Ina Teutenberg wins as Specialized-lululemon dominates Energiewacht Tour
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Ina Teutenberg wins as Specialized-lululemon dominates Energiewacht Tour

by Ben Atkins at 1:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
German champion wins two individual stages and the team time trial in second edition of Dutch stage race

ina teutenbergIna Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) announced her return to Europe this April with an emphatic overall victory in the second edition of the Energiewacht Tour. The German champion followed her two stages in the Merco Classic, and the Critérium at the San Dimas Stage Race, with two more sprint victories in the Dutch stage race.

Domination of the race’s team time trial by her Specialized-lululemon team meanwhile, gave Teutenberg the overall victory in the five-day race that is held in the Groningen province, in the vey north eastern corner of the Netherlands.

The race was topped and tailed by victories from two Olympic champions, who hope to defend their Beijing titles in London later in the year.

Kristin Armstrong continues her own successful European return

Following on from her second place in the Ronde van Vlaanderen - a repeat of her 2008 result behind GreenEdge-AIS’ Judith Arndt - Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (United States) began the Energiewacht Tour with victory in the 15km opening time trial in Appingedam. The American, who hopes to repeat her Beijing 2008 glory in London later in the summer, finished ten seconds clear of Canadian champion Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon) around the flat circuit. Dutch champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank), having recovered from the ‘flu that forced her to sit out the Ronde van Vlaanderen, was third, just three seconds behind Hughes.

Stage two consisted of four laps of a 27.7km circuit in Bad Nieuweschans, and saw a group of 22 riders detach from the front of the 151-strong peloton in the wind. The stage was won by German champion Ina Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon), ahead of Kirsten Wild (AA and Vos. With Armstrong behind the split, and losing 3’55”, it was the Dutch champion that took the leader’s jersey.

The third stage, in Oldambt, followed a similar pattern, with the peloton splitting into two, roughly equal parts. Teutenberg came out on top again, with Vos managing to get the better of Wild this time.

“I'm really happy with the wins,” said Teutenberg afterwards. “The team is working really well together and that's cool to see. As usual the racing here is crazy and dangerous, but I love it.

“It's also really cold, but at least it's dry,” she added. “It's been a little windy so yesterday the break went in the wind but we had a good presence and we're in a good position for the general classification.

“Today, lots of breaks went towards the end of the race but in the end it came down to a bunch sprint,” she concluded.

The following day consisted of a short 69.7km stage in Winsum, followed by a 26.5km team time trial between Veendam and Pekela in the afternoon. The morning stage saw a group of eleven pull more than ten minutes clear, but included most of the major players from previous days. Wild managed to get the better of Teutenberg this time, by attacking in the closing kilometres and finishing alone, seven seconds clear, to take her third win of the year, and her first ever solo victory.

“We decided that we [herself and AA teammate Chantal Blaak] would take turns attacking because the final kilometre didn't really suit a good sprint,” Wild explained. “The first breakaway attempt usually fails so we waited until that was over.. 

“This is a positive thing for me, firstly, but also for the team,” she added. “The morale was good already and with the team time trial coming up it will be even better. I think it's pretty cool too that I get to win without a bunch sprint.”

Specialized-lululemon time trials Teutenberg into yellow

Vos had held the leader’s jersey since her stage two victory, but was to lose it to Teutenberg in the afternoon team time trial. Specialized-lululemon won the stage in a time of 35’51”, 39 seconds quicker than GreenEdge-AIS, with Vos’ Rabobank team another 34 seconds back.

“I love the team time trial so I was really looking forward to this stage,” said Teutenberg. “The whole team has raced really well all week and it's nice to be able to move ourselves into the race lead. Let's hope we can defend it tomorrow.”

The United States pair of Armstrong and Andrea Dvorak - who were all that was left of the team after an attritional race - actually finished the stage in a time good enough to take second place, but were not classified as the team needed four riders to register a time.

“We still have one more stage remaining so we can't let our guard down yet,” warned Specialized-lululemon directeur sportif Ronny Lauke. “Marianne Vos is sitting in third place and you can never underestimate what she can do.”

The final stage in Slochteren though, saw a breakaway of eight riders - none of whom were any danger in the general classification - escape and take more than two minutes on the peloton. Olympic champion Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda), who - like Armstrong - is fighting for the opportunity to defend her title in London in the summer, escaped in the final kilometres to take her first victory in Europe this season, with Belgian champion Evelyn Arys (Belgium) outsprinting Sarah Düster (Rabobank) two seconds later.

Teutenberg finished safely in the peloton to hold on to the race lead, and win the race by seven seconds over teammate Ellen van Dijk; Vos managed to prevent an all-Specialized-lululemon podium in third place, 43 seconds behind Teutenberg.

Result stage 1
1. Kristin Armstrong (USA) United States National Team
2. Clara Hughes (Can) Specialized-lululemon @ 10s
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank @ 13s

Result stage 2
1. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank

Result stage 3
1. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank
3. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA

Result stage 4a
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA
2. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 7s
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank

Result stage 4b
1. Specialized-lululemon
2. GreenEdge-AIS @ 39s
3. Rabobank @ 1’13”

Result stage 5
1. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Faren-Honda
2. Evelyn Arys (Bel) Belgian National Team @ 2s
3. Sarah Düster (Ger) Rabobank

Final overall standings
1. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon @ 7s
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank @ 43s
4. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 50s
5. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) GreenEdge-AIS @ 1’10”


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