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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


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For the week of June 20 - June 26, 2001


Injury doesn’t keep Bessette down for long

Leads 688-mile HP Women’s Challenge

Lynn Bessette knows the perils of finishing second, so she is determined to finish first in the $128,000 HP Women’s Challenge bicycle race. Right now, she’s doing just that.

Lynn Bessette takes a breather on Ketchum’s Main Street Friday after finishing a close second to Alison Dunlap in the 62-mile Stanley-to-Ketchum road race. Currently, Bessette is both the race leader and points leader. Express photo by Willy Cook

Bessette, 26, a 5-10, 125-pound pro cyclist from Quebec, Canada, leads the individual general classification standings by a healthy three minutes, 13 seconds after seven of 13 stages.

Three months ago, it didn’t look like she’d be here at all.

Sydney Olympian Bessette broke her collarbone in a freak collision with Team Saturn teammate Ida Teutenberg at the finish line of the Redlands Classic in California March 16.

It looked like Bessette, winner of the season’s first race—the two-stage McLane Pacific Bicycle Classic in Merced, Ca. March 3-4—was going to finish second at Redlands. Teutenberg raised her arms to celebrate a win, but she lost control and spilled. Bessette crashed into her and got the worst of the accident.

Bessette has been getting the best of the Idaho pavement, despite its 688-mile challenges.

She has finished first or second in five of the first seven stages. Bessette took over the individual lead from French legend Jeannie Longo Saturday by winning the 3.2-mile "Head to Head" Time Trial along Trail Creek Rd. east of Sun Valley.

Friday, Bessette was a close second to climbing ace Alison Dunlap, 31, of Colorado in the 62.3-mile Stanley-to-Ketchum Road Race. It was Dunlap’s third victory in the tough stage.

The 18th annual HP Women’s Challenge wraps up Sunday in Boise. CBS television is due to televise highlights of the 2001 race Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. Visit the race’s Web site, www.womenschallenge.com.


A summary of the last week:


Wednesday, June 13, Stage #1: 69.5-mile HP Road Race from Boise to Idaho City.

1—Jeannie Longo, 42, of France (Office Depot), riding with a tailwind, cracked the course record by nearly six minutes, in 2.40:09. 2—Lynn Bessette (Saturn) 2.40:15.


Thursday, June 14, Stage #2: 58.5-mile VeloNews Road Race from Lowman to Stanley.

1—Judith Arndt (German National Team), leading a four-racer breakaway group with a strong sprint in the final 400 meters, in 2.31:41.


Friday, June 15, Stage #3: 62.3-mile Boise Cascade Office Products Stanley-to-Ketchum RR.

1—Alison Dunlap (Boise Cascade Office Products), setting a new course record (2.27:13) and winning the Galena climb for a third time (also in 1996 and 1997). 2—Bessette, Longo and Trixi Worrack of Germany.


Saturday, June 16: Stage #4: 3.2-mile Voler "Head to Head" Time Trial.

1—Bessette (Team Saturn) 7:03.40. 2—Longo 7:16.36. Bessette took over the overall lead from Longo by 12 seconds.

Stage #5: 28.8-mile HP Elkhorn Village Circuit Race.

1—Chantal Beltman (Dutch National Team) 1.18:24. 2—Bessette 1.18:32. Bessette extended her overall lead over Longo to 1:39.

After catching Longo napping in the back of the pack, Bessette launched a wicked attack in the 14th lap of the 18-lap event and took Beltman and Rasa Polikevicuite of Lithuania with her.

Bessette drove the break to the finish, but Beltman was able to sprint past her to claim the winning spot.


Sunday, June 17, Stage #6: 80.2-mile Saint Alphonsus RR from Shoshone to Burley.

1—Petra Rossner (Team Saturn) 2.55:54. 2—Arndt 2.55:54. 4—Brooke Blackwelder (Goldy’s/Grove Street Place) 2.55:54. 10—Bessette.

Bessette extended her lead in the individual general classification to 2:17. Polikevicuite moved into second and Longo, 9:49 behind in this race, fell to 10th.


Monday, June 18, Stage #7: The 57.7-mile HP Road Race from Burley to Pomerelle.

1—Trixi Worrack of Germany 2.30:09. 2—Bessette, Longo, Dunlap and Arndt, same time in the lead group of five.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.