Who can knock Teutenberg off her throne?
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Back on the streets of Philadelphia this Sunday is the 11th annual women's Liberty Classic. Won seven times by German sprinter Petra Rossner, the race was taken over last year by Rossner's former teammate and fellow German, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, who is back this year with her T-Mobile teammates to defend the title. This year for the first time the Liberty Classic is part of a three race series called the Triple Crown Series, which started with two criteriums earlier in the week in Lancaster and Reading. Teutenberg is off to a good start in the series, winning the first two rounds and leading the Triple Crown by 56 points. Sunday however, is the race of prestige and the one everybody wants to win.
The women's race consists of four laps of the course which is 14.4 miles/23 km long for a total of 57.6 miles/91 km, which means four times up the famous Manayunk Wall. Traditionally the race has ended in a bunch sprint but there has been the odd occasion where a breakaway did succeed. In 1997 Clara Hughes broke away to take the win and in 2002, the Saturn team forced the pace the last time over the wall taking only seven riders to the line, with Rossner winning the sprint out of the break. In 2003 a group also went away on the wall, with Lyne Bessette attacking out of the group on Lemon hill to solo to the finish. Last year again, there was a break of 14 riders, but all the top sprinters were up there, with Teutenberg taking the win from current World Champion Regina Schleicher.
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