Caroline Alexander showed her Olympic preparations are well
on track with a 3rd place in the European Championships. Race winner was Frenchwoman
Laurence Leboucher who finished 40 seconds ahead of current Olympic Champion, Paola
Pezzo, who had ridden the whole race in the company of Caroline. Cramp caused Caroline
to lose touch on the final half lap to finish just 16 seconds behind the Italian.
Caroline takes up the story: "I had a poor start and was concentrating so hard
on making the front group on the opening laps I obviously didn’t drink enough for
the hot conditions. I was cramping at the end as a result. At half distance LeBoucher
opened a gap on a single-track climb and I expected Pezzo to close it but she couldn’
t and I was not able to get round her in time: the gap went to 40 seconds quickly
but never grew from that."
Louise Robinson, Olympic team-mate to Caroline, also had a great race to finish 11th
following a heavy training programme which had not targeted this event. Tracy Brunger
finished 21st, Sue Thomas 29th and Victoria Wilkinson 30th.
1 Laurence Leboucher (Fra) 2 hours 10 minutes 31 seconds
2 Paola Pezzo (Ita) 0.40
3 Caroline Alexander (GBr) 0.56
4 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) 2.08
5 Sabine Spitz (Ger) 2.52
11 Louise Robinson (GBr) 6.21