|Picture courtesy of Gerald Lee|
San Dimas, California, March 8, 2003 – Canadian Geneviève Jeanson, of Team RONA Esker, kept her yellow jersey after the third stage of the Pomona Valley Stage Race, held near Los Angeles. Fellow Canadian Lyne Bessette of Team Saturn beat Jeanson in the sprint and won a stage that had no impact on general classification’s top 5.
In perfect weather, 72 F and no wind, today’s stage was held on a rolling 12.6-km course, and covered a total distance of 116 km. The women's race was animated with an early break. After two laps of racing a group of three, lead by T-Mobile's Alison Dunlap, cleared the field. With Dunlap were Saturn's Megan Elliott, and Jennifer Stevens of California Elite Women’s team, Women First/Red 5 Racing.
Elliott was clearly having a superb day and aided Dunlap in keeping the break clear. The three riders dangled for five laps, increasing the gap to 40 seconds in it’s largest advantage. Rona kept the distance in check so that Dunlap would not threaten Jeanson's jersey. Elliott did her part for her Saturn Teammate, taking the mid-way time bonus sprint, ensuring Dunlap would not overtake Lyne Bessette in the overall.
From left to right: Megan Elliot (Saturn), Jennifer Stevens
(Women First/Red 5 Racing), and Alison Dunlap (T-Mobile).
Picture courtesy of Gerald Lee
Reeling in the three-rider breakaway proved to be more difficult than anticipated when the field had to slow down and let the the Cat. 5 men, who were on the course at the same time, go by, thus wiping out a lot of chasing. The breakaway was finally absorbed in the last lap.
In the final lap the three riders finally succumbed to the surging field and there was a quick reshuffling with a new break of six forming. In the break were Jeanson, Bessette and Amber Neben. Bessette's teammate Manon Jutras was also in the break, driving it hard in the final kilometers and setting up Bessette perfectly for the final sprint. From the last 150 meters Bessette took over, clearly out-powering her closest competition in Jeanson.
"A tough day at the office today," said Jeanson after the race. "In a stage like today, racing in a threesome against full six-member teams makes a huge difference. In a chase your watch comes back really fast, and today, we chased a lot because our progress was neutralized by the men’s race passing us. But that’s life. I still have a comfortable lead, only one stage to go, things are going well."
Stage 4 San Dimas Downtown Criterium
This course takes riders through a residential area, past Civic Center Park with a finish on palm tree lined Bonita Ave. in downtown San Dimas, in the quaint Frontier Village. The race is contested on wide streets and is a relatively long 1.2 mile 4 corner loop with a short 40 ft elevation climb per lap. Known to riders as a safe, fun course, it favors strong contenders and cohesive teamwork. With this course, the final stage is definitely not a mere formality, and the race leader will have to come into this stage ready to fight. Last year’s winners were Hilton Clarke of Schroeder Iron and Erika Schwarz of California’s Elite Women’s Red 5 Racing team.
Picture courtesy of Gerald Lee
Stage 3 Results
Puddingstone Road Race
1 Bessette, Lyne Saturn 3:14:45
2 Jeanson, Genevieve Rona/Esker s.t.
3 Neben, Amber Team T-Mobile USA s.t.
4 Palmer-Komar, Susan Genesis Scuba/FFCC s.t.
5 Maher, Kate Team Basis s.t.
6 Jutras, Manon Saturn s.t.
7 Cowden, Dotsie Team T-Mobile USA +21”
8 Kroepsch, Lara Team T-Mobile USA s.t.
9 Campbell, Rook Hi Tech Bikes/Harbour Lites s.t.
10 Bockell, Karen Rona/Esker s.t.
11 Despas, Jane Team Bioc s.t.
12 Curi, Katheryn LGBRC s.t.
13 Wynter, Iona Genesis Scuba/FFCC s.t.
14 Benassi, Maatje Intermountain Cycling Organization s.t.
15 Kelly, Helen TDS Womens Cycling Team s.t.
16 Grove, Katrina Team T-Mobile USA s.t.
17 Wilson, Joan TDS Womens Cycling Team s.t.
18 Henderson-Anderson, April Helens/Trek/VW s.t.
19 Rogers, Dara Helens/Trek/VW s.t.
20 Hukee, Carla Team Zombies s.t.
23 Weislo, Laura Squadra Coppi s.t.
General Classification after Stage 3
1 Jeanson, Genevieve (Canada) Rona/Esker 5:15:19
2 Neben, Amber (Irvine, CA) Team T-Mobile USA +2:16
3 Palmer-Komar, Susan (Hamilton, Canada) Genesis Scuba/FFCC +2:46
4 Jutras, Manon (Victoria, BC, Canada) Saturn +2:58
5 Bessette, Lyne (Knowlton, QC, Canada) Saturn +3:27
6 Gaggioli, Lynn (Santa Rosa, CA) +3:41
7 Maher, Kate (Berkeley, CA) +8:31
8 Todd, Jennifer (Thousand Oaks, CA) +8:56
9 Eyerman, Jenny (Encinitas, CA) Women First/Red 5 +10:48
10 Stevens, Jennifer (Long Beach, CA) Women First/Red 5 +11:18
11 Hunt, Lisa (Fairfax, CA) The Olympic Club +12:24
12 Heidgen, Shawn (Elburn, CA) TDS Womens Cycling Team +12:40
13 Utzig, Desira (Los Angeles, CA) Minute Maid/Dasani/LaGrange +12:56
14 Scott, Jennifer (Ellicot City, MD) Bike Doctor/Cannondale +13:30
15 Cooke, Rebecca (Tucson, AZ) Landis/Trek/VW +16:09
16 Cooper, Susan (San Marcos, CA) Team Zombies +17:46
17 Sherwin, Katherine (Pacific Palisades, CA) Team Zombies +21:50
18 Bell, Patricia (Santa Maria, CA) Team Tailwinds +21:57
19 Downey, Laura (Long Beach) Minute Maid/Dasani/LaGrange +23:16
20 Harris, Holly (Menlo Park, CA) Palo Alto Bicycles +27:47
43 Weislo, Laura (Raleigh, NC) Squadra Coppi
The official Pomona Valley Stage Race website for results and stage information.
Giana Roberge, of Saturn Cycling and Daniel Larouche of Rona/Esker for the fabulous race reports.