By VeloNews Interactive
Saturn’s Petra Rossner left no doubt about who was the world’s strongest woman during the 2002 World Cup finale September 15, scoring a come-from-behind victory at the Rotterdam Tour and claiming the series title.
Rossner and Mirjam Melchers (Farm Frites Hartol) were separated by just 13 points going into the ninth and final round, held on a windswept, 141km course.
An early break of 10 riders with four Farm Frites riders and three Saturns was reeled by Team Nurnberger, and Saturn spent the next few kilometers chasing down a flurry of attacks. At 50km, a pileup split the bunch, and Rossner found herself in the second group.
As Farm Frites put the hammer down, Ina Teutenberg, Catherine Marsal and Judith Arndt waited for Rossner, then towed her back up to the leaders with 35km remaining.
Farm Frites’ Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel and Melchers both launched desperate attacks in the final kilometers, but Rossner and her teammates fought them off, and as the final sprint unfolded, Rossner crossed first, ahead of Regina Schleicher (Michella Fanini) and Debbie Mansveld (Vlaanderen).
Rotterdam Tour;Rotterdam, The Netherlands;September15;1. Petra Rossner, Saturn, 141km in 3:24:42; 2. Regina Schleicher, Michella Fanini; 3. Debbie Mansveld, Vlaanderen; 4. Yvonne Brunen; 5. Virginie Moinard; 6. Katia Longhin; 7. Tania Belvederesi; 8. Ghita Beltman; 9. Christina Mos; 10. Rochelle Gilmore, all same time.