Ina Teutenberg will direct the newly announced Trek Factory Racing women's team as it makes its debut during the 2019 season, the team announced on its website on Wednesday. The former German sprinter has signed on with the team as their head directeur sportif and will work with the riders at races on a full-time basis.
Trek-Segafredo confirmed that it is launching a new UCI women's team that will race on the Women's WorldTour at a press conference in Aix-les-Bains, during the first rest day at the Tour de France. The team also confirmed that they have signed former world champion Lizzie Deignan.
Deignan is currently taking time off as she is pregnant with her first baby, but will return to racing next year. She was in attendance to speak with the press at the presentation.
Teutenberg, a two-time Olympian, retired from professional bike racing in 2013 after winning over 200 races during her 12-year professional cycling career. She competed for teams Specialized-lululemon, HTC-Highroad, T-Mobile and Saturn Pro Cycling.
She won 21 stages of Tour de l'Aude, six stage wins in Route de France, 11 stage wins of Giro d'Italia Femminile, four Liberty Classic Philadelphia titles and a win in the women's edition of the Tour of Flanders.
"With women's professional cycling in a continuous fight for equality and respect, having a rider of Teutenberg's stature return in a head director's position is precisely what's needed," the team's statement read.
"In the past, opportunities like these have been sparse, and women have had little choice but to go back to careers or families they put on hold, but with the growth of professional women's cycling in the last few years, including the creation of a UCI Women's WorldTour in 2016 and the UCI taking a more interested and active role in women's cycling, the chances for legendary role models like Teutenberg to stay in the sport are on the rise.
"She's a natural leader and has always been one of the most respected riders in the peloton. Teutenberg retired in 2013 after suffering a concussion in a serious crash at the Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo that forced her to miss the rest of the season. She felt the time to hang up the wheels had come, even with the less-than-perfect ending to a storied career."
Three years after retiring from cycling, she took on a temporary role with USA Cycling guiding the junior women's and men's program overseas, where she worked with young talents Chloe Dygert and Emma White. This spring, she worked as a part-time director for the Rally Cycling women's team at Chico Stage Race and Redlands Bicycle Classic.