Teutenberg ends 2013 season as recovery from head injury continues
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Teutenberg ends 2013 season as recovery from head injury continues

by Shane Stokes at 8:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
German sprinter still trying to bounce back, future uncertain

Ina Yoko TeutenbergThe effects of the head injury suffered by Ina Yoko Teutenberg three months ago continue to affect her 2013 season, with the Specialized lululemon rider now accepting that it would be prudent to miss the rest of this year.

Teutenberg crashed heavily in the Acht van Dwingeloo on March 7th and while she hoped to be able to return after the spring Classics, this has proved not to be the case.

“I have been talking with the team for couple of days now and we came to the decision that sitting out the season is the smart thing for me to do,” the German sprinter said today. “It is hard to admit defeat to the crash as I have gotten a lot better in the last weeks, but I am just not a the point to be an athlete and resume full training in order to get ready and be competitive.

“Right now I am still fighting to be able to do every day life stuff and the main focus is that I get 100% healthy and not risk my health in order to be at a start line.”

Teutenberg is one of the team’s strongest riders and while she briefly considered retirement after the 2012 season, she decided to continue her career. She has clocked up numerous big wins over her pro career, with those successes including stages in the Giro Donne and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, two wins in the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup race, fourth in the Olympic Games road race plus victory in last year’s team time trial at the worlds.

The 38 year old took her fifth consecutive Merced criterium victory in March.

“Our initial goal was to get Ina back to racing in time for the Giro Rosa which is due to start at the end of June,” Specialized lululemon team owner Kristy Scrymgeour explained. “We wanted to give her the chance to finish out the season but unfortunately she is not ready. We've been very careful and conservative with her as the hit to the head was very hard and with the head you can never be too careful.”

Scrymgeour has known Teutenberg for many years and said that the whole experience had been a tough one for the rider. “She's been racing since she was six years old and she definitely doesn't like being this sedentary. She also hates letting down her team,” Scrymgeour said, adding that Teutenberg has supported the squad from the sideline at a time when she has not been able to race.

“We miss our team sprinter but she's definitely been giving her tactical input to the girls and they did a great job this spring with three riders out to injury.”

Teutenberg is at an age where the end of her career is beckoning. At this point in time it is unclear if she will continue into 2014 or not. Scrymgeour suggested that the decision will be made at a future point.

“This will give her a chance to recover fully and then make a decision later in the year if she'll be back for another year of racing,” she said.


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