Monday, June 04, 2012

Teutenberg Wins Her Fifth Liberty Classic Title

PHILADELPHIA (June 3, 2012) - German Ina Teutenberg, racing for the Specialized-lululemon team, easily won her fifth Liberty Classic in a fast field sprint. Her win brings her close to the event’s all-time top winner, fellow German Petra Rossner.

"The first time was the most special but it is nearly as great to win every other year!" Teutenberg said comparing her first win in 2005 to today. Though everyone knows she is the pre-race favorite, the other teams seemed content to let the race come down to a field sprint and have their sprinters take their chances with the German champion. This could have been a consequence of the stronger than usual headwind for the trips out towards Manayunk.

"I think the wind made it slower because going out to the wall it was hard to do anything," said Teutenberg. "But I think all the riders were instructed not to do anything because of me being here for the sprint. But if they would have tried a break, it might have worked out."

Second place went to former Australian champion Alexis Rhodes (Orica-GreenEDGE) and third place was defending Liberty Classic winner and current world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora - Pasta Zara) of Italy. While normally a potent sprint rival to the likes of Teutenberg, several recent crashes in field sprints have taken their toll on her.

"It was a nervous race for me because all the sprinters felt good in the race and all the teams were working for the sprinters," said Bronzini. "So the race was not so hard and there was a good chance for someone to attack."

"I am coming off an unlucky period for me with many crashes and I came to the sprint but unsure so I didn't take the right wheel. The right wheel was of Ina and I know it but there were many [riders] fighting for it. So I started my sprint so long and I was too tired at the finish line. But I am happy to come to this race here in Philly because I like this race so much."

The westerly winds also affected the final sprint as the racers came around the Logan Square circle for the final 800 meter dash to the line. Trying to throw a wrench into the sprinters' plans was Aussie Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-GreenEDGE) taking a solo flyer in the final kilometers.

"It's always so dangerous after Logan Circle because the speed stops but the Optum train was in front of me and then Trixi [Worrack] just started to launch our own lead out and I had a free shot after that to the finish. At the end I knew it would be hard for people to pass me because I closed the door on the left so they would have to be in the wind too. From 150 meters to the end everyone was in the wind [with me]."

This year’s Queen of the Mountain went to Kristin McGrath (USA) of Team Exergy Twenty12.

The Liberty Classic, more than 150 of the world’s top pro women cyclists, got underway at 10:55 a.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just 10 minutes after the pro men took off to contest the 124-mile TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship.  The women raced 57.6 miles.

RESULTS:

1.   GER  TEUTENBERG Ina Team Specialized lululemon 2.29'08"    

2.   AUS  GILMORE Rochelle Faren Honda Team

3.   ITA  BRONZINI Giorgia Diadora - Pasta Zara    

4.   CAN  KIRCHAMANN Leah Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

5.   CAN  NUMAINVILLE Joelle Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies  

6.   NZL  KIESANOWSKI Joanne TIBCO to the TOP

7.   USA  CLIFF-RYAN Theresa Exergy TWENTY12

8.   USA  VAN GILDER Laura Mellow Mushroom

9.   GUM  PIPES Lenore Pure Energy Cycling ProAri-HFA

10.   ITA  D'ETTORRE Alessandra Diadora - Pasta Zara   
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