(Zolder, Belgium) October 12, 2002 – Swedish cyclist Susanne Ljungskog won the world road race championship today by outsprinting Switzerland's Nicole BrÃƒÂ¤ndli, Spain's Joanne Arrola Somarriba and Australia's Sara Carrigan. New Zealand's Melissa Holt, affiliated with the Canadian RONA team finished 19th out of 114 starters.
The race was marked by several crashes, especially during the last 15 kilometres as the rain started to fall. Energetically chasing a three-racer breakaway (Somarriba, BrÃƒÂ¤ndli and Carrigan) launched during the second-to-last lap, Ljungskog, the Netherlands' Mirjam Melchers and Belarus' Zinaida Stahurskaia were about to catch up with the lead trio when Melchers and Stahurskaia collided and crashed hard onto the pavement. Ljunsgkog managed to go by, bridged to the lead group less than 200 meters from the finish, and beat them at the line.
Melissa Holt managed to stay out of trouble all day and led the third group to cross the line, 23 seconds behind Ljungskog.
World Road Race Championships
Zolder, Belgium, October 12, 2002
1. Susanne Ljungskog (SWE) 128 km in 2h 59' 15'' (avg. 42,84 km/h
2. Nicole BrÃƒÂ¤ndli (SUI) s.t.
3. Joane Arrola Somarriba (ESP) s.t.
4. Sara Carrigan (AUS) s.t.
5. Alison Wright (AUS) 18''
19. Melissa Holt (NZL, RONA) 23''
67. Sue Palmer Komar (CAN) 1' 54''
89. Katy Saint-Laurent (CAN) 15' 45''
The RONA cycling team is one of only two Canadian women's elite cycling teams acknowledged by the International Cycling Union.