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The Women of the Wachovia Weekend
By Becky Leidy
Date: 6/8/2003
The Women of the Wachovia Weekend
It was a dark and stormy night?. No, really, it was a mild and misty morning at 9:10 am when the jewel in the crown of Philly Week, the Wachovia Liberty Classic began. Nearly 130 Pro/1/2 riders from 22 women's pro and elite teams started off on a 57.6 mile adventure of pain and suffering.

Included in these riders were the North American big 4, the UCI registered pro teams of Rona/Esker (sans Genevieve Jeanson), Saturn, T-Mobile, and Amoroso. Also present was the nefarious Nurnberger squad including 5 time and 2002 Liberty Champion Petra Rossner. However, Petra had achieved those victories with the powerful Saturn team. Would she be able to repeat with her smaller German contingent?

American, Laura Van Gilder, who was second last year and now riding with said Saturn Team was "excited." "The team is very excited. There is such depth on our team that we have a lot of ways we can win."

The start was not without it's casualties. Thanks to a rather large cord being run across the road, apparently, Chris Kelley of the Lateral Stress Velo/VW team barely made it 10 feet from the start line and was out the race with a nasty case of road rash and damaged bike.

Manon Jutras took an early flyer off the front. Her formidable climbing skills were put to the test each lap at Manayunk Hill, or better known as "the wall." While Saturn worked hard at the front of the pack to slow the pace and keep their girl out front, she was reeled back in, but not until at least half the race was over.

The Manayunk climb is certainly party central on the course. The noise is incredible as each rider challenges themselves to make it up the 17% grade climb.

After this epic climb comes a twisting downhill known as the "Fall from the Wall," as Richard Fries of OLN explained to me. "It's really where breakaways stick, because little things will split and it's too dangerous to chase. Every now and then somebody puts their melon right on the pavement here. It's almost like a crit in the middle of a road race."

Attack after attack failed. Finally, on the final lap, Velo Bella turned Team Fuji rider, Lynn Gaggioli took a massive "hail mary" flyer that everyone knew would never stick. However, bridging up was T-Mobile's Kim Anderson and Saturn's Lyne Bessette. With these two large teams represented, surely there would be enough riders in the pack to slow them and allow the break to break the elastic that bound them.

The only danger in the pack at this point was Nurnberger. Would they push the pace and bring them back? They had returning champion Petra to consider. Sure enough, the German national championship jersey of Judith Arndt, Rossner's teammate, was seen at the front, driving the train to bring them back.

At the end, Lyne Bessette, not complacent to finish as a threesome and perhaps knowing that she could not outsprint Anderson, attacks. Riding strongly, she charged to the line, winning the 2003 Wachovia Liberty Classic. What a great day for Saturn.

Wachovia Liberty Classic Full Results

1 BESSETTE Lynn  SAT 2:23:16
3 ARNDT Judith  EN s.t.
4 ANDERSON Kim   TTM s.t.
5 ROSSNER Petra EN s.t.
6 BRUCKNER Kimberly  TTM s.t.
7 BOCKEL Karen  RON s.t.
9 MAYOLA-PIC Tina DR s.t.
10 BEGOSH Elizabeth SVC s.t.
11 FRANGES Lauren   VB s.t.
12 HANNOS Andrea RON s.t.
13 HOLT Melissa RON s.t.
14 OKI Miho  JAP s.t.
16 WILLOCK Erinne RON s.t.
17 LONG Megan FFC s.t.
18 HOLDEN Mari TTM s.t.
19 MACTIER Katie  SAT s.t.
20 COWDEN Dorothy TTM s.t.
21 MCCLINTOCK Rebec CB s.t.
22 BLICKEM Candice GEN s.t.
23 MAHER Katherine R. RSB s.t.
25 FREEDMAN Nicole  RSB s.t.
26 VAN GILDER Laura SAT s.t.
27 VALETTI Leigh  GEN s.t.
28 DEMET-BARRY Dierdre TTM s.t.
29 DUFF MILLER Tany DR s.t.
30 HUTSEBAUT Julie CAN s.t.
31 DEMARS Nicole VB s.t.
32 GRAIN Gina VB s.t.
33 UNDERWOOD Christy TFI s.t.
34 LEONARD Jennifer  TSV s.t.
35 KELLY Helen   JAP s.t.
36 POWERS Catherine  SBC s.t.
37 KOLB Sandra  LGB s.t.
38 CURI Katheryn LGB s.t.
39 KELLY Kori DR s.t.
40 JARVIS MOORE Amy   SAT s.t.
41 O'CONNOR Brooke CB s.t.
42 SANBORN Melissa NCVC s.t.
43 BEARCE Catherine VW s.t.
44 HEIDGEN Shawn  JAP s.t.
45 SCHMIDT Laura  LSV s.t.
46 BREON Charmain DR s.t.
47 HUTCHISON Shanno CB s.t.
48 L'HEUREUX Caroli CAN s.t.
50 HULSER Jessica K   NCVC s.t.
51 GENEST Alicia RSB s.t.
52 GUYTON Vanessa SVC s.t.
53 SHIMADA Hiroko JAP s.t.
54 NEBEN Amber TEAM TTM s.t.
55 ARMSTRONG Kristen TTM s.t.
56 MILLER Ann Marie VW s.t.
57 FLEURY Grace GEN s.t.
58 ELLIOTT Megan   SAT s.t.
59 DAVIS Katrina RSB s.t.
60 DIGUISTINI Cybil DR s.t.
61 ESPESETH Sandy VB s.t.
62 RICKARDS Emma FFC s.t.
63 ALBERT Heather  RSB s.t.
64 HAWLEY Julia TSV s.t.
65 KIMMET Ashley CB s.t.
66 KARAMI Myoko JAP s.t.
67 LITTLE Alisha   TFI s.t.
68 JUTRAS Manon SAT s.t.
69 MANDERSON LeeAnn FFC s.t.
70 HANNA Erin LGB s.t.
71 GOLDSTEIN Leah   VB @ 19
72 PHILLIPS Jessica SAT @ 21
73 WORRACK Trixi EN @ 1:04
74 LINDBERG Madelei EN @ 2:05
75 SPROULE Tracy CB @ 2:17
76 STEDJI Sherri  LGB s.t.
77 HARRISON Frances CRC s.t.
78 OTSUKA Ayumu JAP s.t.
79 PETERS Stacy     TTM @ 2:34
80 HELMSLEY Margaret EQ @ 2:42
81 DAVIS Esther   CRC @ 3:25
82 PALMER-KOMAR Sue GEN @ 4:59
83 WILLIAMS Jenette LSV s.t.
84 JACQUES Soph VB @ 6:19
85 STALEY Larssyn GEN @ 9:44
86 DUFF Susan TSV s.t.
87 GAFFNEY Lauren RSB @ 11:27
88 WOLLEVER Heidi SV @ 13:09
89 TUCK Carrie RON @ 13:44
90 FARRIN Sheba LSV s.t.
91 HEFLER Susan LSV s.t.

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