By VeloNews Interactive
On the final day of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Saturn’s Lyne Bessette wrapped up her third consecutive overall win a Fitchburg, while the weather once again led to a premature end of the men’s stage, neutralizing the results and leaving Saturn’s Eric Wohlberg as the men’s champion.
The final stage of the women’s race came down to a field sprint, with national criterium champion Laura Van Gilder (Verizon) beating out Procter & Gamble’s Joanne Kiesanowski for the downtown criterium win. Just behind came Bessette’s closest challenger, Genevieve Jeanson (RONA), followed by Bessette. Jeanson finished the four-day race 36 seconds behind Bessette, marking the first time she had been beaten in a stage race this season. Bessette, meanwhile, took home an unprecedented third Fitchburg title in a row.
In the men’s race, the confusion of the previous day’s road race, shortened by lightning, continued into the final day. Heading into the final stage, Wohlberg led Navigators’ Adham Sbeih by 17 seconds, followed by a trio of Mercury-Viatel riders, all within 36 seconds of the lead. [Editor’s note: Following stage 3, we incorrectly listed Sbeih in ninth place on general classification.]
The first half of the race saw constant attacks from Mercury and Navigators, attempting to force Saturn’s hand, but with less then 25 laps remaining in the 55-lap race, lightning began to strike and rain began to pour down, prompting race officials to cut things short for the second day in a row. Mercury’s Baden Cooke bridged a gap to three leaders — Glen Mitchell and Mark Walters (Navigators) and Derek Bouchard-Hall (Mercury-Viatel) — and then held on for the win just ahead of the main pack, led in by Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) in second place and Kirk O’Bee third. The overall classification was neutralized, leaving the finals standings with Wohlberg first, Sbeih second and Moninger third.
Men, stage 4
1. Baden Cooke, Mercury-Viatel, in 1:04:51; 2. Ivan Dominguez, Saturn, at 0:03; 3. Kirk O’Bee, Navigators, s.t.; 4. Mark Walters, Navigators, at 0:06; 5. Graeme Miller, NetZero; 6. Oscar Pineda, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist; 7. Trent Klasna, Saturn; 8. Alex Candelario, THF Racing; 9. Eric Wohlberg, Saturn; 10. Mark McCormack, Saturn.
Final overall, men
1. Wohlberg, in 7:26:42; 2. Adham Sbeih, Navigators, at 0:17; 3. Scott Moninger, Mercury-Viatel, at 0:20; 4. Chris Wherry, Mercury-Viatel, at 0:27; 5. Derek Bouchard-Hall, at 0:36; 6. Clark Sheehan, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, s.t.; 7. Danny Pate, Prime Alliance, at 0:37; 8. Cooke, at 0:41; 9. John Lieswyn, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, at 0:43; 10. Frank McCormack, Saturn, at 0:47.
Women, stage 4
1. Laura Van Gilder, Verizon, in 1:05:57; 2. Joanne Kiesanowski, Procter & Gamble; 3. Genevieve Jeanson, RONA; 4. Lyne Bessette, Saturn; 5. Rebecca Conzelman, TalgoAmerica.com; 6. Allie Warfel, unattached; 7. Amy Jarvis, RONA; 8. Jennifer Cooper, Genesis Scuba-FFCC; 9. Leah Toffolon, Fraysse-NECSA; 10. Trish Choo, Wheelworks-IF.
Final overall, women
Women’s general classification
1. Bessette, 5:28:46; 2. Jeanson, at 0:36; 3. Susan Palmer-Komar, Jane Cosmetics, at 4:38; 4. Emily Thorne, Trek, at 5:04; 5. Andrea Hannos, Verizon, at 5:44; 6. Anke Erlank, Saturn, at 5:54; 7. Gabrielle Gonzalez de Ferrat, at 6:02; 8. Jarvis, at 6:07; 9. Kori Kelly, Procter & Gamble, at 6:10; 10. Choo, at 7:11.