Energiewacht Tour 2011
Stage 2- Teutenberg sprints to victory and into overall.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Highroad) blasted out of the bunch with 50m to go to win across the line just ahead of Kirsten Wild (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) and Girorgia Bronzini (Colavita Forno D'Asolo). Overall leader during the stage, Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) finished 4th.
The win puts Teutenberg into the lead in the overall and points competition. Martine Bras (Dolmans) managed to hold onto the sprint leaders jersey.
Stage 2 included 5 laps of a 15.9km circuit round the Oldambtmeer. The sun was shining but it was still a little cold for the start of the stage. 145 riders started the second stage which was always going to be challenging for a large bunch.
It wasn't until after the first lap that the race really picked up pace. Liesbet de Vocht (Belgium National Team) tried a lone attack and managed to gain a small lead, but it was short lived. As the peloton approached the end of the first lap, Charlotte Becker (HTC Highroad) attacked to set Teutenberg up for the sprint bonus. Immediately Nederland Bloeit and AA Drink - Leontien.nl responded to try to close the gap.
The increase in pace but pressure on the bunch and caused cracks to appear. The damage was done. Half way through the second lap, a leading group of 85 riders formed. All the key players were there.
The leaders worked to keep the pace high. With 2 laps to go, Alona Androk (Diadora-Pasta Zara) attacked and managed to quickly gain a 25 second gap. Nederland Bloeit, AA Drink - Leontien.nl and HTC Highroad moved to the front to control the chase. Androk managed to gain a maximum lead of 45 seconds before the chase really picked up pace.
With one lap to go, the gap was down to 25 seconds. A small group of riders tried to break away from the chase but they were not allowed to get far.
With 8km to go the gap was 20 seconds and by the time the leader reached 6km to go the chase group managed o gethe gap down to 15 seconds before losing a 3 more seconds. The chase reorganised and immediately, the sprint trains started to form. Nederland Bloeit, AA Drink - Leontien.nl, Colavita Forno D'Asolo and HTC Highroad were all positing their sprinters ready to navigate the challenging last 1km.
At 2.5km the peloton was all together and it was down to positioning for the last left hand turn and 250m sprint for the line.
Ronny Lauke(Director HTC Highroad) was very happy with how the team performed, "Ina won it in a sprint, but there were times when it looked like anything but a bunch sprint would happen," commented Lauke.
"The pack split again and again in the early part of the race, sometimes with about 30 in the front group, which made it very tough going at first. Then there was a breakaway in the last 20 kilometers and we had to work hard to bring that back, too."
Reflecting on the performance so far, "Ina was second in yesterday's stage and she had picked up some time bonuses, too and we knew that if she won the final bunch sprint she'd be in the lead, so everybody was very motivated. Tomorrow it's a similar kind of course, and we're expecting it to be windy again, and with only one second's advantage overall it's going to be tough to keep it.But we'll do our best and see where that gets us." added Lauke
Kirsten Wild (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) had the perfect lead out but could not quite match the speed of Teutenberg, "My team did a great job. The roads were narrow which made positioning hard. Adrie [Visser] did a great job for Ina and I was just not fast enough today," said Wild
Alona Androk (Diadora Pasta Zara) attacked with 50km to go and managed to hold off the chase until the last three kilometres, she was awarded the most active on the stage, “Initially I hoped someone would catch me so we could work together. I thought ther would be attacks from the bunch and we would be able to work together, but it didn’t happen. They caught me at 3km to go so that was a shame,” said Androk
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/04_Energiewacht/02_Stage2/PhotoIndex.html]
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