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Montreal Women's World Cup 6 - Luperini Wins Big!
By Staff
Date: 6/3/2007
Montreal Women's World Cup 6 - Luperini Wins Big!

Montreal Women's World Cup 6 - Luperini Wins Big
Italian Champion Fabiana Luperini (Menikini/Gysko) wins, besting break mate Mara Abbott of Webcor Builders in the final meters. T-Mobile's Judith Arndt seals the final podium place with a solo attack! Updated with Rogan Coles photos.

By Bruce Johnston

Italian racing cyclist "Fab" Fabiana Luperini, winner of the Montreal leg of the Women's Cycling World Cup, crosses the finish line on June 2, 2007 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo c. Rogan Coles

In what was called a breathtaking race, Fabiana Luperini of Italy won the prestigious 10th edition of the Montreal World Cup under sunny skies and streets loaded with record crowds. The Italian National Champion once again proved her salt, adding another win to a remarkable resurgence in her career. Just last week Luperini rode solo to a stunning victory in the hardest stage of the Tour De l'Aude winning it by more than two minutes.

"Fab" Luperini in Azione
 Photo c. Rogan Coles

It's not surprising Luperini had good form coming into Montreal, and climbs like Mount Royal suited the little Tuscan Champion quite well. Luperini had compared Montreal to Fleche Wallone where there is an extremely steep finish on the Mur de Huy, and she has won Fleche Wallonne a record three times. However this year, the race finished at the bottom of the famed Mount Royal climb on Park Avenue.

Luperini came around Mara Abbott in the last 100 meters to take the win to the cheers of jubilant fans. She threw her hands up in a two handed victory salute with fire and panache in one of most stunning displays of claiming a victory I have ever seen in her entire career that spans several decades.

It's also a rare treat for North America fans as she has almost never raced in the US or Canada in her entire career. Mara Abbott was also equally thrilled with her 2nd place, beaming from ear to ear on the podium.

American cyclist Mara Abbott in action during the Women's Cycling World Cup on June 2. Mara Abbott lead most of the latter stages of this race only to be pipped at the finish by Italy's  Luperini. Photo c. Rogan Coles

The early attacks came from Melissa Holt and Jeannie Longo, Legend, Jeannie Longo although turning 49 this year, incredibly was bringing on the pain in the climbs and actually broke away. A group of 20 or so riders converged on Mount Royal during lap 7, which Luperini and Mara Abbott were part of. Attacks and counterattacks came from Katheryn Curi and Luperini, with Luperini et al, gaining a minute lead on lap 8, as Abbott bridged up to the pair on lap 9.

The French rider Edwige Pitel also held her ground with the pair until Mount Royal on lap 10, after the last climb it was just the Italo/American duo Luperini and Abbott in the attack.

The main pack pulls around the last bend.  Photo c. Rogan Coles

Abbott and Luperini worked hard building over a minute lead into the final circuit. Back at the main group, attacks and counterattacks came from Jeannie Longo and Judith Arndt. Meanwhile Abbott did much of the pace making in the final lap, and Luperini came around her in the final 100 meters for the win.

Arndt took one of her trademark flyers on one of the flat sections of the course, and despite a crash in the last hairpin turn, managed to hold on for 3rd place finishing one minute and 11 seconds behind Luperini and Abbott. Netherlands Marianne Vos nipped UK's Nicole Cooke at the line for 4th, Oenone Wood and Jeannie Longo took 5th and 6th.

The 110.7 kilometer race was completed in 3 hours, 7 minutes and 35 seconds with an average speed of 35.4 km/h with a record 140 cyclists lining up for the start. According to manager Walter Ricci Petitoni, Fabiana used the strategy they had planned for the race. Fabiana knew her best shot as an endurance athlete was not to wait for the last 10 or 15 km, but to go earlier at 40km. No surprise as she is the queen of solo performances in her long and successful career racking up dozens of solo victories. Fabiana had said her hopes and training are geared towards the next Olympics, as an Olympic gold is the one prize that has eluded her during her career.

Mara Abbott, is this year's phenomenon much like Brooke Millar. She's one rider to pay attention to. Mara climbed well at Central Valley Classic earlier this year, leading the climbs in the Granite Road Race, and took 2nd overall at Redlands. She's a great new talent. Luperini praised her efforts, adding if today's effort is any indication of the future, Abbot will continue to be a powerful asset to Webcor.

Luperini was thrilled with her World Cup victory and for the Menikini/Gysko team. Like Fleche Wallone, Luperini prefers the finish to come at the end of the climb, but she was delighted with the results, and that raised her spirits in hopes of future Olympic gold. Last year Luperini came back with a vengeance winning the Gran Premio Brissago solo in Switzerland. Then in the Coppa Etrusca, she won when she took a flyer leaving Trixi Worrack behind on the climb.

Fabiana went on to winning the Giro del Friuli in May and the Emakumeen Bira in Spain. Then in June she became Italian National Champion for the 3rd time. She also won the Giro del Lago Maggiore in Switzerland.

A smiling "Fab" during interviews after the finish. Photo by Rogan Coles

This year Fabiana will race the Giro De Feminin in a very special edition which will again host her beloved Mounte Serra for the time trial. It's a climb she used to ride up three times a day, as she lives near the base in Cascine Di Buti. If her form this at this point in the year is any indication, she is on her way to winning her 5th Giro De Feminin, breaking her own record of 4 wins. No other rider has won the Giro more than ten years later either, as Fabiana won her first Giro in 1995. Luperini is a four time winner of the Giro De Feminin, and a three time winner of the Grande Boucle. We wish her the best for 2007 in all her winning ways.

Raleigh/Lifeforce Nicole Cooke’s fifth place finish enabled her to hold on to the leader’s jersey with 278 points. DSB's Marianne Vos in second with 225 points and Oenone Woods of T-Mobile in third with three world cup races remaining.   in Photo by Rogan Coles

Team Report
A Hard Day in the Sun in Montreal
Disappointing results after a strong start for Team yesterday in the Montreal World Cup with the only finishers being Anne Samplonius (44th) and Erinne Willock (72nd).

The first attack of the day however was initiated be Meshy Holt who was joined by Russian Ekaterina Malomura (Russian National). Working hard they put 500metres between themselves and the chasing peloton and managed to hold this lead for a few laps before Meshy was caught leaving Malomura alone on the front for almost another lap. "It was suicide', said Meshy of her attack in the first lap, "and when the bunch caught me in the climb I pretty much know my race was over and just hung on for as long as I could."

Joelle Numainville lost her chain in the first lap and despite a valiant effort failed to catch the peloton resulting in early abandonment. Gina Grain still suffering from the virus she caught in Venezuela also abandoned as the pace increased.

Jessica Phillips attempted a couple of attacks once Meshy and Malomura were caught but was unable to get away and was eventually dropped. "I would like to say we are all tired", she said after the race, "but then so is everyone else who rode the Tour (de l'Aude), we just did our best". Due to the early fast pace and aggressive riding riders were already being dropped from the peloton, resulting in DNF's for almost half the field.

Speaking to Jeff Alexander after the race he comments on Team's race plan, "we knew this would be a race of attrition," he said, "we were not expecting Joelle, Meshy or Gina to have the legs to the finish so we wanted to make an impact early on, it is difficult when we get these sorts of results to know if the race schedule we put together was the right one, but we try to take a long term view toward developing the overall strength of the team".

T-Mobile Team Report
T-Mobile's Judith Arndt soloed to the finish line today in the sixth round of the Women's World Cup Series, taking third place behind two breakaway riders Fabiana Luperini (Menikini) of Italy and Mara Abbott (Webcor) of the US in Montreal, Canada on Saturday.

The T-Mobile Team put their full strength into the chase, finally unleashing Arndt in the last lap for the final chase attempt, whilst T-Mobile's Oenone Wood battled with World Cup leaders Marianne Vos and Nicole Cooke in the sprint behind. Wood placed sixth in the tough 110km race over a selective city circuit.

"I am a little disappointed as we really wanted to win this race. We gave it everything to try and reel in the two breakaways, but it just didn’t work out in the end," said T-Mobile Team sporting director Anna Wilson. "I am very pleased for Judith – she rode the perfect race and attacked at just the right moment."

Tour du Grand Montreal
The T-Mobile Team stay on in Canada this week for the "Tour du Grand Montreal“ (UCI 2.1) from June 4 to 7.
The four-day five-stage race includes three road stages of approx 100 Kilometres, a criterium and short 3.5 Kilometre time trial.

Participants 104
Abandons: 68

Podium: Women's Cycling World Cup, Fabiana Luperini is flanked by Mara Abbott (left) of the USA second, and Judith Arndt of Germany third. Photo by Rogan Coles

More Rogan Coles Photos:
Luperini interviews 1
Luperini interview 2
Fab on the top Podium step

10th Montreal World Cup
110.7 km  - 3:07:35 - 35.4 km/h
1 LUPERINI,Fabiana Menikini - Selle Italia/Gysko 03:07:35
2 ABBOTT, Mara Webcor Builders Women's Team 03:07:37
3 21 GER ARNDT,Judith T-mobile 03:08:32

4 VOS, Marianne Team DSB Bank DSB 03:08:46
5 COOKE, Nicole Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB RLT 03:08:46
6 WOOD, Oenone T-mobile TMP 03:08:46
7 LONGO-CIPRELLI, Jeannie Team UNIQA UNG 03:08:46
8 WORRACK, Trixi Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung NUR 03:08:46
9 NEBEN, Amber Team Flexpoint FLX 03:08:52
10 HÄUSLER, Claudia Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung NUR 03:08:57
11 THORBURN,Christine Webcor Builders Women's  03:08:57
12 PITEL,Edwige Team UNIQA UNG 03:08:57
13 BEUTLER, Annette Vinci-Specialized-Menikini 03:09:18
14 GRAUS, Andrea Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung NUR 03:09:20
15 LIEBIG, Tina Getranke-Hoffmann 03:09:20
16 WRUBLESKI, Alex Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light COL 03:09:32
17 CORNEO, Sigrid Menikini/Selle Italia - Gysko MSG 03:09:38
18 KIESANOWSKI, Joanne Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB RLT 03:09:38
19 ARMSTRONG, Kristin Team Lipton LIP 03:09:38
20 SCHACHL, Monika Team UNIQA UNG 03:09:40

21 BELTMAN, Chantal T-mobile TMP 03:10:30
22 MAYOLO PIC, Tina Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light  03:10:39
23 BOSMAN, Andrea Team DSB Bank DSB 03:10:39
24 ARUSTAMOVA, Yalia Russian Cyclist Federation RUS 03:10:39
25 HOBSON, Leigh Cheerwine CRW 03:10:39
26 CHEATLEY, Catherine Cheerwine CRW 03:10:39
27 GRAHAM,  Lorian Australie équipe nationale AUS 03:10:39
28 EGYED, Nikki Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB 03:10:39
29 HOLD, Betina Cheerwine CRW 03:10:39
30 OURADA, Brooke Cheerwine CRW 03:10:39
31 BRADSHAW, Toni Nouvelle-Zélande équipe nationale NZL 03:10:39
32 GOLLAN ,Olivia Menikini - Selle Italia/Gysko MSG 03:10:39
33 WHITELAW ,Vicki Australie équipe nationale AUS 03:10:39
34 RUITER, Christine Cheerwine CRW 03:10:39
35 SHERIDAN, Serena Nouvelle-Zélande équipe nation NZL 03:10:39
36 BATES, Natalie Getranke-Hoffmann 03:10:39
37 MALOMURA, Ekaterina Russian Cyclist Federation RUS 03:10:39
38 ASPLUND, Marisa Team TIBCO 03:10:39
39 NOVIKOVA, Elena Russian Cyclist Federation RUS 03:10:44
40 AUNE , Karin Menikini - Selle Italia - Gysko MSG 03:11:27
41 MARPLE, Stacy Team TIBCO 03:11:27
42 LOANE, Jocelyn Australie équipe nationale AUS 03:11:29
43 WAIBL, Gina Nouvelle-Zélande équipe nationale NZL 03:11:30
44 SAMPLONIUS, Anne Team ECC 03:11:37
45 HEAL, Rachel Webcor Builders Women's Cycling Team 03:11:43
46  CURI, Katheryn Webcor Builders Women's Cycling Team 03:11:43
47  BAUSCH, Dotsie Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light  03:13:32
48 POWERS, Alison Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light 03:13:39
49 KELLEY SEEHAFER, Kori Team Lipton LIP 03:13:41
50 LASASSO, Kristen Team Lipton LIP 03:13:41

51 BURCHENKOVA, Alexandra Russian Federation RUS 03:15:25
52 RYAN, Carla Australie équipe nationale AUS 03:15:55
53 SPRUGL, Veronika Team UNIQA UNG 03:15:56
54 WILKES, Carissa Nouvelle-Zélande équipe 03:18:18
55 LINDBERG, Marie Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung 03:18:18
56 ABSALYAMOVA, Vanera Russian Federation RUS 03:22:33
57 STEPHENSON, Jennifer Marinoni-Cadence 03:22:33
58 MA, Su fen Giant Pro Cycling GPC 03:22:34
59 VAN VEEN, Suzanne Team Flexpoint FLX 03:22:34
60 DOMINGUEZ, Yudelmis Cuba équipe nationale CUB 03:25:50
61 GAYUN, Elena Russian Cyclist Federation RUS 03:25:54
62 GAGNON, Elisa Advil/Chapstick 03:27:06
63 RUAN, Xiong Ying Giant Pro Cycling GPC 03:27:06
64 LACHANCE, Heather Advil/Chapstick 03:27:06
65 HYLAND, Michelle Nouvelle-Zélande équipe 03:27:06
66 CYR, Johanne Cascades 03:27:06
67 MILKOWSKI, Anna Target Training Womens Team 03:27:06
68 SHIMADA, Hiroko Target Training Womens Team 03:27:06
69 SIN,Amanda Advil/Chapstick 03:27:06
70 BASTIDE, Victoria Team TIBCO 03:27:06
71 LITKA, Kerri Terry Precision 03:27:06
72 WILLOCK, Erinne Team ECC 03:27:06

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