US teams out for first ever Liberty home win
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Saturday, June 05, 2010

US teams out for first ever Liberty home win

by Ben Atkins at 11:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Americans out to end German dominance of their biggest domestic race

ina teutenbergA slightly less international field than usual will take the start of this weekend’s Liberty Classic in Philadelphia, as the USA seeks its first winner in the race. A calendar clash with the GP Ciudad de Valladolid in Spain, the sixth round of the World Cup, means that a lot of the big teams have elected to stay in Europe. Added to this the demise of the World Cup and stage race in Montreal, Canada means that the international teams have had less incentive to cross the Atlantic.

HTC-Columbia’s Ina Teutenberg starts as the overwhelming favourite to take her fourth victory in the race. Queen Tut has a way to go to match her compatriot Petra Rossner though, who won seven times in nine years; in fact the Germans have won 11 of the 16 editions of the race.

Noris Cycling is the one other team to have made the journey, adding to the chances of another German victory. Last year’s fourth place Trixi Worrack and sprinter Angela Hennig represent the team’s best chance of a result.

Shelley Evans of Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty12 came closest to taking a home win last year with third place. The 29-year-old sprinter has recovered from her crash in the World track championships and last month won the Pan American Cycling Championships road race in Mexico. Alongside Evans will be Mara Abbott, fresh from taking second place in the Tour de l’Aude in France.

Tour of California Sacramanto Women’s Grand Prix winner Coryn Rivera, at just 18 years of age, is on the team’s reserve list.

Tibco fields a strong team behind Australian champion Ruth Corset and New Zealander Jo Kiesanowski, who finished second in last year’s race. The team’s best chance of a home victory is probably Brooke Miller, who will be hoping for a bunch sprint. Miller actually beat Teutenberg in the sprint for second in 2008, and is another rider who is coming off a strong Tour de l’Aude where she took the sprint jersey. The team also fields US champion Meredith Miller, who will want to show her red, white and blue jersey in the country’s biggest race.

Colavita-Baci’s best chances in the race are with Lithuanian Modesta Vzesniauskaite and New Zealander Catherine Cheatley. Vzesniauskaite finished in second place behind Rivera in last month’s Sacramamento Grand Prix and so will like her chances here.

The Webcor Builders team brings a great deal of experience to the race in Katheryn Mattis and Amber Neben. Mattis won a stage in the recent Tour de l’Aude and was one of the most aggressive riders in the race, so should be on top form right now. Despite a quiet start to the season, a rider like Neben can never be discounted.

The course is based on four laps of a 23km (14.4 mile) lap around the city of Phialdelphia, each of which climbs the dreaded Manayunk Wall. With the last climb of the wall just 8km from the finish a breakaway has every chance, but with Teutenberg’s HTC-Columbia team keen to guide the German champion to victory once again a sprint looks likely; unless Teutenberg herself is in the break that is.

Past winners:
1994 Marianne Bergelund (Swe)
1995 Clara Hughes (Can)
1996 Petra Rossner (Ger)
1997 Edita Pučinskaitė (Ltu)
1998 Petra Rossner (Ger)
1999 Petra Rossner (Ger)
2000 Petra Rossner (Ger)
2001 Petra Rossner (Ger)
2002 Petra Rossner (Ger)
2003 Lyne Bessette (Can)
2004 Petra Rossner (Ger)
2005 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger)
2006 Regina Schleicher (Ger)
2007 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger)
2008 Chantal Beltman (Ned)
2009 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger)

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