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Jeanson Tops Podium at Redlands
By Becky Leidy
Date: 4/7/2003
Jeanson Tops Podium at Redlands

Redlands, California, April 6, 2003 – It was Maple Leaf day in Southern California as Canadian Geneviève Jeanson of the RONA/Esker cycling team completed the 19th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic on the top level of an all-Canadian podium. This may well be a first in the history of international level cycling.

The Lachine, Québec cyclist finished with an overall lead of more than 12 minutes over her fellow Canadians Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras, both of the Saturn Cycling Team. In terms of the lead over the runner-up, Jeanson beat her own record, set in 2001 when she bested Kim Bruckner by 9’23”.

Winning the prologue and three out of five stages, Jeanson wore the yellow jersey for the duration of this 6-day race. As well, she was crowned Queen of the Mountain. RONA/Esker’s Catherine Marsal achieved a podium spot as well, finishing second in yesterday’s stage. As for the team, thanks to today’s performance, they climbed to the top sport in team classification. For Jeanson and her team, these results as especially rewarding, since they lost two teammates early in the race, when Karen Bockel quit during stage 1 because of the flu, and Kristen LaSasso finished stage 1 with a broken elbow and could not start the next day.

Jeanson finished the Classic by going on a solitary, 95-km breakaway today. She created a gap during the first climb, after a little more than 5 km of racing. Upon arriving at the top of Sunset Road with a 15” lead, she decided to give herself a security margin, which quickly became a comfortable cushion. Considering her large lead of more than six minutes in the GC, a chase by the tired peloton was short-lived. Jeanson’s advantage on the peloton went up to 8 minutes before RONA/Esker’s team manager André Aubut made her slow down.

Coming into the finish, a little more than six minutes after Jeanson, it was Bessette taking the sprint with Neben coming in for second and moving into second in the overall due to the time bonuses she gained from her stage placing. Jutras finished fourth. Jeanson, Bessette and Jutras claimed all top spots on the final podium, and all three were quick to acknowledge that they were all French Canadian - must be something in the water up there.

"I’m very happy! Everything went OK, and it’s a good first test this season," said Jeanson. "This year’s course was more difficult than the past years, but I’m comfortable on this kind of terrain," said the 21-year-old super climber. This is her second Redlands win in three starts. "I'll go to Sea Otter next," said Jeanson. "We have some new riders coming in up there, so we'll be pretty strong." Her ultimate goal for the year is the World Championships, an event that will be held in her native Canada. "Europe?" she asked, repeating a question about her future. "Maybe, later. After the Olympics (at Athens, Greece in 2004), we'll see."

Helen Kelly, of Team TDS, won the green jersey sprint title ahead of Nicole Freedman.

The Sea Otter Classic starts next week and you can bet we shall see many of the same names and faces there. Stay tuned for an exhaustive preview and plenty of action from the women’s peloton.

Stage 5 Results

1 Genevieve JEANSON (RON) 2:39:38
2 Lyne BESSETTE (SAW) +6:39
3 Amber NEBEN (TMO) s.t.
4 Manon JUTRAS (SAW) s.t.
5 Magalie LEFLOCH (RON) +7:33
6 Kimberly BRUCKNER (TMO) s.t.
7 Tina MAYOLO-PIC (DRI) +10:39
8 Erin CARTER (CAN) s.t.
9 Alison SYDOR (CAN) s.t.
10 Dede BARRY (TMO) s.t.
11 Kristin ARMSTRONG (TMO) s.t.
12 Katherin MAHER (IND) s.t.
13 Helen KELLY (TDS) s.t.
14 Susan HAYWOOD (IND) s.t.
15 Elizabeth BEGOSH (CON) s.t.
16 Joan WILSON (TDS) s.t.
17 Amy MOORE (SAW) s.t.
18 Sandy ESPESETH (VBA) s.t.
19 Chrissy REDDEN (CAN) s.t.
20 Cybil DIGUISTINI (DRI) s.t.
64 Laura WEISLO (TBD) +28:02

Overall and Final GC

1 Genevieve JEANSON (RON) 11:13:18
2 Lyne BESSETTE (SAW) +12:52
3 Manon JUTRAS (SAW) +12:56
4 Amber NEBEN (TMO) +14:24
5 Kimberly BRUCKNER (TMO) +17:26
6 Felicia GREER (VEL) +29:22
7 Lynn GAGGIOLI (VEL) +31:14
8 Katherin MAHER (IND) +31:29
9 Leah GOLDSTEIN (VBA) +31:32
10 Alison DUNLAP (LUN) s.t.
11 Nicole DEMARS (VBA) +32:02
12 Cybil DIGUISTINI (DRI) s.t.
13 Kori KELLY (DRI) +32:17
14 Tina MAYOLO-PIC (DRI) +32:43
15 Katheryn CURI (LGB) +33:16
16 Chrissy REDDEN (CAN) +33:34
17 Sandy ESPESETH (VBA) +33:58
18 Amy MOORE (SAW) +35:29
19 Susan HAYWOOD (IND) +35:34
20 Barbara BLATTER (CON) +35:45
52 Laura WEISLO (TBD) 1:08:54

Thanks to the official Redlands website for results!

Report courtesy of Obrey Brown of the Redlands Cycling Classic, Giana Roberge of Saturn Cycling and Daniel Larouche of RONA/Esker

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