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Round 5 - Teutenberg shows why she is the best sprinter in the World, Vos still in World Cup lead

Chongming Island, China, 138.6km

Race Writeup

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) showed why she is known a the fastest sprinter in the world, winning the inaugural Chongming Island World Cup ahead of Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) and Rochelle Gilmore (Australian National Team).

The first ever World Cup in China, started with an elaborate opening ceremony. The event included local drummers, Chinese dragon dancers, singing and a display of local martial arts.

Weather conditions had turned to 17 degrees and rain with a strong breeze for the early part of the race. Like the Dutch World Cup race there were two intermediate sprints and a KOM prize on offer for the riders as they completed the 138.6km circuit. The race was completely unique, in that the two climbs was across and back over the 10km expanse of the recently finished Shanghai Changjing Tunnel Bridge. The bridge spans the Yansea river and connects Chongming Island with the Pudong side of Shanghai. 

Despite a number of attacks in the first 45km of the race, the bunch remained intact. A small crash on the approach to the toll gates just before the bridge, involving Malin Rydlund (Team Alriksson Go Green), Valenina Ulbrikht (Kazakhstan) and Myochin Yuko (Japan) disrupted the back of the bunch and it split into two groups. 

Just as it came back together and the three riders had made contact, the front of the peloton had turned on the power. A lead group of 28 riders formed. Driving the front were the teams of Cervelo Test Team and HTC Columbia. They quickly gained a 22 second advantage over the rest of the peloton. Over the KOM for the first time, Trixi Worrack (Norris Cycling) led Ellen van Dijk (HTC Columbia) and Melissa Holt (NZL). There was an immediate counter attack and Judith Arndt (HTC Columbia) attacked on the decent to the U-turn just before the tunnel the other side of the bridge. This split the lead group again to 19 riders. Most of Cervelo were there with all of HTC Columbia, two riders, Angela Hennig and Worrack from Noris Cycling, Liu Xin (Giant Pro Cycling), Alessandra D'Ettorre (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Vilija Serekaite (Lithuania), Melissa Holt and Toni Bradshaw (New Zealand), and the Korean Choi Hye Kyeong. 

Arndt managed to gain a 50m advantage over the chasing bunch. Iris Slappendel (Cervelo Test Team) gave chase to Arndt, but she could not make contact. At the front of the chase group, Sarah Duester (Cervelo Test Team) gave it everything to bridge the gap to Arndt. The pace split the leading group to make a smaller group of seven riders as they caught Arndt on the decent back towards Chongming Island. Charlotte Becker and Sarah Duester (Cervelo Test Team), Arndt and van Dijk from HTC Columbia, Liu Xin (Giant Pro Cycling), Serekaite and the Korean Choi Hye Kyeong made the break. The leading group had 1 minute 10 seconds to the main peloton with 10 seconds to the chase group. 

At the toll gates at the exit of the bridge, Adrie Visser (HTC Columbia), Worrack and Holt bridge the gap to the leading seven riders. With 86.8km of racing completed the gap to the peloton had dropped to 50 seconds. This was as a result of the work done by Top Girls Fassa Bortolo, Ukraine and the Australian National Team who wer all on the front, driving the pace. 

As the leading group reached the flat fast section, the breeze had dropped and it allowed two riders to attack the front of the bunch. Arndt and Duester quickly gained an 18 second advantage. By the time they reached 106km of the race completed, the two leaders had a gap of 40 seconds to the main peloton with the small group of 8 riders 22 seconds back. 

Top Girls Fassa Bortolo and the Australian National Team worked tirelessly on the front to close the gap to the group of 8 riders and they managed it with 30km of racing left. 

Cervelo and HTC Columbia riders tried to disrupt the chase to the leaders, as the peloton moved through the edges of the Dongping National Park with 25km to go.

The chase to the leaders gained some momentum when Norris Cycling, Australian National team, Top Girls Fassa Bortolo and a couple of the the Ukraine riders shared the chase. With 8km to go the two lone leaders had an 11 second advantage. By 5km to go gap was closed and the group were all together. 

The teams tried to get organised for their sprinters 2km out. With 1km to go however, van Dijk, Visser and Chloe Hosking (HTC Columbia) tried to disrupt things by attacking. Teutenberg allowed a gap to form and waited to jump until the group caught them with 150m to go. Wild, who had realised the danger had to chase hard to catch the three leaders, van Dijk, Visser were still able to assist Teutenberg to the line. 

With 100m to go the bunch were closing fast on the finish line. In an incredible sprint, it looked like Wild was going to win with10m to go, but Teutenberg showed her class and crossed the line 20cm ahead of Wild. Gilmore who had jumped on Wild's wheel could not get past the strong Dutch rider and again finished 3rd in the sprint.

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Post Race Comments

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) started the World cup event as the a favourite, and both she and HTC-Columbia handled the pressure perfectly. Having proved she was the fastest all week during the Tour of Chongming Island stage race, Teutenberg won with a little room to spare to win the team's first World Cup of the season. "I was tired after Friday. but we hade a really, really good situation round the last corner today. The girls tried to lead me out and they went pretty quick the young ones, I was a little bit scared. I opened up the gap and I told them to go," said Teutenberg laughing. 

"Until 200m towards the finish it looked like we were going to have three riders on the podium of the World Cup. Iris [Slappendel] tried to help Wild but she had to do most of the work herself," added Teutenberg. 

Reflecting on the course, Teutenberg added, "The course was good, the roads are so wide that it made if really safe for the riders. The bridge was interesting, It would have been better if the weather wasn't so bad but the wind wasn't too bad either which made it a little easier for everyone."

Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) had to settle for second again in what was one of the most exciting finishes to a World Cup race. "It was a good situation for us with Sarah [Duester] in front. She is strong and fast and it could have been the top of the podium had she stayed away. In the final kilometre, HTC Columbia played a perfect race. They attacked with three at 1km to go. We were not ready to go and I had to go early in the sprint and pass the three riders and then Ina passed me again with a few centimetres to spare. Again second but it is good for a World Cup for me," said Wild.

The courses this week have suited the tall and powerful Dutch sprinter, Wild reflected on the World Cup course, "It was good, there wasn't so much wind, the course was really good. The bridge was almost a climb, which made it interesting. If there had been more win, it would have caused much more of a problem for everyone. Overall I am very I am impressed by the standard of racing."

Rochelle Gilmore (Australian National Team) struggled a little during the race due to illness, but her team did everything they could to get her to the line to compete in the sprint. "We went into the race thinking that 3rd was probably the best we could do given the form of the two main sprinters. They are more experienced and I have some things to learn from them. It my team had not chased so hard in the last 10km, I would have ended up 5th, not on the podium. They gave 100% to close the gap and get me to the line. It made me proud to be an Australian today, they worked so hard and left everything out on the road," said Gilmore.

Gloria Presti (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Ghezzi) was very cold and wet after the race but pleased with the way her team have performed this week. "For sure today was very hard in the rain and the wind. We worked hard every second. We tried hard to bring the break back because we didn't have anyone in the break. It was very hard but we rode very well today," said Presti.

Melissa Holt (New Zealand) has enjoyed her week racing in China, "The bridge was amazing today, it was a shame we could not see anything. It was spectacular riding over it, even in the conditions we were facing," said Holt "It has been a great week of racing. The organisers have done a great job," added Holt

Ronny Lauke (HTC-Columbia Team Manager) was extremely happy with the teams performance, "We badly wanted to get a win in the World Cup series, but overall the important thing was the way our team raced, we were really on top of of things," says Lauke. "It is a great result, we tried to create some action before the finish but it came back. Ina made it happen again, but it was obviously tight again against Kirsten Wild, she is a great sprinter. The goal was to win," added Lauke

"I'd checked out the course beforehand and it was clear there were going to be crosswinds and splits in the bunch, and our team was really attentive. After about 60 kilometres, when the first big break of about 20 went, we had six riders in it. Judith [Arndt] was really strong, too. She went solo for us on the return section of the race, which forced other teams to chase, and even when the next group got away she still had enough strength to get into that move, along with two more of our riders, [Ellen] Van Dijk and Adrie Visser."

"Then Judith went again in the last part and that made the other squads work some more. Finally Judith was caught and with about two kilometres to go we started the leadout for Ina. The leadout was so fast that Ina let a gap open with a kilometer to go allowing her three teammates to go for the victory ahead of the field."

"This forced Cervelo to chase again and they caught the trio with 150 meters to go and Teutenberg was able to come around at the last minute to take the sprint from Wild. They needed a photo-finish to decide if Ina had won, but actually it was pretty clear she had got it,"
Lauke reflected.

Judith Arndt (HTC Columbia) was the highest ranked rider on the World Cup standings. There was no chance of her taking over the overall but a win, would have put her into second overall. Arndt attacked on the climb and thought she might be able to stay away but it didn't happen, "Conditions could have been easier but it was the same for everyone. I didn't really mind. I thought I could stay away. I wasn't sure I could do it as I could have gone faster but I was doing the same amount of work as Sarah [Duester]. I couldn't work more because I wasn't sure that I could beat her in the sprint. I didn't care about the World Cup points, the goal was to get a win and when I was caught it was all about helping Ina to win," said Arndt.

Joop Atsma (Member of UCI committee and President of Road Commission) was in Chongming to watch the race and evaluate the performance of the Chinese, in their first World Cup. "I have been very impressed by what I have seen. I am very satisfied byt what I have seen, there was no traffic, hundreds of volunteers and when you ask the riders, everyone wants to come back to race in China again," said Atsma.

Greg Griffiths (Chief Commissaire- Aus) was in China for the first time and he reflected on the race, "It has been fantasticlly well run, especially considering this is their first ever World Cup. It has been very safe and the safety of the riders is our major priority. The riders seemed excited to see the road going upwards after the flat raods they have been racing on all week. The attacks went on the bridge, as we had predicted they would. In future years if there is more wind, which is difficult to predict, I think we will see more breaks and the bridge will make a bigger difference to the race."

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team
1 Ina Yoko Teutenberg TCW 3:30:17
2 Kirsten Wild CWT "
3 Rochelle GILMORE AUS "
4 Angela Hennig NRU "
5 Marta TAGLIAFERRO TOG "
6 Ellen van Dijk TCW "
7 Aurore VERHOEVEN ESG "
8 Emma Petersen NZL "
9 Melissa Holt NZL "
10 Liu Xin GPC "

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Standings Top 10 - click here to see full standings

Position Name Country/Team Points
1 Marianne Vos  Nederland Bloeit 155
2 Grace Verbeke  Lotto Ladies Team 114
3 Emma Johansson  Redsun Cycling Team 101
4 Kirsten Wild   Cervelo TestTeam 92
5 Emma Pooley   Cervelo TestTeam 82
6 Nicole Cooke Great Britain 78
7 Loes Gunnewjik Nederland Bloeit 75
8 Ina Yoko Teutenberg HTC Columbia 75
9 Annemiek Van Vleuten   Nederland Bloeit 70
10 Martine Bras  Gauss 57

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