By VeloNews Interactive
Saturn’s Anna Millward quickly established herself as the woman to beat in the 2001 Tour de Snowy as the 1999 World Cup winner took both stages contested on the opening day of the Australian stage race that marks the start of the women’s road season.
Millward scored an impressive early win in the opening 30km criterium around the town center of Cooma. Fighting off riders from an impressive field of European, Australian and American riders – including the reigning world champions Zinaida Stahurskaia and Mari Holden — Millward teamed up with fellow Aussie Kristy Scrymgeour, one of the newest additions to the Saturn roster. Scrymgeour rode an aggressive race, either initiating or chasing almost every break in the stage.
In the final laps, the Acca Due O team attempted to take over, aiming to set things up for their sprinters Mirjam Melchers and Giovanna Troldi. But the Scrymgeour-led Saturns had their own sprinter to set up and, sure enough, Millward was in prime position on the final lap. Sara Carrigan of the Australian Institute of Sport team moved to the front to set up teammate Alison Wright. Millward was right on her and charged out of the final turn, easily beating Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS-Trek) and Wright to the line.
After a short break, the women got ready for another stage, a 61.1 km race from Cooma to Jindabyne. Millward, who has earned a reputation as a good field sprinter, took advantage of the fact that the race ended on a downhill slope into Jindabyne. Millward easily beat Sara Carrigan (AIS) and Alfa Lum’s Mari Holden to the finish, ahead of a hard chasing field. With the 20 second time bonus, Millward increased her lead in the general classification.
Tour de Snowy, Stage 1, Cooma Criterium.
1. Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn, 30km in 43:29 (41.39 kph)
2. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) NSWIS-Trek
3. Alison Wright (Aus) AIS
4. Giovanna Troldi (Ita) Acca Due O-H.P.
5. Naomi Williams (Aus) Jayco VIS
6. Mari Holden (USA) Alfa Lum R.S.M.
7. Bridget Evans (Aus) Bicisport
8. Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Acca Due O-H.P.
9. Sarah Ulmer (NZl) Autotrader.com
10. Sara Felloni (Ita) Alfa Lum R.S.M., all s.t.
Tour de Snowy, Stage 2, Cooma – Jindabyne
1. Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn, 61.1km in 1:37:50 (37.4kph)
2. Sara Carrigan (Aus) AIS
3. Mari Holden (USA) Alfa Lum R.S.M.
4. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) NSWIS-Trek
5. Alison Wright (Aus) AIS 1, all s.t.
Overall, after 2 stages
1. Millward, 2:20:39
2. Gilmore, at 0:20
3. Carrigan, at 0:25
4. Holden, at 0:28
5. Wright, at 0:30