*** P R E S S
R E L E A S E ***
For immediate Release
Redlands Bicycle Classic
Spring Pacific Properties Sunset Road Race, Stage 5 (Final)
March 17, 2002
HORNER AND ARNDT UNBEATABLE
Redlands (CA): Prime Alliance's Chris Horner and Saturn's Judith
Arndt both staved off fierce challenges and held on to their yellow
jerseys in the final day at Redlands. The Sunset Road Race featured
multiple laps on a steep, technical course that is perfect for
breakaways to succeed. Thankfully, the rain that had been in the
forecast all week didn't hit until the men's awards ceremony, giving
the riders perfect conditions to sort out just who was strongest.
In the men's race, Horner and his Prime Alliance team absorbed a
5-man break that contained his chief rival in the Sunset Road Race,
Roland Green (Canadian Cycling) with 2 laps to go. "There were some
good guys in there," said Horner, "but my team was great and I wasn't
really worried unless they got over a minute and a half. The break
did reach 45 seconds, making Green the virtual leader on the course.
But with 2 laps to go, Prime Alliance "sold out" and the break was
gone in less than a lap.
"I held 3 minutes on him, so I didn't care," shrugged Horner. Then
Green went again, but just like Oak Glen, he couldn't shake Horner.
The group came together on the final descent, where the first group
of 30-some odd would contest a 5-lap sprint to settle the stage. As
they flew into downtown Redlands, Horner pumped his fist to the crowd
to signify his victory. He then broke away with Jansen, leading the
first 4 laps. Jansen edged him out on the final straight for the
stage win, while 7up/Nutra Fig's Charles Dionne won the field sprint
for his second straight trip to the podium. Last year's overall
winner Trent Klasna won the climbers jersey, and Mercury's Mike
Sayers overcame a late-race puncture to finish with the leaders and
hold on to his sprinter's jersey. Saturn won the men's team
As expected in the women's race, Team Rona's Geneviève Jeanson
(Rona's Cycling Team) launched a bold solo attack right from the gun.
After losing 2 minutes in just a few laps of the 10.5-kilometer loop,
Arndt and her Saturn teammate Lyne Bessette methodically chipped away
at the advantage, catching Jeanson on the final climb, where Arndt
pulled away. Jeanson gained over a minute on the first lap alone,
which she completed in 16 and a half minutes, faster than some of the
men's laps. It may have cost her because she couldn't hold the pace,
while Bessette played the role of monster domestique, pulling Arndt
ever steadily back.
"I had a great teammate today," beamed Arndt, "she was like a motor
bike." The pair caught the fading Jeanson on the final climb.
"Geneviève was super today," said Arndt. "I was scared at first, but
I didn't think she could keep it up for 100 kilometers alone." As the
Saturn duo caught her, Arndt rode off while Jeanson and Bessette
slowed to a conversational pace. "Maybe I talked a little more than I
would normally have," stated Jeanson with a sly grin. Whether
intentional or not, it may have had some effect, as Hannos just hung
on to her 3rd place podium spot.
Jeanson won the women's climber's jersey, Team Diet Rite's Joanne
Kiesanowski the sprinter's, and Rona the team competition.
- By Steve Edwards in Redlands, CA