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Team RONA to Compete at HP Women’s Challenge

courtesy Team RONA

Montreal (Quebec), June 12, 2002 – After spending a fruitful two weeks in
their Quebec home base, Team RONA is going back on the road.

They’re
flying tomorrow to Boise, Idaho. There they will start Saturday in the
appropriately named HP Women’s Challenge. The 96-strong peloton will begin
a grueling, nine-day, 875-km journey across the fields and up the hills of
Southern Idaho.
Reaching its highest point at 2,688 meters, this year’s course will
indeed challenge the racers, with seven road stages averaging 106 km each
on varying profiles, a 40-km individual time trial and a criterium in the
streets of Boise. The women will have no respite.


Now at its 19th edition, this prestigious race has a list of
winners that reads like a Who’s Who of women’s cycling – Lyne Bessette won
in 2001 and will defend her title wearing her new Canadian Nationals
jersey. Other recent winners include Australian Anna Millward (2000 and
1996), Jeannie Longo (1999), Canadian Linda Jackson (1998), Lithuanian Rasa
Polikeviciute (1997), American Dede Demet-Barry (1995) and Canadian Clara
Hughes (1994).


RONA’s longest race


The “HP”, as it is known to fans, will be the longest and most
demanding race in Team RONA’s short history. Since its debut in 2001, the
team managed by André Aubut never entered a race lasting more than five
days.
To take up the challenge, the young RONA leader, Canadian Geneviève
Jeanson, will have the support of Andrea Hannos (CAN), Melissa Holt (NZL),
Amy Jarvis (CAN), Manon Jutras (CAN) and Gail Longenecker (USA).


“We’re not sure what to expect and we haven’t set out definite
performance goals for that race”, said team manager André Aubut. “HP will
provide us with opportunities to learn – learn to manage energy in such a
physically demanding event, learn the strategic and tactical aspects of a
longer race. In short, we expect this race to be very educational!”
The RONA Cycling team will issue a race report after each stage.
Delay will depend on the time required by the organizers to produce
official results.


The race official web site is at www.womenschallenge.com.
The RONA cycling team is one of only two Canadian women’s elite
cycling teams acknowledged by the International Cycling Union. The team is
made up of Canadians Geneviève Jeanson and Manon Jutras from Montreal, Amy
Jarvis from Toronto and Andrea Hannos from Vancouver, German Karen Bockel,
New-Zealander Melissa Holt and Americans Nicole Freedman and Gail
Longenecker. André Aubut is team manager.


RONA is the leading distributor and retailer of hardware,
renovation and gardening products in Canada. Team RONA receives additional
financial support from Quebecor World, the world’s largest commercial
printer.
Team RONA receives equipment sponsorship from several
manufacturers, including Colnago, Biemme, Shimano, Michelin, Mavic,
Diadora, Limar, Selle Italia, Speedplay, ITM, CatEye, Tacx and Finish Line.





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