UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 5 - Ina-Yoko Teutenberg wins, van Vleuten regains World Cup lead
Tour of Chongming Island, China, 136.3km
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Highroad) completed the double today, winning the World Cup in Chongming, China for a second year. Teutenberg won the sprint ahead of Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin Cervelo) and HTC Highroad's Charlotte Becker.
The second World Cup in China, started with a less elaborate opening ceremony than in 2010 but it was enough to get the crowd excited. The event included dancing and a presentation of the organisation committee.
Weather conditions were in stark contrast to 2010, it was warm and humid during the race with temperatures around 27 degrees for most of the race. The air quality, which had been relatively clear for most of the week dropped a little with the rise in temperature.
A lone solo break from Valentina Bastianelli (Vaiano Solaristech) in the opening kilometres managed to gain a maximum of 4 minute 45 seconds before the chase came from the peloton. Like the Dutch World Cup race, there were two intermediate sprints and a KOM prize on offer for the riders as they completed the 136.3km circuit. Bastianelli took both prizes.
The race again, covered two climbs across and back over the 10km expanse of the Shanghai Changjing Tunnel Bridge. The bridge spans the Yangze river and connects Chongming Island with the Pudong side of Shanghai. Unlike 2010, the top of the bridge could be seen and there was little wind. The riders had a head wind on the way over and a tail wind on the way back. This restricted any chance of an attack. With 75km of racing completed, Bastianelli was caught and the bunch were all together.
A touch of wheels caused a crash, taking down the 2010 World Champion, Giorgia Bronzini. Bronzini managed to get back on her bike, albeit very sore and grazed on her face and elbow.
With 35km to go, Ke Rong Tang (Chongming-Giant) attacked and managed to gain a maximum lead of 1 minute 20 seconds before the teams organised themselves to close the gap. With 10km to go, the peloton was all together.
At 3km, HTC Highroad, took control of the train at the front of the race and brought their sprinter to 200m to go perfectly.
HTC Highroad's Judith Arndt peeled off leaving Becker and Teutenberg. Armitstead was on the wheel of Teutenberg and just managed to get ahead of Becker to take second.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) finished fourth and secured enough points to take back the leader jersey in the World Cup competition from her team-mate Marianne Vos, who has chosen not to ride in China.
Emma Johansson (Hitec) was the only rider at the start of the race that might have been able to take the jersey from Nederland Bloeit, finished in her lowest place in the World Cup competition, back in 14th place.
(HTC Highroad) successfully defended her Chinese Title on Sunday, winning the 136.6
km Chongming Island World Cup event in a bunch sprint, her eighth victory of the season.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit) was happy about securing the overall win but a little disappointed with her final place in the sprint. "I hoped to get third in the sprint here, but it was hard," said van Vleuten. "I am happy we did a good race. It worked out how we thought it would. We did great," she added.
In the sprint, "We did not have a train, HTC had a train of six riders. We only have five and they are not as experienced in doing a train. So I used HTC and they did a good job for me. It worked out like we had planned. I was in the wheel of Sarah [Duester] and we wanted to do it like the second stage of the tour but it was a little harder to keep me in front today," reflected van Vleuten.
Nederland Bloeit have dominated the World Cup this season, van Vleuten was asked if it was possible for her to retain the jersey to the end ahead of Marianne Vos, "We go for it, otherwise we go together for it. It is nice to be able to play it with two people. We will see how it adds up. Marianne is strong especially for Plouay. The course suits her some what better than me. We will see. We also have the Team Time Trial where we are together so I am looking forward to it"
Jaroen Blijlevens (Nederland Bloeit Team Director) was very happy with his team, "I am very happy, Annemiek [van Vleuten] was fourth. Of course in a bunch sprint she is quick but when it is hard like today she got fourth. She got more points in the overall classement [for the World Cup]. Now she is first. She is three points in front of Marianne Vos, but first and second overall is ok for us," said Blijlevens.
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin Cervelo) had a great race and cam off the wheel of Teutenberg a little too late but secured second, "I am really happy. I am really pleased for the whole team. We rode such a good race. Again we didn't win the bunch sprint but it was 20km to g and we knew it was going to happen. The girls rode perfectly for me. I didn't have to do anything really. We were in control in the last 10km, which gave me a lot of confidence. They delivered me perfectly," said Armitstead.
Reflecting on the ride over the bridge, Armitstead added, "It was a little bit strange. It wasn't as windy as we were expecting. It was more of a head wind on the way out and a tail wind on the way back. It wasn't as aggressive as we wanted it to be. We started something but it couldn't happen."
Charoltte Becker (HTC Highroad) was the lead out for Teutenberg but managed to jump again to cross third ahead of Annemiek van Vleuten, "It was a perfect," said Becker, adding, "Judith [Arndt] rode to 300m and I started up the sprint. Then Ina passed me. I could follow and we got, first and third place. It is really cool."
Ideally, HTC Highroad would have liked a break group to form but it didn't happen today, "We tried to create a breakaway but the wind wasn't perfect for it. It was a head wind then a tail wind. To create a breakaway, we really need a cross wind for sure. It wasn't in our favour. In the end we knew we have the best sprinter and we went for the sprint. It worked and it was good," added Becker.
Ronny Lauke (HTC Highroad Team Director) was a very happy many. His team dominated the week and completed the double with the World Cup win. "I'm happy. Overall this China trip turned out to be a very successful trip. The girls rode all the races with almost perfection. The have rally pulled together in the last few days with all the success and fun they had. It has been a big success over here," said Lauke.
"Our plan was to try to use the bridge to break the race into smaller groups to great an even better situation for us but that didn't happen. So after the bridge we said ok, we go for the sprint. We have the fastest sprinter here so it was up to the others to attack. We controlled it well and in the end we made a perfect lead out," added Lauke.
Valentina Bastianelli (Vaiano Solaristech) was the only rider to make a real impact on the race. She was in a lone break for nearly five minutes before being caught with 56km to go, "I tried hard today. I attacked right fromk the start but no one came with me so I was alone. I hoped a group would catch me on the bridge so I could work with them, but it was the whole peloton," said Bastianelli.
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) was not had much luck this season and particularly in China. Wearing the World Championship jersey, Bronzini crashed avoiding another crash during the tour and today did the same thing. "The rider in front of me switched and I tried to go round her but I could not and I crashed on my face," said a very sore Bronzini after the race.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/05_Chongming/PhotoIndex.html]
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