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Tour of the Gila Stage 3
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 5/3/2003
Tour of the Gila Stage 3

Tour of the Gila Stage 3: Inner Loop Road

Ladies First

Genevieve Jeanson (RONA/Esker) did almost carbon copy of last year's effort on stage three, this year seemingly riding against her self as she dominated the ladies peloton. A sure sign of her maturity, Madamoiselle Jeanson has learned to pace her self against her competition. In 2002 she finished the Inner Loop course in 3:34 and established a 5:42 lead against her nearest rival, this year Genevieve rode the course in 3:45 but has attained a lead of 9:36 on the G.C. Now to the blow by blow reports courtesy of Giana Roberge of Saturn Cycling and Daniel Larouche of Equipe Cycliste Rona/Esker:

Unstoppable Jeanson scores another victory

Today's third stage of the five day Tour of the Gila got off to a mid-morning start which is equivalent to more wind in the Southwest. As the riders headed out of Fort Bayard into the warm and mellow tones of the red splashed mountains, the wind was already brisk and the sun high in the sky. A right hand turn at mile six brought the riders into the first of what was to be several climbs for the day, however with a tailwind to greet them. The blue and white jerseys of the Rona Team were at the front, as a good climber's team should be, setting pace for the race leader Genevieve Jeanson. With 76 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing ahead of them, this was the most challenging of the races yet in the Tour.

By the feed-zone at mile 21, the riders had tackled two category three climbs as appetizers. Jeanson already had over four minutes on the chase group, and the group behind her was not interested in an organized effort to recollect the Rona rider only to lose her again on the next climb. The young Canadian was left to time trial by herself into strong cross and head winds. It was quipped in the feed-zone that Timex's were no longer needed to keep splits on Jeanson at a race like this; perhaps a calendar would be more suitable.

As Jeanson powered into the wind putting more time into second place Manon Jutras, behind her the group worked together to get to the finish intact. In the second feed-zone it was clear Jeanson would win, the question remained by how much. In the end she finished with over eight minutes on a group of six who had splintered off the front on the feed zone climb from pressure applied by Saturn's Jutras. As Jeanson cleaned up and gave her post race interviews, her teammate Karen Bockel lead the small group home for very close second over Lyne Gaggioli in third and Katrina Grove in fourth. Jutras was fifth. The overall classification standings will remain unchanged, only the time gaps will deepen.

Canadian Geneviève Jeanson of the RONA/Esker cycling team added 5 minutes and a half to her overall lead at the Tour of the Gila today in New Mexico. Jeanson completed a very tough 117.5-km stage in 3 hours, 45 minutes, 35 seconds at an average speed of 31.3 km/h.

Lynn Gaggioli (Velo Bella) and RONA/Esker’s Karen Bockel came in second and third respectively, 5’ 22” behind Jeanson. Manon Jutras (Saturn), Katrina Grove (T Mobile) and Leah Goldstein (Victory Brewing / Amoros), who rank second, third and fourth in general classification, finished with the same time as Gaggioli and Bockel.

After three stages, Jeanson now enjoys a more than nine minute-lead over Manon Jutras, and more than 12 minutes over Katrina Grove. Thanks to her performance today, Karen Bockel climbed from 10th to 6th spot overall.

Today’s stage was highlighted by three major climbs, with a downhill finish – and a strong headwind. At kilometre 12 of the race, at the foothills of the first mountain of the day, RONA/Esker’s Karen Bockel launched the attack of the day and brought her leader in her wake. Jutras leaped to follow the break. But after three kilometres of climbing Jeanson was all by herself and on to a 100-km time trial. About 50 km from the finish, her lead reached 7’ 45’’. Jeanson paced herself. With a downhill finish and a headwind, the group of chasers had the advantage and made up some time.

“Two RONA/Eskers on the stage podium, it’s a good day”, said a happy RONA/Esker’s manager André Aubut after the stage.

“I feel so much better than last year” added Jeanson. “Not that it’s easier, racing is always tough, but riding the bike feels better. Today, the hard part was from half race to the last feed zone, at the 100-km mark. It’s a weird feeling, you’re by yourself, you’re tired, yet you know you still have so long to ride, you really have to focus to go on pushing, the head has to take over.”

Pro Womens Results Results

1 Jeanson, Genevieve Rona Esker Canada 3:45:35
2 Gaggioli, Lynn Velo Bella Santa Rosa, CA @ 05:22
3 Bockel, Karen Rona Esker Germany @  s.t
4 Grove, Katrina T-Mobile Fort Collins, CO @  s.t 
5 Jutras, Manon Saturn Cycling Tea Canada @  s.t
6 Goldstein, Leah Victory Brewing-Am Israel @  s.t
7 Haywood, Susan T - Mobile Davis, WI @ 07:08
8 Begosh, Elizabeth Team Snow Valley Millville, PA @ s.t
9 Holt, Melissa Rona Esker New Zealand @ s.t
10 Redden, Chrissy Canadian Cycling Canada @ s.t.
11 Hannos, Andrea Rona Esker Canada @ s.t
12 Fedyna, Marg Vaniqa/Red S. Raci Edmonton, Canada @ s.t.
13 Quick, Rhonda Vaniqa/Red S. Raci San Diego, CA @ s.t.
14 Wilson, Jennifer Mtn. Velo/Supergo El Paso, TX @ s.t.
15 Reeves, Gretchen Rocky Mountain Boulder, CO @ s.t
16 Ourada, Brooke Team Goldys Boise, ID @ s.t.
17 Moore, Amy Saturn Cycling Tea Canada @ s.t.
18 Koinrad, Sarah Basis Laramie, WY @ s.t.
19 Willock, Erinne Rona Esker Canada @ s.t
20 Johnson, Kristin T-Mobile Durango, CO @ s.t.
21 Grigson, Mary Subaru-Gary Fisher Australia @ s.t.
22 Kopasz, Christy ICO Rico, CO @ s.t.
23 Emmett, Kelli Hillenbrand Racing Colorado Springs, @ s.t
24 Bisaro, Kiara Canadian Cycling Canada @ s.t.
25 Phillips, Jessica Saturn Cycling  Missoula, MT @ s.t.

Mens Stage Three

If anyone thought that the men's race at Gila would be tamer this year due to the absence of most of the top pro teams in the peloton, think again!

In a ferocious race which started at a high tempo with relentless attacks from Mike Sayers (Health Net) attempting to get away and challenge for the  Maillot Chartreuse on the back of Drew Miller (Trek/VW). A few riders got off early but were pulled back by Trek/VW who controlled at the front of the peloton at a fast tempo to discourage a get away on the ascent. After a fast technical descent Mike Sayers attacked a field splintered and drawn out by the descent. The following melee saw a relentless Mike Sayers (Health Net) attacking with Drew Miller and Trek/VW countering every move.

The attacks and high tempo scattered the already strung out peloton in groups chasing a lead group of twenty which included Health Net's Gord Fraser, Michael Sayers, Broadmark Capitol's Ollerenshaw and Craig Wilcox, Team Rio Grande's Jon Stierwalt and Kevin Nicols, Team Snow Valley's Jeremy Horgan Kobelski and Scott Zwizanaki, Tim Duggan (Duggan Remax), Hugh Moran (Construction Zone), Cody Peterson (Lost River Cycling), Andreas Hestler (Canadian Cycling Assoc.), Ryan Blickem (Rorder Bandits), Blake Caldwell (5280/Subaru), Nic Brown (Lemond Fitness), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Sierra Nevada/Clif Bar), Steve Cate (Mathis Brothers), and Todd Wells (Hyundai Mongoose).

After a day of attacks Drew Miller led out Gord Fraser for his second win in three days. Steve Cate (Mathis Bros.) and Todd Wells (Hyundai Mongoose) filled out the podium and shared the bonus time. The second group of 18 was led in by Alex Kozlov, the group contained Ubaldo Mesa (Tecos Turbos), Eric Murphy (Healthy Choice), Frank Mapel (Specialized), Brian Matter (Saturn Dev.), Jon Tarkington (Vitamin Cottage), Colby Pearce (5280/Subaru) and Michael Ley (Team Rio Grande)

Bringing it all into perspective: To compare Gila 2002 to 2003 reveals the competitive fever of this field filled with Young Guns, Journeymen and Mtn riders. The time for Stage 3 last year was finished in 3:07:20 and won by another Canadian (eh!) Mark McCormack (Mercury). This year Gord Fraser (eh?), another Canadian (Health Net), being led out by Drew Miller won in a comparable time of 3:07:33!

Compare the G.C. in 2002: Chris Wherry (Not Canadian eh! Mercury) at the end of the Inner Loop had a G.C. time of 7:48:08. This year the young Drew Miller (Trek VW) leads the G.C. with a time of 7:35:13. Amazingly, the Tour of the Gila at the end of stage 3 is faster by 13 minutes this year!! To bring it into perspective, Chris McGovern (Health Net), sitting in 42nd place,  has a time of 7:48:07 a time a tad faster than 2002. Perhaps it is an unfair comparison as each race, each year is different; but it is a gauge of the speed and talent in the peloton this year. Kudo's gentlemen!

I think it might surprise even Gord Fraser that this year's race is faster than last year's; for a sprinter Gord is sitting pretty after the 12 second sprint bonus at 1:39, off the lead in 4th place on the G.C. and 34 seconds behind Drew Miller (Trek/VW) in the Gila Maillot Chartreuse.

There was little change in the G.C. with the leaders, little should change in either the mens or the ladies field in Saturday's crit. Considering the heat of this peloton, I would say anything could happen. I expect Gord Fraser to aim for a third stage victory and some surprises in the womens field  - Katrina Grove (T-Mobile), Ina Teutenberg (Saturn) will have something to prove and may attempt to take time from Madamoiselle Jeanson, my money is on the world class speedster of T-Mobile young Sarah Hammer set up for the primes and a shot at her first pro Crit victory.. Put the hammer down, Sarah.

As Giana notes below, this is not your average downtown Criterium. The course rises from the start until its mid-point, a fast descent on the backside with cross street "Woop dee doos" where riders can gain air, and then a slight uphill finish; each lap that will challenge climb weary legs. The only benefit for the riders today will be that the hours in the saddle will be less with some time to recover before the start on Sunday.

"Tomorrow's stage is a downtown criterium. Always a highlight for the locals, the crowds cascade down from the mountains with everyone bringing the family in for the spectacle of color, speed and Lycra that is criterium racing. Unlike the typical criterium, the Gila criterium rarely leaves anything for the sprinters. Held in the heat of the day with a tough climb every lap, there are typically only scraps for even the strongest sprinters by the end. However, the likes of Ina Teutenberg, Katrina Grove and Lyne Gaggioli keen to tackle the tough course, the Saturn and T-Mobile teams are certain to be in the hunt for a stage win and Jeanson's Rona team will be hard pressed to keep it under control. Tomorrow perhaps will offer an opportunity for another team to try their hand at a stage win." Giana Roberge Saturn D.S.

Sunday with the "Grueler" of the Tour, the Gila Monster Stage 5, anything could happen. The "Monster" is a brutal stage that will expose every weakness or strength of each rider and team, the G.C. can be influenced dramatically as the mountains sort the strong and willing from the riders weakened by a week of effort. God I love this race!

If I remember it was on Stage 5 last year when Tom Danielson moved from 35th to 8th on the strength of his performance and caught our eye. To add to the suspense, Mother Nature has delivered a fast moving storm to the west coast, which if it arrives early, could influence Sunday's stage. Current predictions are for clear weather  for the Crit with a 20 mph steady wind pushing ahead of the storm. Temperatures Saturday predicted to be 77F/38 C, temperatures Sunday predicted at 74F /35C with wind... Thunder storms in the evening.

Pro Men's Results

1 Fraser, Gord Healthnet Tucson,AZ CA 3:07:33
2 Cate, Steve Mathis Brothers Norman, OK (all same time)
3 Wells, Todd Hyundai Mongoose Durango, CO
4 Zwizanaki, Scott Team Snow Valley Spring City, PA
5 Sayers, Michael HealthNet Tucson, AZ
6 Ollerenshaw, Doug Broadmark Capital Cycti Corvallis, OR
7 Horgan-Kobelski, Jeremy RLX Ralph Loren Boulder, CO
8 Stierwalt, Jon Team Rio Grand Boulder, CO
9 Jacques-Maynes, Andy Sierra Nevada/Clif Bar Berkeley, CA
10 Nicol, Kevin Team Rio Grande Lafeyette, CO
11 Wilcox, Craig Broadmark Capital Cycti Port Angeles, WA
12 Brown, Nic LeMond Fitness/Captain Austrailia
13 Caldwell, Blake 5280/Subaru Boulder, CO
14 Osguthorpe, John Healthy Choice/Guru's Salt Lake City,
15 Blickem, Ryan Border Bandits Albuquerque, NM
16 Drew Miller Trek/VW All-Stars Phoenix, AZ
17 Hestler, Andreas Canadian Cycling Associ Canada
18 Peterson, Cody Lost River Cycling Durango, CO
19 Moran, Hugh Construction Zone Mesa, AZ
20 Duggan. Timmy Duane Duggan Remax/Pake
21 Kozlov, Alex Healthnet Belavusas
22 Estepa, Ubaldo Mesa Tecos Columbia
23 Murphy, Eric Healthy Choice/Guru's Apopka, FL
24 Sheppard, Chris Canadian Cycling Associ Canada
25 Mapel, Frank Specialized Boulder, CO

Full Mens and Womens results at the Tour of the Gila website here.

Related Articles
2003 Tour of the Gila Preview
Tour of the Gila Stage One
Tour of the Gila Stage 2: UPDATED!

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