HTC-Columbia women's team depart the US after a successful California campaign, well prepared to take on a series of UCI World Cup events in Europe, beginning with the women's Tour of Flanders on April 4 in Belgium.
"We won Flanders in the last two years and so we want to do it again with the team," said defending champion Ina Teutenberg. "We will have a very strong line up with Judith [Arndt] and Noemi [Cantele] but there are more than a hundred people that want to win that race."
Teutenberg will lead a team into the famed one-day Classic that will include 2008 winner Judith Arndt, Noemi Cantele, Kim Anderson, Adrie Visser and Linda Villumsen.
Marianne Vos won the first World Cup of the season at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda held in Cittiglio, Italy last Sunday. There are three World Cup events in the next three weeks, with the Tour of Flanders, the Unive Ronde van Darthe in the Netherlands on April 10 and La Fleche Wallone Feminine in the Ardennes region of Belgium on April 21.
"It's always a goal - winning a World Cup - and there are a couple in a row," said Teutenberg. "I really want to try to win the Dutch World Cup round."
Teutenberg capped off a successful four weeks of racing that began at the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic in California. The German national champion won a total of four race days including two overall titles at the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Her teammates included Evelyn Stevens, Emilia Fahlin, Kim Anderson and Chloe Hosking.
"These races are perfect to get fit and we want to race good next weekend in Flanders," Teutenberg continued. "We have to be fit when we go there. You can't be getting dropped here and then think you're going to go to Europe and be competitive in a World Cup."
"These races in California are important because we are a California-based team," she added. "They have been very rewarding wins especially when the other teams make it hard like on Sunset. Without having a strong team I wouldn't have been able to make it."