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Rossner takes back Philly

After surrendering the title for a year to Canadian Lyne Bessette (Quark), Petra Rossner (Nurnberger) reasserted her dominance in the Wachovia Liberty Classic, rocketing to a seventh win in a bunch gallop

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After surrendering the title for a year to Canadian Lyne Bessette (Quark), Petra Rossner (Nurnberger) reasserted her dominance in the Wachovia Liberty Classic, rocketing to a seventh win in a bunch gallop. Bessette won the Liberty in 2003 with a late race break, spoiling Rossner’s chances at winning her sixth straight title.

Rossner’s first win came in 1996 with the Vanwood team, and she racked up five straight between 1998 and 2002 before her former teammates with the now defunct Saturn seemingly put an end to the dominance. This year, however, Rossner’s powerful German Nurnberger team controlled the race perfectly, and provided a perfect leadout for their proven finisher.

The Liberty Classic takes in 4 laps of the 14.4 mile circuit used by the men’s Wachovia USPRO Championship for a total of 57.6 miles in the saddle. With a history of decisive field sprints and knowing what they were up against in Rossner, T-Mobile’s strategy was to put the power down from the start.

“She’s won the race six times, you know, she’s fast. She’s pretty much unbeatable if it comes to a sprint at the end, so we’ll have to make the race before that,” said T-Mobile’s Dede Demet-Barry.

The fast riding on the front quickly thinned the record field of 173 starters, breaking shattered groups totaling nearly 40 riders off the back by the end of the first lap. On lap 2, T-Mobile sent Lara Kroepsch out on the attack first during the long run back from the Manayunk Wall, only to be joined by two chasers by the course’s only other climb, the short, steep Lemon Hill. By the start finish, the group came back together. Rhonda Guzda of Team Cervelo-GSM was the next to try her hand, but was quickly brought back as the field steamed back out towards the Manayunk climb.

T-Mobile was in action again at the conclusion of Lap 3, sending Mari Holden off the front in a group of four that persisted over the Lemon Hill climb, but was reabsorbed by a Nurnberger chase once the race hit the flat terrain leading in to the start-finish area. At the beginning of the bell lap, it looked as if Nurnberger’s vigilance might have faltered, as a group of 15 broke off the front with only one representative. A strong Genesis Scuba squad, however, had four riders in the group, including dangerous sprinter Tina Mayolo-Pic. As dangerous as it looked, the break failed to ride cooperatively and came back into the fold after only several miles.

With the big threat past and only half a lap remaining, Nurnberger began its endgame, placing Jessica Phillips, Madeline Lindberg, and Judith Arndt on the front to drive the pace. Only Rona’s Katrina Grove could make it around the blockade as the group turned towards the final ascent of Lemon Hill, but quickly found Arndt glued to her wheel. The pair held a four second gap coming into the final loop through the start finish, but was absorbed by the final turn around Logan Circle.

The tireless Arndt continued on the front, taking Rossner to her final jump with 250 meters remaining. Victory Brewing’s Gina Grain, winner of the CSC invitational a week ago, was firmly glued to her wheel, with Laura Van Gilder (Genesis Scuba) sitting in third position. But, just as it has so many times in the past, nobody had the power to come around the favorite.

Every year, the field tries to break Rossner on the climb, and almost every year, Rossner stands up to the challenge. “I can’t really climb, but for one day a year I can climb,” smiled Rossner, who will retire from racing at the end of the season. While she’s vowed to come back to Philly in some capacity, the queen of the Liberty Classic isn’t tipping her hand quite yet with regards to her future. “Life is full of surprises, and life is full of challenges,” said the 37 year old, “I just have to find mine.” Next year, the field will no doubt be looking forward to the absence of Petra Rossner’s challenge.

Results

1. Petra Rossner (G), Nürnburger/Lietzsport, 2:25:55
2. Gina Grain (CAN), Victory Brewing
3. Laura Vangilder (USA), Genesis Scuba
4. Becky Conzelman (USA), Spin Cycle
5. Laura Yoisten (CAN), Canadian National
6. Sarah Uhl (USA), Quark
7. Anita Valen (Nor), S.A.T.S.
8. Alison Wright (Aus), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
9. Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl), Colavita Olive Oil
10. Regina Schleicher (G), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
11. Magali Le Floch (F), Quark
12. Andrea Hannos (CAN), Rona
13. Mari Holden (USA), T-Mobile
14. Magen Long (USA), Sportsbook.com
15. Jennifer Eyerman (USA), Webcor
16. Amy Moore (CAN), Quark
17. Annette Beutler (Swi), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
18. Sigrid Corneo (I), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
19. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lit), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
20. Catherine Marsal (F), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
21. Karen Brems (USA), Webcor
22. Anna Zugano (I), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
23. Mette Fischer-Andersen (Dk), S.A.T.S.
24. Leigh Hobson (CAN), Cervelo GSM
25. Erin Carter (CAN), TDS-Schwalbe
26. Anne Samplonius (CAN), TDS-Schwalbe
27. Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA), Genesis Scuba
28. Katy St Laurent (CAN), Basis Aude
29. Lynn Gaggioli (USA), T-Mobile
30. Lyne Bessette (CAN), Quark
31. Kori Kelly (USA), Genesis Scuba
32. Audrey Lemieux (CAN), Quark
33. Erinne Willock (CAN), Rona
34. Lara Kroepsch (USA), T-Mobile
35. Catherine Powers (USA), La Grange Dassani
36. Emma Rickards (Aus), Victory Brewing
37. Lauren Franges (USA), Victory Brewing
38. Kym Shirley (Aus), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
39. Sandy Espeseth (CAN), Victory Brewing
40. Charmian Breon (USA), Colavita Olive Oil
41. Emily Westbrook (USA), Spin Cycle
42. Helen Kelly (Aus), Rona
43. Meredith Miller (USA), S.A.T.S.
44. Candice Blickem (USA), Genesis Scuba
45. Kathryn Curi (USA), Rona
46. Felicia Greer (CAN), Webcor
47. Tara Rossner (CAN), Canadian National
48. Katrina Grove (USA), Rona
49. Susan Palmer-Komar (CAN), Genesis Scuba
50. Mandy Lozano (USA), Spin Cycle
51. Sara Bresnick (USA), Verizon
52. Christina Peick-Andersen (Dk), S.A.T.S.
53. Kimberly Anderson (USA), T-Mobile
54. Iona Wynter (JAM), Genesis Scuba
55. Diana Ziliute (Lit), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
56. Hiroko Shimada (JPN), Velo Bella
57. Dotsie Cowden (USA), T-Mobile
59. Kate Sherwin (USA), Spin Cycle
60. Nadine Bruhn (Dk), Webcor
61. Judith Arndt (G), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
62. Chrissy Ruiter (USA), Basis Aude
63. Kristen Linton (USA), East Coast Velo
64. Barbara Heeb (Swi), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
65. Kimberly Bruckner (USA), T-Mobile
66. Kristin Armstrong (USA), T-Mobile
67. Madeleine Lindberg (SWE), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
68. Alicia Genest (USA), Verizon
69. Margaret Hemsley (Aus), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
70. Nicole Demars (CAN), Victory Brewing
71. Zita Urbonaite (Lit), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
72. Jessica Phillips (USA), Nürnburger/Lietzsport
73. Kathleen Billington (USA), Fuji
74. Yulia Razenkova (Rus), Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan
75. Johanna Buick (NZl), Victory Brewing
76. Jennifer Stephenson (CAN), Cervelo GSM
77. April Henerson-Anderson (USA), Verducci
78. Grace Fleury (USA), Genesis Scuba, 1:49
79. Christine Vardaros (USA), Velo Bella
80. Catherine Malone (USA), Webcor
81. Jill Mc Laughlin (USA), Velo Bella
82. Katie Lambden (USA), Aquafina
83. Jennifer Stevens (USA), Verducci
84. Anna Gusmini (I), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
85. Becky Broeder (USA), MABRA/NCVC Edge Wells Revolutn
86. Joan Wilson (USA), S.A.T.S.
87. Michele Kiesanowski (NZl), East Coast Velo
88. Shannon Hutchinson (USA), Colavita Olive Oil
89. Deirdre Barry (USA), T-Mobile
90. Anna Milkowski (USA), Rona, 3:26
91. Laura Downey (USA), La Grange Dassani , 3:56
92. Kerry Soraci (USA), TDS-Schwalbe
93. Emily Gloeckner (USA), TDS-Schwalbe
94. Liza Rachetto (USA), MABRA/NCVC Edge Wells Revolutn
95. Melissa Sanborn (USA), MABRA/NCVC Edge Wells Revolutn
96. Brooke O’Connor (USA), Colavita Olive Oil
97. Jennifer Purcell (USA), Tri
98. Nichole Wangsgard (USA), Basis Aude
99. Ann Marie Miller (USA), Verizon
100. Stefanie Graeter (USA), Webcor
101. Shawn Heidgen (USA), TDS-Schwalbe
102. Daniela Fusar Poli (I), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
103. Leah Toffolon (USA), Verizon
104. Anna Garnett (CAN), Cervelo GSM
105. Cindy Bauwens (B), Verizon
106. Heather Peck (USA), Ind Fabrications
107. Amanda Lawrence (USA), Ind Fabrications
108. Allyson Brandt (USA), Fuji
109. Pam Figoras (USA), East Coast Velo
110. Sinead Fitzgibbon (USA), Aquafina
111. Andrea Dvorak (USA), Sportsbook.com
112. Brooke Ourada (NZl), Victory Brewing
113. Kirsten Robbins (CAN), Victory Brewing
114. Maggie Shirley (USA), Genesis Scuba
115. Kristen Lasasso (USA), Basis Aude, 7:34
116. Nicole Brandt (USA), La Grange Dassani
117. Emily Sandwith (CAN), Canadian National
118. Tara Parsons (USA), Aquafina
119. Mariane Stover (USA), Ind Fabrications
120. Betsey Sellers (USA), MABRA/NCVC Edge Wells Revolutn
121. Rhonda Guzda (CAN), Cervelo GSM
122. Beth Leasure (USA), MABRA/NCVC Edge Wells Revolutn
123. Kc Wilder (USA), LSV
124. Sherri Stedje (USA), Sportsbook.com
125. Elisa Gagnon (CAN), Aquafina
126. Rebecca Mc Clintock (USA), Colavita Olive Oil