German Sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Columbia-High Road) won her second consecutive at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, outsprinting her rivals to claim victory in the Redlands Criterium. Former US Crit Champion Tina Pic (Colavita/Suttter Home) was second and Canadian Gina Grain (Webcor) was third. Amber Neben (Nurnberger Shoair) is still in the lead with a slim marging of 2 seconds over Teutenberg who grabbed time bonuses during the stage.
“There was one attack and then it slowed down again. You kind of have to go and go and go and make people tired then they make mistakes. My team really paid attention up front so it wasn’t really an exciting race. I was not allowed to attack so it made it pretty boring for me today.” said Teutenberg.
“This stage is always hard. It’s tight and fast and not much room to move up. I still think this is one of the hardest races in the year. It was fun today though. It was so much warmer today and I don’t even want to think about tomorrow.” laughed Pic.
Before the start of the stage, American Christine Thorburn was awarded the 2009 Redlands Legends Award.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic Organizing Committee recognized Thorburn’s dedication and self motivation which represent the true essence of professional cycling; along with personal sacrifice and unrelenting determination Thorburn did everything right to leave an enduring impression on the sport.
No breaks escaped the field in the 60-minute criterium raced on a highly technical, tight 9 turn 1.6 km course and the field stayed mostly together until the final sprint to the finish line.
Teutenberg won an intermediate time bonus of 3 seconds and a very attentive Neben made a move to get the one second bonus.
“I was just trying to minimize any damages. I knew that she would take some time bonuses. I think I did manage to pick a 1 second time bonus, but she got 3 and who knows that may come in handy tomorrow. There is a lot of racing yet.” said Neben.
“For me, my whole focus is a GC focus. My little world is a little different from the people who are trying to win the stage. In my little world, I am focused on the people who are right near me in GC. It just happened to be Ina Teutenberg, one of the best sprinters in the world. Being the little climber that I am, it was quite the task to follow her around. ” continued Neben.
“I gained some bonus time today but tomorrow it goes uphill,” laughed Teutenberg, “and we will see how it goes. I didn’t really go for the sprinters points today because I don’t want to waste my energy. I need to save everything for tomorrow, I am focusing mainly on the yellow.”
Making a play for the green jersey, Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1) won the three sprint points but it wasn’t enough to overcome Teutenberg’s lead in the competition.
With one stage to go, the infamous Sunset Road Race, Neben leads Teutenberg by a scant 2 seconds. Alison Powers (Team Type 1) is in third place at 38 seconds back.
“The plan tomorrow is just to stay on Amber’s wheel, which is pretty hard to do for me but we will see what happens. We are in a pretty good position right now. If I can stay with the climbers there is a good chance I can get a time bonuses again.” said Teutenberg.
We caught up with Amber Rais (TIBCO) who crashed in Friday’s Beaumont Road Race to get an update on her condition.
“About three miles into the race before the right hand corner just before where the climb started, I hit something in the road. The next thing I know I was over my handlebars. It happened so fast, I am still not really sure what happened. Not too many people went down. It took a little while to get back on the bike because the chain was all tangled. Then my goal was just to make the time cut. I am actually feeling pretty good now though it did hurt a bit cleaning up the road rash. Nothing is broken. TIBCO has a strong team here and we are very motivated. ” said Raid.