Columbia-Highroad's sprinting ace Ina-Yoko Teutenberg secured the team's first World Cup win of the season in the Tour of Flanders. Teutenberg blasted across the line ahead of nearly 20 riders to take her ninth victory of the season, and the fourteenth win netted by the Columbia-Highroad women's team in 2009.
"I never thought I could win this because it's a pretty hard race, but I got over the (key climb of) the Geraardsbergen in a group with (rival) Kristin Armstrong, and I thought maybe it was going to come back together," Teutenberg said afterwards. "It was a perfect scenario for me and so I tried to take advantage and enjoy it."
"When (Columbia-Highroad teammate) Mark Cavendish won Milano-Sanremo, I joked with him about taking up the challenge and winning a Monument as well. Now I've done it, so now we're even.
"We've got three really big races in Holland next week that really suit me. We've won a big World Cup race, so the pressure is off a bit. Now we can really play our cards without being under too much pressure."
Recapping the race, Teutenberg said, "There weren't really many attacks early on, and I think the good weather played a role in that, so positioning wasn't a big factor. The attacks really started on the Geraardsbergen. There were four off the front and then four of us got across. I was there on my own and it was a big group so I had to be smart and I played off the other teams. I couldn't attack and knew I had to wait for the sprint. It worked out perfectly and I won it. It was a fast sprint and there is only one corner in the last kilometre, so it wasn't a problem for me to really go for it."
For Columbia-Highroad, Teutenberg's win was the team's second straight victory in the Tour of Flanders, following Judith Arndt's first place in 2008. Arndt had to sit out this year's race due to a broken collarbone.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the women's Tour of Flanders.