Just like the men’s race, the women’s 40 lap criterium in Merced came down to a bunch sprint with the indomitable Ina Teutenberg (Columbia-High Road) coming out on top. Tibco teammates National Crit Champion Brooke Miller and Lauren Tamayo took second and third.
“It’s the top end that is missing. I didn’t do much in the last 10 laps because I knew it would be coming to a sprint. Lauren was sitting on me, I just figured out and wait and wait for the sprint.” said Teutenberg about the finale.
While the 3-rider Columbia-High Road team raced aggressively trying to launch breaks, the Tibco team employed a defensive tactic aiming for a bunch sprint.
“Today we executed our race the way we wanted to. Normally we like to race really aggressively. Today we wanted to practice racing just one hundred percent defensively, we have the numbers, we want the race to be a bunch sprint, we’re going to make it a bunch sprint. We were all just cover & kill, cover & kill, Columbia kept being aggressive and attacking and we kept chasing them down. Ina was getting so frustrated, she was like ‘come on’.” said Miller.
Other teams such as Colavita/Sutter Home, Kahala-LaGrange, SugarCRM and Touchstone tried to escape but the strong Tibco team shut everything down.
And the Tibco leadout train executed perfectly but Teutenberg was able to come around and take the win.
“I think they are given up the race to be honest but each team to their own and if they wanted to really practice their leadout today, and they did a fantastic job at that. They did a really good job in the last two laps, there’s no doubt about it, it was fast, nobody could come around, Brooke was second and I was third… You never know, we would have covered their attacks too.” said Teutenberg.
“We wanted to practice forming a leadout when the race swarms, so instead of forming it early, we’re going to wait with one lap to go. When we came around that corner with one lap to go, it was Amber [Rais], Lauren [Tamayo], Kat [Carroll] and myself and that was exactly scripted the way we wanted it to be. We wanted Kat to go from that last corner and she went, we wanted Lauren to go in that corner and she went. Everything was perfect except that on the actual sprint itself, I was trying to be patient or I was too patient, I wanted to jump on Lauren’s left but Ina jumped before me and took that left option which meant I kind of to slow a little bit, I stuttered to try and go right and that slowed me down.” said Miller.
Tamayo, who chased down a lot of early moves, enjoys her role as the last leadout. “For me, it’s actually really good because I don’t like mixing it up in crazy sprints. So I like actually being in front, I can read the race and I can usually read the sprint but because I don’t like throwing elbows so much, it’s really not a good role for me to be a sprinter. So it’s good for Brooke, we’ve been working together for two years now and she trusts my wheel, she trusts that what I say will work for her, it’s good. ”
Complete results at USA Cycling