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Ford-Basis earns first international win

Ford-Basis Women's Cycling Team started the 2005 season on a roll at the Tour of New Zealand, Geelong Tour in Australia and McLane Pacific Classic. The team earned its first international victory with Nicole Freedman taking the breakaway sprint to win stage two's Masterton Road Race at the Tour of New Zealand.

Kele Hulser followed suit the next day, taking fourth in the final time trial. The duo finished 11th and fifth respectively in the GC, marking Freedman's best GC finish since the Wheels 'N Tots Kids Fun Ride. Halfway across the world, back in the US, Alisha Lion won a race but is downplaying the international significance of the victory. Chrissy Ruiter finished fourth at the McLane Pacific Road Race, bridging up to the breakaway of three in the final meters of the race.

"What was the promoter thinking making the race three laps instead of three laps plus five pedal strokes? Totally illogical if you ask me. I would have won, you know," noted Ruiter after the race.

The Masterton road race in New Zealand featured wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour. As an American incapable of translating kilometres into any meaningful value, the wind was "wicked fast," Freedman said. "The wind launched me into the air and blew me into a ditch. Another racer flew past, into the fence. Realizing she was stuck and hidden in grass, I immediately popped back on my bike, glad to know I wouldn't finish last," she added.

For the Geelong Tour, racers were housed in mobile homes at Geelong Caravan Park near the river. "Prior to the trip, I looked up the address on the Internet and an RV park kept popping up. I thought 'surely the race promoter must be confusing us with the men's pro race,'" Freedman recalled.

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