Road

Bessette leaves no doubt in HP TT

Saturn's Lyne Bessette further tightened her grip on the overall lead at the HP Women's Challenge in Idaho as she finished on top in Friday's 13.3-mile Emmett to Firebird time trial, gaining nearly a full minute on (G),'s Judith Arndt, the woman in second place overall. Bessette covered the course in 23:13, beating Office Depot's Jeannie Longo by 24 seconds and AutoTrader.com's Katrina Berger by 35. Arndt, who started in second-to-last position, two minutes ahead of Bessette finished fourth, covering the course in 24:07. After a short climb out of Emmett on "Freeze Out Hill," riders faced

Rossner congratulates Bessette for another stellar performance

Rossner congratulates Bessette for another stellar performance

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Saturn’s Lyne Bessette further tightened her grip on the overall lead at the HP Women’s Challenge in Idaho as she finished on top in Friday’s 13.3-mile Emmett to Firebird time trial, gaining nearly a full minute on (G),’s Judith Arndt, the woman in second place overall.

Bessette covered the course in 23:13, beating Office Depot’s Jeannie Longo by 24 seconds and AutoTrader.com’s Katrina Berger by 35. Arndt, who started in second-to-last position, two minutes ahead of Bessette finished fourth, covering the course in 24:07.

After a short climb out of Emmett on “Freeze Out Hill,” riders faced a relatively flat course that finished with a 2km effort on the Firebird Speedway, a Boise area drag strip that hosted an alcohol-fueled quarter-mile event just an hour after the time trial finished.

Berger set an early standard, covering the course in 23:48. It wasn’t until Longo came blazing into the speedway that Berger’s mark was threatened. The 42-year-old Longo crossed the line in 23:37, besting Berger’s mark by 11 seconds. But that lead held only until Bessette finished a few minutes later.

Longo, Bessette and Berger

Longo, Bessette and Berger

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

The 26-year-old Canadian has put her mark on this race winning both time trial stages and Wednesday’s Twin Falls to Buhl stage. However, after yesterday’s 100-mile ride in 100-degree heat, Bessette said she had her doubts about doing well in the time trial.

“I was just so tired last night,” she said. “Fortunately, I had a really good night’s sleep and felt pretty good this morning.”

Good enough to ask her mechanic to change the inner chainring on her time trial bike from a 39-tooth to a 42. I knew I couldn’t do that hill (Freeze-out) in my big ring, but there was a bit of tailwind going up that hill and I figured I could push a bigger gear than what I had on the small chainring.”

Bessette said that as she rode, she felt better and just concentrated on maintaining a good pace, though she opted not to get regular time checks via radio.

“No I wanted to concentrate,” she said. “It would really just interfere with that.”

Longo described her ride as “good, but not wonderful.” She said she has been recently by sciatica-like symptoms, causing her ride leg to feel “almost dead.” The problem stems from a cracked femur she suffered in an accident several years ago.

“Every once in a while it bothers me, but,” she shrugged, “what can I do?”

Though perhaps disappointed by her own performance, Longo, nonetheless finished second and moved up another spot in the overall standings, jumping ahead of Acca Due O-HP’s Vera Hohlfeld.

Meanwhile, Bessette further widened her lead over second placed Judith Arndt, who slipped back to 4:14 behind the race leader.

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Results

1. Lyne Bessette (Can), Saturn, 23:13.323; 2. Jeannie Longo (F), Office Depot, 23:37.008; 3. Katrina Berger (USA), AutoTrader.com, 23:48.231; 4. Trixi Worrack (G), German National, 24:01.861; 5. Judith Arndt (G), German National, 24:07.299; 6. Amber Neben (USA), Earthlink, 24:07.994; 7. Petra Rossner (G), Saturn, 24:15.036; 8. Anna Millward (Aus), Saturn, 24:18.225; 9. Leah Goldstein (Can), 800.com, 24:23.946; 10. Ceris Gilfillan (GB), British National, 24:32.328.

Overall after 11 stages
1. Bessette, 24:19:14; 2. Arndt, at 4:14; 3. Rasa Polikeviciute (Lit), Acca Due O Hewlett – Packard, at 9:12; 4. Rossner, at 11:15; 5. Longo, at 12:04; 6. Vera Hohlfeld (G), Acca Due O Hewlett – Packard, at 13:03; 7. Millward, at 14:16; 8. Chantal Beltman (Nl), Dutch National, at 14:21; 9. Sarah Ulmer (NZ), AutoTrader.com, at 16:14; 10. Ceris Gilfillan (GB), British National, at 17:36.