Alison Starnes wins Merco Credit Union Classic, Teutenberg makes it three stages for team
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Monday, March 07, 2011

Alison Starnes wins Merco Credit Union Classic, Teutenberg makes it three stages for team

by Shane Stokes at 8:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Sprint decides final stage

Alison StarnesResisting attacks from the HTC Highroad team and the other big rivals in the race, Alison Starnes held on to win the overall classification in the Merco Credit Union Stage Race yesterday. The former tennis player and her Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty12 team-mates coped well with the attacks on the 72 mile stage, with her team riding hard to haul back a breakaway featuring Tibco’s Kendal Ryan, Ally Stacher (HTC Highroad), Starla Teddergreen (Vanderkitten-Focus) and Peggy Legrand (US Military).

They then controlled a move by Stacher’s team-mate Ina Yoko Teutenberg and third placed-rider Pascale Maria Schnider (Red Racing), ensuring a big bunch sprint. Teutenberg won there, following up on her victory on stage three and team-mate Amanda Miller’s success on day one.

She admitted afterwards that the team was unable to break the grip of the Peanut Butter & Co-Twenty12 team. “It was a hard race today and it got pretty cold out there,” she explained. “We gave it everything to make it hard for Peanut Butter but in the end we decided to save it for the stage win.

“In the final I was able to follow trains from other teams. It was a fast finish and I came off Pascal Schnider's wheel for the win. It's nice to be at the end of this solid block of racing here and in New Zealand.”

The HTC Highroad riders had just three in the race, and so it made things difficult to fight for the yellow jersey. Stacher went up the road early on and tried to put pressure on Starnes and her team.

“I was up front with a girl from Air Force and one from Tibco,” she said afterwards. “We knew the group would eventually catch us but we just wanted to keep the break going as long as possible.”

However it wasn’t enough to put Starnes under pressure and she held on to take a fine overall victory.

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