Events

HP Women’s Challenge wraps up, Arndt wins overall

Under a hot midday sun, the nine-stage 2002 H.P. Women’s Challenge wrapped up Sunday, with Saturn’s Judith Arndt maintaining her 1:20 overall lead over Rona’s 20-year-old Genevieve Jeanson. Both teams raced the final stage conservatively, with Rona intent on preserving Jeanson’s three leader’s jerseys – overall points, mountain points, and best young rider – while Saturn looked after Arndt. During Sunday’s road race - a 56.5-mile sojourn from Emmett to Boise’s historic Hyde Park district – several attempts were made early on, but Rona swiftly shut them down. The real racing began after the

By Neal Rogers

Ziliute and Armstrong head for the line

Ziliute and Armstrong head for the line

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Under a hot midday sun, the nine-stage 2002 H.P. Women’s Challenge wrapped up Sunday, with Saturn’s Judith Arndt maintaining her 1:20 overall lead over Rona’s 20-year-old Genevieve Jeanson. Both teams raced the final stage conservatively, with Rona intent on preserving Jeanson’s three leader’s jerseys – overall points, mountain points, and best young rider – while Saturn looked after Arndt.

During Sunday’s road race – a 56.5-mile sojourn from Emmett to Boise’s historic Hyde Park district – several attempts were made early on, but Rona swiftly shut them down. The real racing began after the stage’s only climb (a short 3 km pitch), when two riders left the peloton and rode it alone to the finish.

The breakaways – sprint points winner Diana Ziliute (Lithuania) and Boise local Kristin Armstrong (Goldy’s) – both sat far enough back on the general classification for the peloton to let them ride it out for the stage win. They quickly opened up a gap that reached to 1:05 entering the five-lap circuit finish around Hyde Park.

Crowd sentiment was with Armstrong, the former triathlete who rode bravely this tour, floating around the top of the GC until stage six, when a consecutive puncture and crash ended her dreams of a top-ten podium spot.

However Ziliute, a former world champion, would not be swayed by sentimentality, and came around Armstrong to take the sprint easily. A bike length behind, Armstrong rode across arms raised, saluting the locals charged by the valiant effort.

Still in her first year of bike racing, Armstrong may have underestimated Ziliute’s final kick.

“I was going to try and play with her a little bit,” Armstrong told VeloNews. “I thought that if I started way back, maybe I could continue a really hard effort. I knew that she could sprint, but I didn’t know how far she could go.”

All the jersey holders were at the front going up the HP's last climb.

All the jersey holders were at the front going up the HP’s last climb.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

2002 H.P. Women’s Challenge Leaders Jerseys
General Classification: Judith Arndt (Saturn)
Overall points: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)
Mountain points: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)
Sprint points: Diana Ziliute (Lithuanian National)
Best Young Rider: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)
Best Senior Rider: Sandy Espeseth (Canadian National)
Team General Classification: Canadian National

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage Nine Results, Emmett to Hyde Park, 56.5 miles

1 Diana Ziliute (Lit), Lithuanian National, 2:15:24.;
2 Kristin Armstrong, Goldy’s, s.t.;
3 Heather Albert, Goldy’s, at 01:11;
4 Meredith Miller, Intermountain Orthopedic, s.t.;
5 Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus), Itera, s.t.;
6 Stacey Peters, Boise, s.t.;
7 Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National, s.t.;
8 Lara Ruthven, T Mobile, s.t.;
9 Jorunn Kvalo (N), Sponsor Services, s.t.;
10 Cybil DiGuistini (Can), Canadian National, s.t.;

Final General Classification, after nine stages;

1 Judith Arndt (G), Saturn, 22:04:33.;
2 Genevieve Jeanson (Can), Rona, at 1:19;
3 Kimberly Bruckner, Saturn, at 1:36;
4 Valentina Polkhanova (Rus), Itera, at 3:54;
5 Lyne Bessette (Can), Canadian National, at 4:18;
6 Amber Neben, T Mobile, at 5:08;
7 Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 9:59;
8 Sue Palmer-Komar (Can), Canadian National, at 11:42;
9 Leah Goldstein (Can), Boise, at 12:06;
10 Caroline Alexander (GB), British National, at 14:50;

2002 H.P. Women’s Challenge Leaders Jerseys

General Classification: Judith Arndt (Saturn)

Overall points: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)

Mountain points: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)

Sprint points: Diana Ziliute (Lithuanian National)

Best Young Rider: Genevieve Jeanson (Rona)

Best Senior Rider: Sandy Espeseth (Canadian National)

Team General Classification: Canadian National