Trust House Women’s Cycling Tour of New Zealand 2007
Lower Hutt Criterium, 35km
A warm, but typically windy day greeted the riders for Stage 1 of the 2007 Tour of New Zealand. On a course which started and finished outside the TV studios near Lower Hutt, the race was guaranteed good media coverage. local spectators and cycling fans also turned out to cheer on the riders, including the ever-popular Sarah Ulmer.
A series of attacks saw various small groups of riders gain small advantages on the bunch, but with a strong T-Mobile watching over affairs to ensure a that one of their sprinters would be in the final gallop, there wasn't too much space given to anyone. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg herself chased a couple of the breakaways down, also evident at the front at various points were Judith Arndt and Alexis Rhodes.
Nikki Egyed (AIS) rode a good race, placing in each of the sprints and taking the sprinter's jersey into Stage 2.
With 10 minutes of the 1 hour plus 3 laps race remaining, a group got away which contained riders from the bigger teams: Egyed (AIS), Teutenberg and Arndt (T-Mobile), Kiesanowski (NZ), Charlotte Becker (GER), Hobson, van Gilder and Cheatley (all Cheerwine), plus Ljungskog and Gunnewijk (Team Flexpoint).
The group rode steadily and maintained their gap on the bunch to the finish, despite some hard riding from the Australian National team, in particular, Olivia Gollan to try to reduce their advantage.
The sprint took up the width of the finishing straight, until it took on an arrowhead formation as Teutenberg got past a tiring Kiesanowski to win ahead of van Gilder and Charlotte Becker.
Teutenberg takes the race leader's jersey into Stage 2. It is her first time in yellow, depsite several wins, including two in the 2006 event.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg - "Its good to be back [in Wellington]. I was pleased with the win," On whether she could carry the leader's jersey over the hilly stage to the finish in Wellington on Sunday, she commented with a grin, "I can wear it up the climb, but I don't know if I'll have it on the other side!"
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