Posted by Editoress on 06/1/04
Tour du Grand Montréal Montréal QC
Courtesy Giana Roberge
Arndt Awesome in the rain
Nurnberger exchanges jerseys at Tour of Quebec
Today's third stage of the Tour of Montreal will go down in the history of the race as an epic day. Not only was the course one to remember but the torrential rain and cold temperatures will leave a memory not soon forgotten. In the end though, it was German Judith Arndt persevering to win the stage in a classic exchange of the Yellow Leader's jersey from the shoulders of her Nurnberger teammate Petra Rossner to hers.
The difficulty of the stage lay with the steep terrain and three times up the very steep one kilometer climb outside of the quaint town of Rigaud. After the first time up the climb a small group of three wedged their way off the front. Amy Moore (Quark) was the highest placed in the overall in the group, at only 14 seconds back. Joining Moore was Australian Alison Wright and Rona's Helen Kelly. The threesome worked well together, gaining up to 2:45 with about 40 kilometers to go. Initially the break did not attract a lot of attention from the peloton, however, as the final kilometers ticked away the remaining group of 30 began to chase with heart despite the pouring rain and cold temperatures.
The final time up the climb, Moore lost her companions and forced the pace alone. In an outstanding effort in which she hoped to set up her teammate Lyne Bessette, Moore was able to hold off the baying chase until only four kilometers to go. However, the chase that ensued behind Moore was captained by Nurnberger's Madeleine Lindberg, who had the field strung out single file the last three kilometers, setting up her teammate Arndt beautifully for the sprint. Behind Arndt, T-Mobile's Dede Demet Barry tried to come around for the victory, but Arndt had one thing in mind - a win and the Leader's Jersey. With ten seconds bonus time on the line for the finisher, Arndt's win put her in the lead by mere seconds over Demet-Barry, who will move into second in the overall. Third in the stage was, unofficially, Monica Valen.
Today's finish did shake up the overall a bit, but only by seconds. Tomorrow's circuit race has more seconds up for grabs, as well as the hefty 10 seconds at the finish. Arndt's lead over Demet is lean, however, with Rossner and Lindberg assisting her to scoop some of the time bonuses, Arndt may end the Tour in Yellow. She will have to fend off a very strong and determined T-Mobile and Quark Team, only seconds out of the lead. Hopefully, the weather will smile on the peloton, and make the Quebec area a much more pleasant area so that the foreigners will want to return sometime in the future.
Stage 3: St-George road race, 120 km
1. Judith Arndt (Ger) Nurnberger
2. Dede Demet-Barry (USA) T-Mobile
3. Anita Valen (Nor) Team S.A.T.S.
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