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Commerce Bank Triple Crown
USA, June 3-8, 2008
Race 4 - June 5: Commerce Bank Reading Classic (Women), 40.2km/25mi
Teutenberg victorious in break
By Laura Weislo in Reading, Pennsylvania
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg took out her second consecutive victory of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown in Reading, and looks to be well on her way to repeating her overall win in the series. As in Allentown, Teutenberg entered the race without team-mates, but still made the winning breakaway and was able to outsprint her companions on the flat, fast 1.8 mile course.
After launching a blistering attack on the fourth lap of the race which shattered the 90-strong women's field into four groups, Teutenberg counter-attacked a solo breakaway by Team Tibco's Amber Rais and drew away an elite group: Joanne Kiesanowski (Team Tibco), Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine Cycling), Alison Powers (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light) and Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team) near the midway point of the race.
The five riders worked steadily to build up a lead of a minute as the Cervelo and Cheerwine teams shut down the chasing group of 30, and despite some last lap cat and mouse, the five stayed away for the final sprint, which Teutenberg took with ease. The surprise came in that none of the other riders were able to gang up and drop the race's strongest sprinter. "Laura started attacking [at the start of the lap]," Teutenberg explained to Cyclingnews as she tried to catch her breath post-race. "They had let me pretty much lead the second to last lap, so it wasn't too bad. When Laura attacked, I was first position, so in the end that worked out for me.
Former world time trial champion Kristin Armstrong then put in a strong move, but couldn't get distance on the back side of the long, eight-corner course. "Alison Powers started the sprint early - trying to go long. She's pretty good technically, so she took the second to last corner fast and I could get on her, so for me it was a perfect lead into the last few hundred metres. It's such a hard sprint that you always have to worry about someone coming around you."
For the second race in a row, Teutenberg was able to outwit the strong teams even though she was without any support in the race as her team is racing in Montreal this week. Being strong enough to force a breakaway was the best way for the German to even out the odds. "I figured I would counter and initiate the break," she explained. "It's better for me if these guys don't have a team-mate because then it's just one on one."
The one-on-one battle came down to the last two turns, which were led by Powers. "There were three really good sprinters in the five, and I'm not so much of a sprinter, so I knew I had to go early and try to save as much energy as possible before that, because there was really a lot of horsepower up there. My team-mates were on the radio cheering for me and giving me ideas - it didn't quite work out, but I gave it my all and we gave it our all as a team."
Kiesanowski was perhaps the biggest threat to Teutenberg, along with Van Gilder. The Kiwi is coming off a prologue and stage win at the Mt. Hood stage race in May, and packs a powerful jump. But against the likes of Teutenberg, she had to be cagey. "I felt fine with the break - there were five of us, and I thought I was looking good for the podium. I knew it was going to be tough to beat Ina so I just didn't work as hard," she admitted.
"I had to save as much of my energy as I could, but she was just too strong. She came out of the last corner on second wheel and I came out of the last corner on third wheel, and it just stayed the same distance to the line. I couldn't come around her."
Kiesanowski benefited from a strong attack by her team-mate, and Cyclingnews diarist Rais, who showed no fear in attacking a powerful field of women. "It's always a gamble trying to go off the front - you never know who might come with you," Rais said. "My legs were hurting, and I figured everyone else's were too. Kristin had come to the front and strung everything out, and I decided to go - if I got in a break, great, if it came back together it would set up either Jo or Rushlee to go with the counter, and that's how it went."
Van Gilder was the home crowd favourite, as she hails from Pennsylvania, but taking the last position into the final turn cost her, and she wound up taking third. "I liked my chances of having to sprint against Ina and Jo, and even though I came up a little short, it's okay." The Cheerwine team had plenty of cards to play with a strong team in the field, but for the second race in a row, Van Gilder worked with Teutenberg only to get overhauled on the line - but she earned valuable points toward the overall Triple Crown prize.
"Ina's a great competitor and a strong rider, so being in a break with her pretty much guarantees it will stick," Van Gilder said. "Alison and Ina showed their strength in Allentown, and you throw in Kristin Armstrong and Joanne Kiesanowski and you've got a who's who of women's racing. There was a lot of initiative to get the break going and then keep it going.
"Initially we were all working together, but as the laps ticked down, the non-sprinters were looking at the sprinters, and trying to make opportunities for themselves, so that's when the gap came down from a minute to about 20 seconds."
Van Gilder's Cheerwine team-mate Kelly Benjamin was able to take the field sprint for sixth ahead of Rais and Colavita's Shontelle Gauthier.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Emory Ball/Cyclingnews
1 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road Women 1.23.00 2 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team Tibco 3 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 4 Alison Powers (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 5 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 6 Kelly Benjamin (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 0.13 7 Amber Rais (USA) Team Tibco 8 Shontell Gauthier (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 9 Kacey Manderfield (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing 10 Lara Kroepsch (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling 11 Erica Allar (USA) Aaron's Professional 12 Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 13 Melissa Sanborn (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 14 Rebecca Larson (USA) Aaron's Professional 15 Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Team Kenda Tire 16 Flavia Oliveira (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 17 Catherine Cheatley (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 18 Sarah Duster (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 19 Jennifer Wilson (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 0.19 20 Steph Roorda (USA) Juice Plus/NC cycling 0.22 21 Kele Murdin (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing 22 Catherine Powers (USA) Aaron's Professional 23 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 24 Yukie Nakamura (USA) Team Kenda Tire 25 Susy Pryde (USA) Jazz Apple 26 Pascale Schnider (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 27 Sarah Bamberger (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 0.35 28 Marple Stacy (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 0.39 29 Marni Hambleton (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling 0.45 30 Martina Patella (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling 0.53 31 Christina Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling 1.11 32 Liz Hatch (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 33 Robin Farina (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 3.04 DNF Sonja Evers (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNF Diane Grim (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNF Lorraine Lipfert (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNF Janet Olney (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNF Heidi Von Teitenberg (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNF Patricia Schwager (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team DNF Nichole Wangsgard (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light DNF Iona Wynter Parks (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light DNF Kristy Swope (USA) EPS/CSS/Riptide Cycl DNF Michele Bote (USA) HPC powered by Altar DNF Kate Flore (USA) HPC powered by Altar DNF Jennifer Rasmusson (USA) HPC powered by Altar DNF Jenette Williams (USA) HPC powered by Altar DNF Liz Leyden (USA) Hub Racing DNF Alison Fischer (USA) Hub Racing DNF Emma Giddens (USA) Hub Racing DNF Leeanne Manderson (USA) Hub Racing DNF Brooke O'Connor (USA) Hub Racing DNF Dale Tye (USA) Hub Racing DNF Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom / Pabst DNF Sara Schewel (USA) Human Zoom / Pabst DNF Bianca Grecu (USA) Human Zoom / Pabst DNF Nonnie Howard (USA) Human Zoom / Pabst DNF Lauren Ellis (USA) Jazz Apple DNF Emma Petersen (USA) Jazz Apple DNF Amity Elliot (USA) Juice Plus DNF Holli Steelman (USA) Juice Plus/NC cycling DNF Rachel Warner (USA) Juice Plus/NC cycling DNF Kate Veronneau (USA) Kutztown Cutters DNF Colleen Hayduk (USA) Kutztown Inn / Bicyce DNF Kimberly Geist (USA) Metro Volkswagen DNF Reem Jishi (USA) Team Advil-ChapStick DNF Natalie Klemko (USA) Team Advil-ChapStick DNF Brenda Lyons (USA) Team Advil-ChapStick DNF Sarah Tillotson (USA) Team Advil-ChapStick DNF Marjan Huizing (USA) Team Kenda Tire DNF Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Team Kenda Tire DNF Rushlee Buchanan (USA) Team Tibco DNF Sharon Allpress (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling DNF Emily Zell (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling DNF Tricia Carnila (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing DNF Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing DNF Lisa Jellett (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing DNF Jessie Maclean (USA) Verducci/Breakaway Racing DNS Anna Lang (USA) Aaron's Professional DNS Christy Blakely (USA) BMW-Bianchi DNS Laura Weislo (USA) BMW-Bianchi DNS Beth Mason (USA) C3-Sollay.com DNS Tiffany Cromwell (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light DNS Tina Pic (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light DNS Susan Hefler (USA) HPC powered by Altar DNS Belinda Goss (USA) Jazz Apple DNS Malindi Maclean (USA) Jazz Apple DNS Laura McCaughey (USA) Juice Plus/NC cycling DNS Kathryn Wilder (USA) Team Somerset DNS Sarah Caravella (USA) Team Tibco DNS Sinead Miller (USA) UPMC Cycling Performance