Friday 17 August 2012

Trophée d'Or Féminin 2012

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18-22.08 Official site Facebook Downloadable race bible Meredith Miller's Race Reports
France, 499.1km, six stages, UCI 2.2

Stage reports, results, previews and start list below

There are many fun things about this fantastic race - as would be expected, since it involves 108 of the world's greatest cyclists fighting for supermacy on a 500km route round the French countryside.

One of the most amusing aspects is that while it at first seems like a sprinter's race with a number of flat stages and a lack of big climbs (likely to be something of a relief for those riders who were at the Route de France last week) the organisers have ensured that everyone else has a chance to win by inserting some difficult sections, in many cases right in the last few kilometres of the stages. This makes each stage - and the eventual General Classification - exceptionally difficult to predict with any degree of certainty.

Chapeau to the organisers for that, then; it looks all set to be a race that will keep us all guessing right to the very end.

Results and news from each stage will be added here as it becomes available.

18.08.2012 Stage 1 Saint-Amand-Montrond - Mehun-sur-Yèvre, 89.8 km
19.08.2012 Stage 2 Orval - Orval, 9.6 km (team time trial)
19.08.2012 Stage 3 Vierzon - Graçay, 95 km
20.08.2012 Stage 4 Cosne-sur-Loire - Cosne-sur-Loire, 101 km
Stage 1
21.08.2012 Stage 5 Avord - Avord, 118.3 km
22.08.2012 Stage 6 Saint-Amand-Montrond - Saint-Amand-Montrond, 85.4 km

Stage 1
A relatively straight-forward leg-stretcher of a stage with three easy Category 3 climbs, the Cote de la Gazonnerie 4.5km from the start, the Cote de Berry-Bouy at 57.3km and the Cote du Beauregard at 77.2km. Gazonnerie looked to be the hardest at 1.4km in length and with a vertical gain of 57m, creating a gradient of 4.1%.

The race began at 16:20 local time, by which point the reason for the late starts had become clear - as reported by Bart Hazen, who is at the race, it was hot. Very hot; around 40C. The first stage of any race is rarely the most exciting as the riders spend more time getting the measure of one another's form rather than going all-out to win, but in conditions such as that racing is pretty much off the menu entirely and riders simply try to get themselves from one end of the parcours to the other, ideally without anyone fainting along the way.
Stage 1
At 65.8km, they passed the finish line for the first time in a group and began a 17.8km circuit that included the final climb. At 83.6km, they passed the finish line for a second time, still in a group, to begin the first of two identical 3.1km circuits. As the stage had no hard climbs, the peloton was xpected to arrive at this point all together, and they remained so all the way; though Luisa Tamanini  (Faren-Honda) had a go at a solo break with 15km to go before apparently deciding it was too hot to be worth the effort and dropping back.

The stage finished, therefore, in a bunch sprint - Mcipollini-Giambenini had taken control at the front of the group and their tactics worked well, placing Elena Cecchini in precisely the right position to power over the line in first place. Cecchini's team mate Marta Tagliaferro took second place with current European Under-23 Champion Evelyn Arys (Kleo) hot on her heels for third. Having taken the most points on the climbs and the intermediate sprints, Cecchini also leads the Mountains and Points competitions; as she's 20 years old, she is the leading rider in the Youth category too.

Hazen also reports that Joanne Hogan (Bizkaia-Durango), World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara) and many others were caught up in a big crash just before the finish line; fortunately all riders escaped without serious injury - though there were some painful-looking cuts and grazes as they finished and there'll be some impressive bruises in the morning. More news on the race, the riders in the crash and full results, as it become available.

Stage 1 Finish photograph (Bart Hazen)
Elena Cecchini (Fabrice Germes)
Cecchini in the maillot vert (Fabrice Germes)
Cecchini in polka dots (Fabrice Germes)
Cecchini in white (Fabrice Germens)

Stage 1 Result
1. Elena Cecchini (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 2h20'48"
2. Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
3. Evelyn Arys (Kleo) ST
4. Alona Andruk (Vaiana Tepso) ST
5. Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top) ST
6. Julia Martisova (Be Pink) ST
7. Aleksandra Sosenko (Vaiana Tepso) ST
8. Anastasiya Chulkova (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) ST
9. Jacqueline Hahn (Scappa Speed Queens) ST
10. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) ST
Full stage result 

General Classification (after bonification)
1. Elena Cecchini (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 2h20'48"
2. Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +04"
3. Evelyn Arys (Kleo) +06"
4. Alona Andruk (Vaiana Tepso) +10"
5. Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top) ST
6. Julia Martisova (Be Pink) ST
7. Aleksandra Sosenko (Vaiana Tepso) ST
8. Anastasiya Chulkova (Forno d'Asolo Colavita) ST
9. Jacqueline Hahn (Scappa Speed Queens) ST
10. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) ST

Stage 2 time trial
Stage 2
A team time trial held the morning before Stage 3, Stage 2 saw the teams pitting themselves against one another on what was predicted and turned out to be a very fast parcours - each team no more than 13 or 14 minutes to complete the 9.6km at an average speed of between 40-44kph. In fact, it would have been even faster were it not or a short hill with a 7% gradient at 4km, the only real technicality on an otherwise flat route. There were, however, several sharp corners: the worst of these came at the end of the Rue des Ecoles and the Rue des Escargots, both only a short way from the start line where the riders hadn't yet built up to full speed. There was also a very tight left as they joined the D925 and another just past the entry into the final kilometre as they reached the Route de Lignieres. Two long straight sections, the D951 and the Route de la Roche, generated very high speeds.

Elena Cecchini ((Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) retains her lead with an overall time of 2h33'44", but the rest of the General Classification has changed dramatically - Evelyn Arys (Kleo) has moved into second place with a disadvantage of 3" and several new names have appeared. Meanwhile, Lotto-Belisol now number four riders after two of their members were late enough to miss the time limit.

Stage 2
Stage 2 photos by Fabrice Germes: 1 / 2 / Cecchini in yellow / Sengers on the podium / "Well, someone's got to get the results online..."

Stage 2 result

1. SENGERS 13:03
5. LOINTEK +37"
7. BE PINK +39"
9. MIXED TEAM 4 +51"
11, MIXED TEAM 2 +1'02"
14. MIXED TEAM 1 +1'21"
17. LOTTO-BELISOL +1'49"

General Classification
1. Elena Cecchini (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 2h33'44"
2. Evelyn Arys (Kleo) +03"
3. Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +04"
4. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) +07"
5. Vera Koedooder (Sengers) ST
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +10"
7. Malgorzata Jasinska (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
8. Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top) +14"
9. Amanda Miller (Tibco To The Top) ST
10. Valentina Carretta (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST (Thanks again, Bart!)
Full GC

Stage 3
Stage 3
Despite setting out at 16:00, the riders once again faced 40C temperatures as they completed two crowd-pleasing 3.5km laps of another criterium-like circuit, this time in Vierzon, before turning left and heading off for the 60.3km journey to Graçay. The first climb, Cat 3 Cote de la Noue (0.55km, 23m, 4.2%) was at 8.7km; at 57.2km they arrived at Cat 2 Cote du Tertre aux Morts (1.1km, 58m, 5.3%).

Mcipollini were apparently planning to repeat their Stage 1 tactics and had made their way to the front of the pack by the time the bike computers showed 35km, but they weren't going to get away without challenge this time: Tibco and Topsport-Ridley were right there with them, as were Sengers - the first team to sound out the pack by sending Sarah Koedooder on a short-lived attack into the stidd head wind at 65km; she soon allowed herself to drop back into the peloton. Many riders were beginning to suffer from the heat 30km further on and were either hanging off the back or looking ready to drop as the race neared Graçay and the finish line - but there would be no let-up yet because, once over the line, they would continue towards the last and hardest climb of the day, Cat 2 Cote du Princay (0.6km, 40m, 6.7%).

Mcipollini remained in control as the peloton drew once more towards Graçay at 88.4km, where the riders passed over the finish line for a second time before embarking on a final circuit. Challenging and technical with a 24m hill (gradient 8.5%), a narrow section and a very tight right-hand corner onto the ominously-titled Rue de l'Enfer followed by an almost equally tight left 1km 1km from the line, these last 6.6km were always likely to be the most hard-fought part of the stage - as indeed turned out to be the case when Sengers launched an attack, revealing that Koedooder's attempt earlier had been an exploratory mission rather than an intended escape. Mcipollini were ready for them, however, and proved more than capable of fighting back - they got the 20-year-old Susanna Zorzi, who won the Italian Junior Championship independent time trial and road race two years ago, into a position so ideal she was able to beat the World Champion Giorgia Bronzini into second place in the bunch sprint.

Stage winner Susanna Zorzi
The first 50 riders finished together and thus recorded an equal time to Zorzi; a group of four led by Lotto-Belisol's Robyn de Groot were next at +14"; sixteen more arrived five seconds later and then the remaining seven at various times down to +51" for Tibco To The Top's Meredith Miller. Tomorrow brings six climbs - the GC is likely to look completely different by the end of the day.

(With thanks to Bart HazenYaël Richard and Fabrice Germes for the invaluable updates!)

Stage results
1. Susanna ZORZI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 2h46'55"
2. Giorgia BRONZINI (Diadora-Pasta Zara) ST
3. Alona ANDRUK (Vaiano Tepso) ST
4. Barbara GUARISCHI (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) ST
5. Marta TAGLIAFERRO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
6. Julia MARTISOVA (Be Pink) ST
7. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) ST
8. Evelyn ARYS (Kleo) ST
9. Maria Giulia CONFALONIERI (Faren-Honda) ST
10. Roxane FOURNIER (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne) ST
Full stage result

General Classification (after bonification)
1. Elena CECCHINI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 5h20'39"
2. Evelyn ARYS (Kleo) +03"
3. Marta TAGLIAFERRO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +04"
4. Anna VANDERBREGGEN (Sengers) +07"
5. Tatiana GUDERZO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +10"
6. Malgorzta JASINSKA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
7. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) +14"
8. Amanda MILLER (Tibco To The Top) ST
9. Valentina CARRETTA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
10. Vera KOEDOODER (Sengers) +26"
Full GC
Stage 3

Stage 4
Stage 4
Beginning a little earlier at 14:50 (and again in sweltering heat), Stage 4 was the hilliest of the race with six categorised climbs. The first was Cat 1 Route Forêt de Charmes (1.5km, 107m, 7.1%), the second was Cat 1 Route des Vignes (1.3km, 94m, 7.2%), the third was Cat 2 Sury-en-Vaux (0.78km, 53m, 6.7%), the fourth was Cat 1 Les Remparts (1.6km, 115m, 7.2%), the fifth was Cat 1 Orme aux Loups (1.5km, 130m, 8.7%) and the sixth was Cat 1 Cote des Loges (0.73km, 65m, 8.9%). They were located at 16.5km, 23.2km, 27.7km, 33.2km, 38.2km and 59.2km respectively.

Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Honda) and Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) were out in front by the time the race reached Orme aux Loups; since both are extremely effective and experienced all-rounders, the other teams were not letting them go without a battle and a strong chase group followed at +25". By 70km, they'd been caught and the lead group that formed as a result headed towards the first passage of the finish line in a 35-strong bunch.

It didn't last long before a six-rider break, including Stage 3 winner Susanna Zorzi, splintered off and put a gap that grew to almost a minute between themselves and their pursuers and lasted right into the last of the four laps around the 5.3km circuit that finished the stage. The circuit, like yesterday's, was technical with narrowed sections, a central reservation along the Rue du Dahomey, several tight corners and a small 5.5% climb a little under 3km from the finish line; making the stage seem to be one that a break might win. Once again, however, the race finished in a bunch sprint - the teams without riders in the break made sure of it by increasing the pace to a speed that the six riders simply couldn't beat.

This time, Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) wasn't about to be taken by surprise - when the World Champion switched on the power, nobody could match her; Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top) came closest for a very impressive second place after crashing earlier on between Orme aux Loups and the Cote des Loges . The next 25 riders recorded the same time, six more finished over the next 7'31", the main group of 41 riders arrived 12' after the leaders and ten more came in afterwards. Audrey Cordon, Emma Crum, Genevieve Whitson, Fanny Riberot, Karen Verhestraeten and Maaike Polspoel did not finish.

2009 US National Champion Meredith Miller (Tibco To The Top) deserves special recognition today - having been caught solo in between two groups following Guarnier's crash she rode alone for 40km and wasn't caught until the last 5km (she describes how in her excellent race report here), using the same kind of strength and determination that won her the Air Force (Crystal City) Classic's "Most Heroic" award back in June. Simply finishing a stage in the draining heat experienced this year at the race is an achievement; to ride without the benefits of drafting behind another rider for so much of the stage is heroic. Chapeau, Meredith.

Stage 4
Meredith Miller
Stage 4 results
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) 2h46'38"
2. Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top) ST
3. Elena Cecchini (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
4. Malgorzata Jasinska (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
5. Julia Martisova (Be Pink) ST
6. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) ST
7. Katarzyna Sosna (Vaiano Tepso) ST
8. Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
9. Sandrine Bideau (Vienne Futuroscope) ST
10. Lauren Hall (Tibco To The Top) ST
Full stage results

General Classification (after bonification)
1. Elena CECCHINI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 8h07'13"
2. Marta TAGLIAFERRO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +06"  
3. Anna VANDERBREGGEN (Sengers) +11"  
4. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) +12"  
5. Tatiana GUDERZO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +14" 
6. Malgorzta JASINSKA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST  
7. Valentina CARRETTA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +15" 
8. Amanda MILLER (Tibco To The Top) +18"
9. Anishka Vekemans (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley) +40"
10. Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diardora-Pasta Zara) +48"

Stage 5
Stage 5
At 118.3km, Stage 5 was the longest of the race, starting as a result at 14:50 - temperatures at the start line were, mercifully, slightly cooler than the last few days; though 36C is still uncomfortably hot and more than enough to get a rider into real difficulties if she fails to take in sufficient fluids. The first part was a flat, fast 59.9km circuit heading west out of Avord, then via Vornay, Crosses, Savigny-en-Septeaine, Osmoy, Nohant-en-Gout and Farges-en-Septaine before arriving back at Avord; a route that presented the riders with no problems. After an hour of riding, the group remained all together.

Once the riders had crossed the finish line for the first time, they begin the hillier second half of 58.4km. A seven-rider break had escaped the main group by this time; with some talented GC contenders such as Marta Tagliaferro, Malgorzata Jasinska (both Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss), Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) and Amanda Miller (Tibco To The Top) among them they'd soon created a gap of 35" and showed no sign of slowing - potentially a big problem for the rest of the field.

The first hill was an easy Cat 3 known as Cote du Combes at 68.3km (2km, 40m, 2%); the second  the more difficult Cat 2 Cote de Villequiers at 81.5km (0.4km, 25m, 6.2%) and the third wass Cat 3 Cote de la Vigne à Reinche at 88.7km (0.5km, 22m, 4.4%). By the time the climbs were over and done, the lead group's advantage had increased to 1'30; meaning that with 25km to go they'd either have to up their efforts to prevent the peloton catching them, or the peloton would have to do something to make sure it did - the latter proved to be the case and, as the race neared the second passage of the finish line at 114.1km, the break was caught. Almost immediately, Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) started attacking with four riders assisting but had not been allowed to get away by the time the computers on the bikes showed 114.1km, at which point the race arrived at the finish line for a second time.

Second consecutive stage win
for World Champ Bronzini
Once again the riders passed straight over, this time beginning a final 4.2km lap. A far simpler affair than yesterday's closing circuit, the sharp left 0.7km in and a fairly tight right with 3km to go were the only complications before a fairly straight section leading into an easy left to the 2km to go point, then a 90 degree left at 1.5km to go led through a pair of fast and easy left and right bends and into the straight, flat final kilometre punctuated by a single roundabout. Since the climbs were small this stage had always looked like the best chance the sprint specialists would have to show what they can do, a fact recognised by Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara), who repeated her simple and devastatingly effective tactic from yesterday by pointing herself at the line and applying the explosive power that has made her such a successful rider.

When the World Champion does that, there is almost invariably only one outcome and she took her second stage win of the race; also reducing her General Classification time by 10". However, she remains 38" behind race leader Elena Cecchini and with several other good riders so close, an overall Bronzini victory is anything but guaranteed. Meanwhile, Cecchini's already-precarious advantage has been shortened to only five seconds - far too little for any happy dreams this evening of success tomorrow. Just as the organisers planned, the outcome of tomorrow's final stage is impossible to predict.

Stage 5
Stage 5 result
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) 3h08'21"
2. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) ST
3. Anastasiya Chulkova (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) ST
4. Kelly Druyts (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) ST
5. Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
6. Christina Perchtold (Scappa Speed Queens) ST
7. Daniela Gass ST
8. Barbara Guarishi (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) ST
9. Roxane Fournier (BigMat-Auber 93) ST
10. Julia Martisova (Be Pink) ST
Full stage result

General Classification result (after bonification)
1. Elena CECCHINI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 11h15'34"
2. Anna VANDERBREGGEN (Sengers) +05"
3. Marta TAGLIAFERRO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +06"  
4. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) +12"
5. Tatiana GUDERZO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +14" 
6. Malgorzta JASINSKA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
7. Amanda MILLER (Tibco To The Top) +18"
8. Valentina CARRETTA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +25"
9. Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diardora-Pasta Zara) +38"
10. Anishka Vekemans (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley) +40"
Full GC

Stage 6
Stage 6
Beginning at 14:30, the final stage consisted of an 85.4km T-shaped loop that headed first south out of Saint-Amand-Montrond - famous for its many jewelry shops - to the Cat 2 Cote du Calvaire at 7.4km (0.7km, 39m, 5.6%), then turns north at La Celette before continuing west to Cat 1 Cote du Nozières at 27.4km (0.6km, 45m, 7.5%). A short while later it turned north again before arriving at Cat 2 Cote des Roches after 37.7km (1km, 40m, 4%), then began a long route east and finally heading south again to Cat 2 Côte des Massés at 68km (1.6km, 80m, 5%).

The group stayed together over the Calvaire, then Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) lauched an attack on Nozières but was followed by race leader Elena Cecchini of Mcipollini (who, apparently, was determined not to let go of the yellow jersey that she'd unexpectedly held since Stage 1), World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara), Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers), Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda) and Tibco To The Top team mates Megan Guarnier and Amanda Miller. That was a tough break in two senses of the term:  the experience, strength and power of the riders around her and the awful decision she'd have to make should the group decide to go for it - either hang on for dear life and hope she could keep her slim 5" advantage or drop back to the peloton and pray they'd chase down the escapees later on. Fortunately, the Cote des Roches took the wind out of the breakaway's sails and by 45km the two groups had merged back together. Had it not have done, the outcome may have bee very different.

2012 winner Elena Cecchini
The peloton remained intact all the way to the final climb, then Katazyna Sosna (Vaiano Tepso) fired off an attack of her own. She'd started the day in 12th place overall, but with only 48" between her and Cecchini there was no way the riders in the top ten would let her go without a fight - Vanderbreggen, Guarnier and the rest of them were on her immediately, joined by an assortment of useful team mates who happened to be around to give support at the time (and Cantele again, who never gives up  even when she has little chance of winning). With less than 10km to go, Sosna had a 10" lead, but Mcipollini had arranged themselves at the head of the peloton and looked as though they were about to start driving the pace higher. They caught her within a few kilometres and the riders were all back together by they began the last of the three laps around a 3.6km circuit. This one bore even more of a resemblance to a criterium than the earlier stages due to its shorter length and roughly rectangular shape; and with a flat kilometre leading ti the finish line the race was obviously destined to end once again with a bunch sprint.

It was no real surprise that Bronzini won for the third consecutive day - she's a remarkable sprinter. Cecchini took second, recording the same time and thus keeping her 5" lead and winning overall, a superb victory for the 20-year-old who is in her second professional year. Anna Vanderbreggen was third over the line, also taking the same time, and thus retains second place overall.
Stage 6

Stage 6 result
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) 2h11'46"
2. Elena CECCHINI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) ST
3. Anna Vanderbreggen (Sengers) ST
4. Kelly Druyts (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) ST
5. Barbara Guarishi (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) ST
6. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) ST
7. Elke Gebhardt (Be Pink) ST
8. Julia Martisova (Be Pink) ST
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Faren-Honda) ST
10. Eneritz Iturriagaechevarria Mazaga (Lointek) ST

Overall General Classification (after bonification)
1. Elena CECCHINI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) 13h27'14"
2. Anna VANDERBREGGEN (Sengers) +7
3. Marta TAGLIAFERRO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +12
4. Megan GUARNIER (Tibco To The Top) +18
5. Tatiana GUDERZO (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +20
6. Malgorzta JASINSKA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +20 
7. Amanda MILLER (Tibco To The Top) +24 
8. Valentina CARRETTA (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +31 
9. Giorgia BRONZINI (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) +34
10. Anisha VEKEMANS (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) +46

12. Katarzyna SOSNA (Be Pink) ST
13. Julia MARTISOVA (Be Pink) +56"
14. Fabiana LUPERINI (Faren-Honda) +59"
15. Noemi CANTELE (Be Pink) +1'06"
16. Tetyana RIABCHENKO (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) +1'08"
17. Andrea GRAUS (Vienne Futuroscope) +1'09"
18. Mélodie LESUEUR +1'19"
19. Sandrine BIDEAU (Vienne Futuroscope) +1'28"
20. Anna SANCHIS CHAFER (Bizkaia-Durango) +1'34"
21. Ane SANTESTEBAN GONZALEZ (Bizkaia-Durango) ST
22. Jennifer FIORI (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) ST
23. Luisa TAMANINI (Faren-Honda) +1'39"
24. Martina RITTER +1'58"
25. Susanna ZORZI (Mcipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) +2'01"
26. Rachel NEYLAN (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) +2'02"
27. Ashleigh MOOLMAN (Lotto-Belisol) +2'16"
28. Valentina BASTIANELLI (Vaiano Tepso) +2'22"
29. Patricia SCHWAGER (GSD Gestion) +2'29"
30. Flavia OLIVEIRA (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) +3'13"
31. Lauren HALL (Tibco To The Top) +4'40"
32. Nicole COOKE (Faren-Honda) +8'49"
33. Kelly DRUYTS (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) +12'47"
34. Latoya BRULEE (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) ST
35. Aleksandra SOSENKO (Vaiano Tepso) +12'54"
36. Elke GEBHARDT (Be Pink) +12'56"
37. Maria Giulia CONFALONIERI (Faren-Honda) +12'59"
38. Anastasiya CHULKOVA (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara) +13'04"
39. Manon SOUYRIS (Vienne Futuroscope) +13'09"
40. Anna POTOKINA RUS (Lointek) +13'10"
41. Els BELMANS (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) +13'12"
42. Jenifer LETUE (Vienne Futuroscope) +13'19"
43. Barbara GUARISCHI (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) +13'34"
44. Joanne HOGAN (Bizkaia-Durango) ST
45. Jacqueline HAHN (Scappa Speed Queens) +13'38"
46. Giulia DONATO (Be Pink) +13'42"
47. Gracie ELVIN (Faren-Honda) +13'45"
48. Daniela PINTARELLI (Scappa Speed Queens) +13'48"
49. Elena BERLATO (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) ST
50. Elodie HEGOBURU ST
51. Sarah-Lena HOFMANN +13'58"
52. Cristina ALCALDE HUERTANOS (Bizkaia-Durango) +14'03"
53. Viviana GATTO (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) +14'07"
54. Alexandra TONDEUR (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne) +14'34"
55. Dorleta ESKAMENDI GIL (Bizkaia-Durango) +14'37"
56. Roxane FOURNIER (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne) +16'18"
57. Christina PERCHTOLD (Scappa Speed Queens) +16'37"
58. Birgit LAVRIJSSEN (Sengers) +17'08"
59. Emmanuelle MERLOT (Vienne Futuroscope) +17'18"
60. Ann-Sofie DUYCK (Lotto-Belisol0 +17'29"
61. Daniela GASS +17'55"
62. Meredith MILLER (Tibco To The Top) +18'35"
63. Alice ALGISI (Be Pink) +18'43"
64. Vera KOEDOODER (Sengers) +18'55"
65. Joanne DUVAL (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne) +19'12"
66. Yulia ILIYNIKH (Lointek) +23'36"
67. Irene BITTO (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto) +23'50"
68. Béatrice THOMAS (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne) +30'27"
69. Samantha SCHNEIDER (Tibco To The Top) +31'31"
70. Alna BURATO +46'31"
71. Evelyn ARYS (Kleo) +49'16"
72. Geerike SCHREURS (Sengers) +50'33"
73. Cristina NAVARRO TAPIA +52'44"
74. Steffi JAMONEAU +1h03'46"
75. Rimma LUCHSHENKO (Be Pink) +1h04'23"
76. Heike NOEVER +1h05'22"
77. María CASANOVA +1h24'51"
78. Elena BUCHLER +1h32'56"
Did Not Finish
Audrey CORDON (Vienne Futuroscope)
Robyn DE GROOT (Lotto-Belisol)
Nathalie NIJNS (Lotto-Belisol)
Lise OLIVIER (Lotto-Belisol)
Joanna VAN DE WINKEL (Lotto-Belisol)
Elisabeth REINER
Chiara NADALUTTI (Faren-Honda)
Emma CRUM (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne)
Céline ONDET (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne)
Genevieve WHITSON (ASPTT Dijon-Bourgogne)
Fanny RIBEROT (Lointek)
Mireia EPELDE BIKENDI (Lointek)
Belen LOPEZ (Lointek)
Leslie Ana REKON
Francesca CAUZ (Fasso Bortolo-Servetto)
Maaike POLSPOEL (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012)
Ine BEYEN (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012)
Whitney GAGGIOLI (Forno d'Asolo/Diadora-Pasta Zara)
Alona ANDRUK (Vaiano Tepso)


The 2012 Trophée d'Or Féminin has been a superb race, not least of all for the organisers' successful efforts to keep us guessing right until the very end. The level of competition has been first-rate, just as anyone who knows anything at all about women's cycling would have expected (know what I mean, McQuaid?), and Elena Cecchini is a deserving winner who will surely go on to great things.

As was the case with the Route de France, race coverage has been exceptionally bad. We expect this in the mainstream media, of course, because the majority of the bike magazines and websites devote at best only a few lines of text to women's races. However, the organisers could also do with learning a lesson or two here - they've provided very little information on how the race has panned out. Yes they're running on a tight budget, but providing Twitter updates and a brief report on each stage every day would have cost very little; a local fan probably would have done it for them in exchange for a few free keepsakes. If fans - who have, as always, risen to the occasion and swapped as much news as they can - can't get the news without making an effort to do so (and believe me, covering this race has been a real headache and wouldn't have been at all possible without Tweets from Bart Hazen and Fabrice Germes) then race organisers can't really complain that their race is overlooked. An overlooked race will soon find its sponsors backing out - and we've already lost far too many women's race in the last few years.


  1. had it not been a team but an individual time trial, the overall result might have been a bit different. for the races to come, this could be a suggestion.

  2. I suspect that certainly would have changed things a great deal, since the time trial specialists never got a chance to shine (being held back by the rest of their teams). I wonder if the organisers might go for that option next year?