Rossner takes stage four sprint, Saturn redefines team dominance at HP

Adding a fourth consecutive stage win at this year’s HP Women’s Challenge, the talent-rich Saturn squad continues to redefine the meaning of dominance in the peloton, seemingly taking control of any stage at will. Long before Petra Rossner sprinted to the line to take stage four’s Stanley to Ketchum road race, it was all too clear that the Saturn women’s cycling team is, in effect, unstoppable. And while Rossner flew across the line to take her second field sprint victory in four days, setting a new course record by over two minutes, it was teammate Kimberly Bruckner that animated the

By Neal Rogers

Resistance is Futile -- Rossner's second; Saturn's fourth.

Resistance is Futile — Rossner’s second; Saturn’s fourth.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Adding a fourth consecutive stage win at this year’s HP Women’s Challenge, the talent-rich Saturn squad continues to redefine the meaning of dominance in the peloton, seemingly taking control of any stage at will.

Long before Petra Rossner sprinted to the line to take stage four’s Stanley to Ketchum road race, it was all too clear that the Saturn women’s cycling team is, in effect, unstoppable.

And while Rossner flew across the line to take her second field sprint victory in four days, setting a new course record by over two minutes, it was teammate Kimberly Bruckner that animated the race, setting out on a solo flyer that lasted over 30 kilometers and gapped a select chase group of eight riders by nearly a minute.

Bruckner was alone for 20 miles

Bruckner was alone for 20 miles

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Meanwhile, race leader and Saturn teammate Anna Millward sat in comfortably, finishing with the main field and maintaining her overall lead by 11 seconds over Bruckner and 58 seconds over teammate Judith Arndt.

As racers lined up in Stanley for the 60-mile stage, the weather was cool, with skies threatening to rain. Possibly to stay warm, the attacks began from the start, initiated first by the Lithuanian, then British National teams. While short lived, continuous efforts continued for the first hour of racing over the gradual rise to the base of the 8700-foot Galena Pass.

At the first hot spot sprint, five kilometers from the base of the climb, a threatening break formed containing three Rona riders including GC contender Genevieve Jeanson and a handful of representatives from all the main teams. Marked by a pair of Saturns, Ina Yoko-Teutenberg and Catherine Marsal, the group opened up a gap of 13 seconds.

Suddenly, in an impressive demonstration of team strength, the two Saturn riders soft-pedaled out of the break, dropping back to the chase to pull their GC riders Bruckner, Millward, and Arndt back to the front. Once the Saturn squad regrouped at the front of the field, they put together a textbook team time trial, accelerating their way up to and barreling through the break like a freight train.

A statement had been made, to Rona’s Jeanson and any other erstwhile GC contenders: not today.

Still, Jeanson and teammate Manon Jutras persisted, pushing the tempo up the climb and splintering the field. As the peloton climbed towards the gray clouds hovering atop the Galena Pass, the skies opened up and a light rain began to fall. One by one, the 18-rider break began to dissolve. First to go was local sensation Kristin Armstrong, who had thrown her chain at the bottom of the climb.

“By the time I finally caught up with the leaders on the climb,” Armstrong explained to VeloNews, “I was blown.”

T-Mobile’s team leader Mari Holden was the next to fall off the pace, and before reaching the summit, British National’s Caroline Alexander and Holden’s teammate Amber Neben would pop out the back.

Meanwhile Jeanson and Jutras continued to lead the climb, shadowed closely by Canadian National’s Lyne Bessette and Sue Palmer-Komar, Saturn’s GC contenders Bruckner, Millward, and Arndt, Lithuania’s twin sisters Jolanta and Rasa Polikeviciute, and Itera’s Valentina Polkhanova.

Jeanson and Bessette each face a big fight to overcome Saturn.

Jeanson and Bessette each face a big fight to overcome Saturn.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

At the mile 32 summit, riders stuffed newspapers into their jerseys and tucked into the steep and winding descent together. Once the group reached the bottom of the steep descent, the course offered 40 kilometers of gradual downward gradient. Bruckner liked her chances and took a flyer, demonstrating why she’s the national road champion by immediately opening a 15-second gap.

With Millward and Arndt sitting in, the Canadian and Lithuanian pairs worked to bring down the American’s lead, which stretched to 48 seconds before she began to tire. Meanwhile, behind them the main field had reorganized, and at mile 48, a group of 20 absorbed the chasers.

For a stretch it seemed as though Bruckner might pull off a solo stage win, but as the kilometers ticked away, Bessette took the initiative, and with less than 10 km to go, Bruckner was caught. Once again, it was anybody’s race.

“I thought I might hold it,” Bruckner told VeloNews at the finish. “I was just going to keep on going, to see if the gap would pick up.”

Coming into Ketchum, it was Saturn’s Petra Rossner shooting to the finish line first, fists pumping. Goldy’s Swiss rider Priska Doppmann, third overall in the World Cup standings, took second in front of Sponsor Service’s Monica Valen, the 1994 world road champion.

Race Notes:

British National’s Emma Davies had quite a day. After a long, solo effort in the early part of the race, and a bike change after the descent, she had enough left over to contest the sprint, taking sixth.

Not only did Saturn’s Arndt, Bruckner and Millward sweep the individual time trial on Monday, but they broke the team time trial record set on the same course eight years ago.

Canadian National’s Lyne Bessette, sitting in fifth 2:00 back, remains philosophical about her position racing against her former Saturn teammates.

“I’m feeling better and better everyday,” the defending HP champion told VeloNews. “I just have to be patient. I’m here to race, and I have good support. It’s hard to win a tour two years in a row – wearing the number one is like having a big sign saying ‘Look at me!’” We just have to be smarter, and work with the other teams.”

Photo Gallery


Stage four results, Stanley to Ketchum, 60.5 miles

1. Petra Rossner (G), Saturn, at 2:25:05 (41.23 kph),

2. Priska Doppmann (Swi), Goldy’s

3. Monica Valen (N), Sponsor Services

4. Anita Valen (N), Sponsor Services

5. Modesta Vzisnauskaite (Lit), Lithuanian National

6. Emma Davies (GB), British National

7. Diana Ziliute (Lit), Lithuanian National

8. Rachel Heal (GB), British National

9. Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National

10. Alison Littlefield,

11. Lyne Bessette (Can), Canadian National

12. Genevieve Jeanson (Can), Rona

13. Sarah Ulmer (NZ), New Zealand

14. Mari Holden, T Mobile

15. Anna Millward (Aus), Saturn

16. Amber Neben, T Mobile

17. Kimberly Bruckner, Saturn

18. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National

19. Valentina Polkhanova (Rus), Itera

20. Barbara Lancioni (I), Itera

21. Kristin Armstrong, Goldy’s

22. Sue Palmer-Komar (Can), Canadian National

23. Judith Arndt (G), Saturn

24. Caroline Alexander (GB), British National

25. Leah Goldstein (Can), Boise

26. Pia Sundstedt (Fin), Sponsor Services

27. Wenche Stensvold (N), Sponsor Services

28. Manon Jutras (Can), Rona

29. Solrun Flataas (N), Sponsor Services, all s.t.

30. Gail Longenecker, Rona, at 2:28

31. Andrea Hannos (Can), Rona

32. Susie Wood (NZ), New Zealand

33. Sarah Konrad (Wyoming), Mercy Fitness Center

34. Melissa Holt (NZ), Rona

35. Cybil Diguistini (Can), Canadian National

36. Sandy Espeseth (Can), Canadian National, all s.t.

37. Johanna Buick (NZ), New Zealand, at 4:52

38. Katrina Berger, T Mobile

39. Kim Anderson, T Mobile

40. Mary McLaurin, Mercy Fitness Center

41. Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus), Itera

42. Nicole Demars (Can), Boise

43. Jenny Eyerman, Boise

44. Lara Ruthven, T Mobile

45. Anne Samplonius (Can), Canadian National, all s.t.

46. Gina Grain (Can), Boise, at 6:47

47. Erika Viliunaite (Lit), Lithuanian National, s.t.

48. Naomi Gollogly, LSV-Trek-VW, at 6:50

49. Robyn Wong (NZ), New Zealand

50. Liza Rachetto, Intermountain Orthopedic

51. Toni Bradshaw (NZ), New Zealand

52. Maatje Benassi (Nl),

53. Megan Elliott, Mercy Fitness Center

54. Maria Molino de Ortiz (Gua), Mercy Fitness Center

55. Brooke Babbitt, Goldy’s

56. Zita Urbonaite (Lit), Lithuanian National

57. Sima Trapp, Goldy’s

58. Rydeen Stevens,

59. Joan Wilson, Boise

60. Jenny Tobin, Richard’s-NIFC

61. Vera Carrara (I), Itera

62. Jorunn Kvaloe (N), Sponsor Services

63. Melissa Sanborn, Intermountain Orthopedic

64. Amy Jarvis (Can), Rona

65. Stacey Peters, Boise

66. Melanie Sears (GB), British National

67. Lorien Lightfield, Richard’s-NIFC

68. Sara Symington (GB), British National

69. Meredith Miller, Intermountain Orthopedic

70. Roz Reekie-May (NZ), Mercy Fitness Center

71. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (G), Saturn

72. Catherine Marsal (F), Saturn, all s.t.

73. Dotsie Cowden, T Mobile, at 9:44

74. Emily Westbrook, Richard’s-NIFC, at 11:59

75. Mary Ann Fleckenstein, Goldy’s

76. Susan Hefler, LSV-Trek-VW, all s.t.

77. Silvia Valsecchi (I), Itera, at 13:14

78. Heather Albert, Goldy’s, at 13:50

79. Mary Kneeland, LSV-Trek-VW

80. Patty Davis, LSV-Trek-VW, all s.t.

81. Gabriela Castaneda (Gua), Mercy Fitness Center, at 16:38

82. Kasey Rose, Richard’s-NIFC

83. Janelle Smith, Richard’s-NIFC

84. Nicky Solomon (NZ), New Zealand

85. Karen Dodge,, all s.t.

86. Crystal Yap, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 34:22

87. Christy Kopasz, Richard’s-NIFC, at 34:37

88. Lisa Magness, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 41:19

DNF Kym Shirley (Aus), Itera



1. Anna Millward (Aus), Saturn, at 8:43:29

2. Kimberly Bruckner, Saturn, at 0:11

3. Judith Arndt (G), Saturn, at 0:58

4. Genevieve Jeanson (Can), Rona, at 1:10

5. Lyne Bessette (Can), Canadian National, at 2:00

6. Amber Neben, T Mobile, at 2:04

7. Valentina Polkhanova (Rus), Itera, at 2:13

8. Petra Rossner (G), Saturn, at 2:59

9. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 3:13

10. Kristin Armstrong, Goldy’s, at 3:28

11. Leah Goldstein (Can), Boise, at 3:29

12. Diana Ziliute (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 4:02

13. Mari Holden, T Mobile, at 4:13

14. Sue Palmer-Komar (Can), Canadian National, at 4:48

15. Alison Littlefield,, at 5:53

16. Rachel Heal (GB), British National, at 5:53

17. Sarah Ulmer (NZ), New Zealand, at 5:56

18. Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 6:40

19. Anita Valen (N), Sponsor Services, at 6:54

20. Pia Sundstedt (Fin), Sponsor Services, at 7:24

21. Barbara Lancioni (I), Itera, at 8:05

22. Cybil Diguistini (Can), Canadian National, at 8:09

23. Caroline Alexander (GB), British National, at 8:18

24. Sarah Konrad, Mercy Fitness Center, at 8:34

25. Priska Doppmann (Swi), Goldy’s, at 8:54

26. Solrun Flataas (N), Sponsor Services, at 9:01

27. Manon Jutras (Can), Rona, at 9:42

28. Sandy Espeseth (Can), Canadian National, at 10:47

29. Kim Anderson, T Mobile, at 11:42

30. Andrea Hannos (Can), Rona, at 11:57

31. Wenche Stensvold (N), Sponsor Services, at 11:58

32. Monica Valen (N), Sponsor Services, at 12:37

33. Modesta Vzisnauskaite (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 13:09

34. Nicole Demars (Can), Boise, at 13:12

35. Lara Ruthven, T Mobile, at 13:19

36. Gail Longenecker, Rona, at 13:26

37. Katrina Berger, T Mobile, at 13:35

38. Svetlana Samokhvalova (Rus), Itera, at 13:47

39. Catherine Marsal (F), Saturn, at 14:04

40. Roz Reekie-May (NZ), Mercy Fitness Center, at 14:21

41. Mary McLaurin, Mercy Fitness Center, at 16:37

42. Rydeen Stevens,, at 16:46

43. Amy Jarvis (Can), Rona, at 16:55

44. Joan Wilson, Boise, at 17:10

45. Sara Symington (GB), British National, at 17:52

46. Dotsie Cowden, T Mobile, at 20:08

47. Zita Urbonaite (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 20:38

48. Heather Albert, Goldy’s, at 20:41

49. Susie Wood (NZ), New Zealand, at 21:06

50. Jenny Tobin, Richard’s-NIFC, at 21:34

51. Johanna Buick (NZ), New Zealand, at 22:10

52. Emma Davies (GB), British National, at 22:57

53. Anne Samplonius (Can), Canadian National, at 24:05

54. Vera Carrara (I), Itera, at 24:29

55. Erika Viliunaite (Lit), Lithuanian National, at 25:02

56. Melissa Holt (NZ), Rona, at 25:48

57. Stacey Peters, Boise, at 26:00

58. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (G), Saturn, at 26:35

59. Jorunn Kvaloe (N), Sponsor Services, at 27:16

60. Liza Rachetto, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 27:45

61. Jenny Eyerman, Boise, at 28:05

62. Brooke Babbitt, Goldy’s, at 28:14

63. Melanie Sears (GB), British National, at 28:29

64. Maria Molino de Ortiz (Gua), Mercy Fitness Center 30:33

65. Gina Grain (Can), Boise, at 31:39

66. Robyn Wong (NZ), New Zealand, at 33:32

67. Lorien Lightfield, Richard’s-NIFC, at 36:38

68. Mary Ann Fleckenstein, Goldy’s, at 37:57

69. Sima Trapp, Goldy’s, at 38:11

70. Silvia Valsecchi (I), Itera, at 39:14

71. Meredith Miller, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 40:14

72. Melissa Sanborn, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 41:31

73. Naomi Gollogly, LSV-Trek-VW, at 42:08

74. Karen Dodge,, at 43:01

75. Emily Westbrook, Richard’s-NIFC, at 43:40

76. Toni Bradshaw (NZ), New Zealand, at 44:41

77. Nicky Solomon (NZ), New Zealand, at 45:34

78. Megan Elliott, Mercy Fitness Center, at 47:31

79. Susan Hefler, LSV-Trek-VW, at 50:11

80. Patty Davis, LSV-Trek-VW, at 51:37

81. Christy Kopasz, Richard’s-NIFC, at 59:20

82. Janelle Smith, Richard’s-NIFC, at 1:02:47

83. Mary Kneeland, LSV-Trek-VW, at 1:04:58

84. Maatje Benassi (Nl),, at 1:05:06

85. Kasey Rose, Richard’s-NIFC, at 1:12:21

86. Gabriela Castaneda (Gua), Mercy Fitness Center, at 1:23:12

87. Crystal Yap, Intermountain Orthopedic, at 1:50:07