By VeloNews Interactive wire services, copyright AFP2001
Alfa Lum’s Joane Somarriba rode into Paris Sunday, victorious in her second successive Grande Boucle feminine cycliste after finishing the 14th and final stage with the main field.
Russian cycliste Olga Slioussareva won the 117.8 km stage from Pierrelaye (Val-d’Oise) to Paris, reaffirming her hold on the overall sprint-points jersey.Somarriba was greeted by a large number of Basque fans lining the final circuit on the on the prestigious avenue Foch, west of Paris.
The Basque cyclist, who has lost the leader’s jersey only between the 7th and 9th stages of the Grand Boucle, bested her closest rival by more than three minutes in the overall. Luperini has herself won the event three times between 1995 and 1997.
On Sunday, the flat nature of the course almost ensured that there would be a sprint finish and attacks did not start until more than an hour into the race. All of them were caught and the field entered Paris for nine laps on the finishing circuit as a group.Luperini’s teammate Svetlana Bubnenkova joined Elena Tchalykh charged off with five laps remaining and were quickly pursued by three members of Slioussareva’s Carpe Diem squad.
The breakaway group was eventually caught with less than a lap remaining. With more than 500 meters remaining, Slioussareva took a gamble and charged, holding on for the stage win.
1. Olga Slioussareva (Rus), Carpe Diem, 117.8 km in 2:49:22, (38.048 kph); 2. Regina Schleicher (G); 3. Susanne Ljungskog (Swi); 4. Judith Ardnt (G); 5. Sara Felloni (Ita); 6. Yvonne Brunen (Nl); 7. Chantal Beltman (Nl); 8. Zita Urbonaite (Lit); 9. Rosa Maria Bravo Soba (Sp); 10. Alexandra Le Henaff (Fra); 11. Sylvie Riedle (Fra).
1. Joane Somarriba (Sp), Alfa Lum, 42:11:22; 2. Fabiana Luperini (Ita), at 3:27; 3. Judith Ardnt (G), 5:34; 4. Alessandra Capellotto (Ita), 7:23; 5. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), 8:00; 6. Susanne Ljungkog (Swi), 9:45; 7. Svetlana Boubnenkova 12:10; 8. Mariana Lorenzoni (Ita), 12.27; 9. Jeannie Longo (Fra), 19:27; 10. Roberta Bonanomi (Ita), 21:59; 11. Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Sp), 22:21; 12. Olga Slioussareva (Rus), 23:49; 13. Bettina Schoeke (G), 27:45; 14. Mari Holden (USA), 29:09; 15. Priska Doppman (Sui), 30:06.