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SURPRISE VICTOR IN STAGE 7 OF HP CHALLENGE

courtesy of HP WOMEN’S CHALLENGE


June 21, 2002 (BUHL, ID) – Anita Valen, coming out of retirement after 15
years, scored a victory for Norway and her Sponsor Services team when she
bested a small breakaway to win Stage 7, the Nextel Twin Falls to Buhl 82
mile Road Race in 3 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds. One second behind
was the 2001 Swiss National Road and Time Trial Champion, Priska Doppmann
riding Team Goldy, based in Boise, Idaho. Rounding out the top three was
the youngest rider entered in this yearís 19th Annual HP WOMEN’S CHALLENGE
International Bicycle Race, 18 year-old Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuanian
National Team), finishing with the same time as Doppmann.


In a group with the top 10 in the overall standings was the current
race leader, Judith Arndt of Team Saturn placing 15th and 2 minutes and 55
seconds behind Valen. The time lost on this stage didnít affect Arndt’s
overall 1st place position since the highest placed rider in the break of
13 was Vzesniauskaite, 19 minutes and 8 seconds down at the start of
today’s relatively flat stage.


The break of 13 got away just passed the 23 mile mark and worked
well until the last small climb with under 6 miles to the finish.
Vzesniauskaite attacked on the final climb and raised her arms in what she
thought was a victory, only to be told different. A bit confused, she
continued to race when the other riders kept up the pace. In the end,
Vzesniauskaite was happy with her third place finish in this World-Class
field of 82 riders with 14 World and Olympic Medallists among them. “I
can’t believe my result with a field with such famous riders,” said the
young cyclist. If she keeps racing like this, she may one-day find herself
among the list of ‘famous’ riders. Valen, a multi-talented fitness and
SPIN instructor, commented that her victory
“felt good” and that “we (the team) needed that,” as she danced around with
a big smile.


The 19th Annual HP WOMEN’S CHALLENGE, with a strong international
field (riders from 15 countries) competing for a cash purse of $75,000, is
a 9-day, 9-stage International Bicycle Race covering 543 miles throughout
southern Idaho.


Tomorrow’s Stage 8, the Wirestone Statehouse 38.5 mile Criterium
will start at 3 PM on Jefferson Street in front of the courthouse in
downtown Boise. With only two stages left, the pace should be fast on the
6-turn course as Team Rona, Itera, Canadian National and TMobile try to
gain precious time in order to move their top general classification rider
up in the standings.


For more information, purchase of merchandise on-line, complete
results, schedules, rider bios, fan mail, and in-depth reporting, log onto
www.womenschallenge.com.

STAGE 7 – Nextel Twin Falls to Buhl Road Race, 82 miles


1. Anita Valen (Sponsor Services) 3:21:47
2. Priska Doppman (Goldys) 3:21:48
3. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuanian Natíl) 3:21:48
4. Nicole Demars (Boise) 3:21:48
5. Kim Anderson (TMobile) 3:21:48

OVERALL


1. Judith Arndt (Saturn) 18:18:37 0:00:00
2. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) 18:19:57 0:01:20
3. Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn) 18:20:11 0:01:34
4. Valentina Polkhanova (Itera) 18:22:29 0:03:52
5. Lyne Bessette (Canadian Natíl) 18:22:55 0:04:18





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