked together to get to the finish intact. In the second feed-zone it was clear Jeanson would win, the question remained by how much. In the end she finished with over eight minutes on a group of six who had splintered off the front on the feed zone climb from pressure applied by Saturn's Jutras. As Jeanson cleaned up and gave her post race interviews, her teammate Karen Bockel lead the small group home for very close second over Lyne Gaggioli in third and Katrina Grove in fourth. Jutras was fifth. The overall classification standings will remain unchanged, only the time gaps will deepen.

Tomorrow's stage is a downtown criterium. Always a highlight for the locals, the crowds cascade down from the mountains with everyone bringing the family in for the spectacle of color, speed and Lycra that is criterium racing. Unlike the typical criterium, the Gila criterium rarely leaves anything for the sprinters. Held in the heat of the day with a tough climb every lap, there are typically only scraps for even the strongest sprinters by the end. However, the likes of Ina Teutenberg, Katrina Grove and Lyne Gaggioli keen to tackle the tough course, the Saturn and T-Mobile teams are certain to be in the hunt for a stage win and Jeanson's Rona team will be hard pressed to keep it under control. Tomorrow perhaps will offer an opportunity for another team to try their hand at a stage win.


1. Genevieve Jeanson - Rona/Esker
2. Karen Bockel - Rona/Esker
3. Lyne Gaggioli - Team VeloBella
4. Katrina Grove - T-Mobile
5. Manon Jutras - Saturn
6. Leigh Goldstein - Victory Brewing


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