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By Gennie Sheer
Canberra’s Oenone Wood, 23, (Australian Institute of Sport) has proved unstoppable yet again sprinting to her 12th and most impressive victory of the year so far when she outclassed an international field on Sunday to claim honors in the opening round of the UCI women’s road cycling World Cup Series in Geelong, Australia.“I’m ecstatic to win this round of the World Cup,” said Wood after her win. “I have pay tribute to my team because they’ve looked after me all season and I couldn’t have done it without them and there’s such a positive atmosphere in the Australian team at the moment.Wood was recently named in the Shadow Team for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and admits Olympic selection is a key goal for her.“It’s a high pressure year no matter which way you look at it.”Wood completed the 119.2km (8 laps of 14.9km) course in a time of 3:10:49 and led out the sprint from around 150m to go. 2002 Series Champion and 24 times German champion Petra Rossner, 37, (Team Nurnberger) couldn’t come round her and sprinted across in second place with Japan’s Miho Oki, 29, third.“I had no hope against Oenone,” said Rossner. “I’m a very fast sprinter but I was so worn out I had to sprint in my seat (at the finish).”Many riders tried to break away from the peloton during the race but none succeeded as the main contenders attacked and counter attacked to keep their rivals in sight. The course headed out along the picturesque Geelong Waterfront and west into suburban north Geelong with a sweeping descent coming before the only climb on the course. The riders then raced back along the waterfront to the start/finish line.“It was a challenging course but the little hill wasn’t enough to break up the bunch but it was still challenging,” said Wood. “The quality of the field was fabulous and there were lots of women here looking for opportunities so they were all trying hard.”The diminutive Wood, who at five foot four and 118 pounds, is dwarfed by most of her rivals in stature but not in talent, has achieved a near clean sweep of every event she has entered this year including victories in January in the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, double gold at the BMC Software Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat and overall honors in The Advertiser Women’s Criterium Series in Adelaide.Last week she won the Geelong Tour, the official lead up race for the World Cup, and went into the race as a clear favorite.Wood came into the sport after leaving the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2001, where she was studying for an electrical engineering degree as a RAAF officer, to pursue a cycling career.Wood was presented with the coveted World Cup Series Leader’s jersey after the race and will have the honor of wearing it into the Prima Vera Rosa race in Italy on March 20th, second of the nine rounds.“I get this brilliant jersey to wear,” said Wood. “It’s fantastic!”GEELONG WORLD CUP Result1. Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS, 119.2km in 3:10:49
2. Petra Rossner (G), Nürnberger Insurance
3. Miho Oki (Jpn)
4. Alison Wright (Aus) Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotto, s.t.
5. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Team S.A.T.S. at 0:01
6. Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Michela Fanini Record Box
7. Rachel Heal (GB) Farm Frites
8. Priska Doppmann (Swi)
9. Sara Carrigan (Aus) Qas
10. Tanja Hennes (G) Next 125, at 0:02
11. Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl)
12. Sara Symington (GBr) Team S.A.T.S.
13. Nicole Freedman (Isr) Basis-Aude
14. Cathy Marsal (F), Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti
15. Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA)
16. Katie Mactier (Aus), all s.t.
17. Olivia Gollan (Aus), at 0:03
18. Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukr)
19. Frances Newstead (GBr)
20. Deirdre Barry (USA) T-Mobile
21. Bettina Kuhn (Swi)
22. Mirjam Melchers (Nl) Farm Frites-Hartol
23. Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger Insurance, all s.t.
24. Akemi Morimoto (Jpn), at 0:05
25. Lorian Graham (Aus)
26. Amber Neben (USA) T-Mobile
27. Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn)
28. Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr)
29. Alexis Rhodes (Aus)
30. Bridget Evans (Aus)
31. Emma James (Aus) Team S.A.T.S., all s.t.
32. Christine Riakos (Aus), at 0:06
33. Jessica Ridder (Aus)
34. Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr), all s.t.
35. Stacey Peters (USA) T-Mobile, at 0:07
36. Susie Wood (NZl)
37. Katie Brown (Aus)
38. Katherine Bates (Aus) Ton Van Bemmelen Sports, s.t.
39. Michelle Hyland (NZl), at 0:08
40. Manon Jutras (Can) Team S.A.T.S.
41. Sarah Ulmer (NZl), s.t.
42. Kimberly Bruckner (USA) T-Mobile, 0:09
43. Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukr)
44. Kristin Armstrong (USA) T-Mobile
45. Lynn Gaggioli (USA) T-Mobile, all s.t.
46. Sarah Grab (Swi), at 0:10
47. Julie Pekarkova (Cze)
48. Meredith Miller (USA) Team S.A.T.S.
49. Miyoko Karami (Jpn)
50. Kym Shirley (Aus) Nobili Rubinetterie-Guerciotti, all s.t.
51. Amy Safe (Aus), at 0:11
52. Kathryn Watt (Aus)
53. Jessica Phillips (USA) Nürnberger Insurance, at 0:16
54. Trixi Worrack (G) Nürnberger Insurance, at 0:19
55. Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger Insurance, at 0:41
56. Judith Arndt (G) Nürnberger Insurance, s.t.
57. Naomi Williams (Aus), at 1:12
58. Charlotte Goldsmith (GBr)
59. Caroline James (GBr)
60. Emma Rickards (Aus) Victory Brewing
61. Natalie Bates (Aus), all s.t.
62. Michelle Kiesanowski (NZl), at 1:49
63. Kirsty Bortolin (Aus)
64. Hiroko Shimada (Jpn), at 1:50
65. Johanna Buick (NZl) Victory Brewing, 1:51
66. Toni Bradshaw (NZl), at 2:24
67. Emma Davies (GBr), at 2:29
68. Kate Nichols (Aus), at 3:28
69. Kateryna Krasova (Ukr)
70. Helen Kelly (Aus) Cycliste Rona, at 3:49
71. Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl), at 3:50
72. Kirsty Robb (NZl), s.t.
73. Melissa Holt (NZl) at 4:05
74. Jenny Macpherson (Aus), at 4:06
75. Louise Yaxley (Aus), at 6:11Time CutJennifer Finlay (Aus)
Anna Perrin (Aus)
Liz Young (Aus)
Karina Sorensen (Den) Team S.A.T.S.
Nina Davies (GBr)
Iryna Simonova (Ukr)
Laura Bortolozzi (Aus)
Natasha Harrigan (Aus)
Zoe Southwell (Aus)
Leonie Aisbett (Aus)
Jessie Maclean (Aus)
Caitlin Fraser (Aus)
Nadene Boyle (NZl)
Linda Cappello (Aus)
Kerryn Charman (Aus)
Cristine Foster (Aus)
Karen Hopkinson (Aus)
Narrelle Peterson (Aus)
Louisa Judd (Aus)
Belinda Goss (Aus)
Emi Onoyama (Jpn)
Desiree Schuler (G)
Alexandra Born (Swi)