Erlank leads overall
By Rob Jones, VeloNews Correspondent
After two stages of rolling terrain, the climbers came to the forefront in stage 3 of the Grand Prix Feminin International du Quebec on Friday. The 99km stage began in Richford, Vermont, and ended in stage winner Lyne Bessette’s (Saturn) hometown of Knowlton, Quebec.
Bessette’s main rival Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) attacked on the first of two ascents of Jay Peak, 20km into the race. Only five riders stayed with Jeanson – Anke Erlank (Saturn), Bessette, Pia Sundstedt (Intersports), Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) and Amber Neben (AutoTrader.com). These five were also dropped by the charging Jeanson as she crested the QOM alone and descended with a one minute gap.
After climbing Jay Peak a second time, Jeanson’s lead was up to 1:45, but the four remaining chasers (Neben was dropped for good on the second climb) worked together to reel her in, catching the Rona rider with 37km to go. This set the stage for a sprint finish, which Bessette took by half a wheel ahead of Jeanson. Cooke finished third on the stage.
Erlanke became the third rider in three stages to don the leader’s jersey, one second ahead of Sundstedt, 1:50 in front of Bessette and 1:51 over Jeanson. Bessette has taken the sprinter’s jersey and Jeanson the climber’s jersey.
Saturday will probably see another change in the lead, as Jeanson and Bessette face off in the time trial followed by an evening criterium.
“It’s not already won; we will see tomorrow, with two stages, how it will work out,” promised Jeanson.
Stage 3: Richford (VT) to Lac-Brome (QC) 123km;
1. Lyne Bessette (Can), Saturn Timex 2:57:17;
2. Genevieve Jeanson (Can), RONA;
3. Nicole Cooke (GB), Great Britain National Team;
4. Pia Sundstedt (Fin), Intersports;
5. Anke Erlank (RSA), Saturn Timex, all s.t.;
6. Petra Rossner (Ger), Saturn Timex, at 6:36;
7. Julie Young (USA), Autotrader.com;
8. Susan Palmer Komar (Can), Intersports;
9. Rachel Heal (GB), GB National;
10. Mélanie Nadeau (Can), RONA, all s.t.;
1. Anke Erlank (RSA), Saturn Timex, 8:26:04;
2. Pia Sundstedt (Fin), Intersports, at 0:01;
3. Lyne Bessette (Can), Saturn Timex, at 1:50;
4. GeneviËve Jeanson (Can), RONA, at 1:51;
5. Katrina Berger, at 4:09;
6. Nicole Demars (Can), 800.Com, at 4:14;
7. Nicole Cooke (GB), Great Britain, at 6:03;
8. Julie Young (USA), Autotrader.com, at 6:31;
9. Korinne Dalmais (Fra), France, at 8:36;
10. Sara Symington (GB), Great Britain, s.t.