Teutenberg wins Liberty Classic for fifth time

Ina Teutenberg has added to the German domination of the women's Liberty Classic in Philadelphia, taking her fifth win here ahead of Rochelle Gilmore (Faren Honda) and world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora - Pasta Zara) in the bunch kick.

The Specialized-lululemon rider cruised to the win at the end of the 98km race, but still has two more victories to achieve to equal the record of her compatriot Petra Rossner, who won seven times. So far, the Germans have won 13 of the 17 editions of the race, while no US rider has been able to win.

Once a late race attack from Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEdge-AIS) was neutralised, Teutenberg, the reigning German road champion, put her vast experience plus trusted lead-out rider Trixi Worrack to work in the finale to overtake the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies lead-out train.

"Trixi and me are a good pair," said Teutenberg. "She's such a good bike handler and I know to trust her. She just says 'have your position and I'll come and get you'. With a kilometer to go and I let her in, followed her, and with 400 meters to go she launched her attack and it was perfect.

"At the end I new it was hard for people to come past me because I closed the door on the left and they had to be in the wind, too. With 150 metres to go everybody was in the wind."

Despite a less than ideal start to her day, Teutenberg triumphed once again on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway in her 13th start.

"I actually woke up with a bit of a stomach bug this morning and I didn't know how I would feel, but it didn't affect me at all, which was good," said Teutenberg. "It's kind of like basketball with Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan getting sick, you don't think about other things and it actually probably helped me. It took a bit of pressure away.

"I was a bit worried until I started to eat during the race, but when I held that down I knew everything was fine. I've done this race 13 times and I know that sometimes you have really shitty legs for three laps and then the last lap is okay. If you have a bad day up the hill (Manayunk Wall) you just forget about it because it's still a long way to the finish.

"Today I felt all right and I was never really in trouble on the hill, but I had years when I was in trouble but it still rolls back together."

Runner-up Rochelle Gilmore was well-positioned in the closing kilometres, but Teutenberg was simply too powerful for the 30-year-old Australian.

"The last few kilometres went very smooth for me because it was fast," said Gilmore. "It was to my advantage because I'm really good at holding position and I like a really fast finish because it keeps everything safe.

"I had really good position on Ina's wheel and conscious that Giorgia Bronzini was behind me. In the last 200 metres I was feeling really confident behind Ina because she kicked reasonably early. But it's the perfect sprint for Ina and although I felt quite comfortable with 100 metres to go she just hit another gear and there's no coming off of her. She's the fastest in the world in a sprint like this. I'm happy to have finished second to her today."

World champion Giorgia Bronzini, the defending Liberty Classic champion, is still recovering from several recent crashes which tempered her approach to the sprint finale.

"In the sprint I didn't take the right wheel, the wheel of Ina, because there were many fighting for her wheel," said Bronzini. "So I was back and had to start my sprint before I would usually make my perfect acceleration. I spent so long [moving up] that I was tired before I made it to the finish line.

"Day by day I feel better, but I'm not on good form," said Bronzini, still sporting bandages from her crashes. "It's more mental, I was a bit afraid. Usually, all the time I fight for my best position but today I was afraid to push again. I can't take risks this year because it's an Olympic year, so I prefer third place rather than try to win and crash again."

The 128-rider strong women's field rolled off the start line on Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 10:55am amidst a picture perfect Sunday for the Liberty Classic's 17th edition. The women's field faced four laps of a 23.6km circuit which takes the peloton out to Manayunk and back on Kelly Drive along the east bank of the scenic Schuylkill River, replete with its famed Boathouse Row rowing clubs. At the far end of the parcours the riders face the event's signature feature, the Manayunk Wall and its maximum pitch of 17 percent, and on the way back to the finish line near the Philadelphia Museum of Art the peloton faces two short forays off of Kelly Drive, Strawberry Mansion and Lemon Hill.

Strong headwinds on the way out to Manayunk put a damper on the pace, but powerhouse teams such as Specialized-lululemon, Exergy Twenty12 and GreenEdge-AIS applied strong pressure each time up the Wall which markedly thinned the peloton's ranks each ascent. Queen of the Mountain points were on offer at the top of the Manayunk Wall each climb, including double points on the final ascent, and Exergy Twenty12's Kristin McGrath would emerge as the victor in the classification.

Nonetheless, the field's top shelf sprinters weathered the climbs with aplomb and most of the fast twitch set seemed unfazed.

"The race was not so hard and I think the wind was a bad chance for riders in the group to attack," said Bronzini. "The Wall never made a difference to me because I felt good during the race."

Runner-up Rochelle Gilmore, too, felt at home in Manayunk. "People made the top of the Wall their finish line each lap. I went over the Wall in the top ten every lap, I felt quite comfortable and never had to fight to be in the top ten," said Gilmore. "I had a little bit of an extra gear if it ever really did break up and it probably would have been a little better for me if it was even harder."

At times the women's peloton did split up after the climb, but as has been the case for most Liberty Classics all of the best sprinters would arrive together in the finale to vie for top honours and the 2012 edition would add another textbook field sprint finish to the storied race's annals.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Specialized - lululemon2:29:08
2Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren Honda TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Diadora - Pasta ZaraRow 2 - Cell 2
4Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 3 - Cell 2
5Joelle Numainville (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 4 - Cell 2
6Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) TIBCO - To The TopRow 5 - Cell 2
7Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Exergy Twenty12Row 6 - Cell 2
8Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow MushroomRow 7 - Cell 2
9Lenore Pipes (Gum) Pure Energy Cycling ProAri-HFARow 8 - Cell 2
10Alessandra D'ettorre (Ita) Diadora - Pasta ZaraRow 9 - Cell 2
11Emily Collins (NZl) Vanderkitten-FocusRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jessie MacLean (Aus) Greenedge - AISRow 11 - Cell 2
13Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized - lululemonRow 12 - Cell 2
14Debbie Milne (USA) Mellow MushroomRow 13 - Cell 2
15Kate Chilcott (NZl) Vanderkitten-FocusRow 14 - Cell 2
16Jennifer Purcell (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 15 - Cell 2
17Lauren Stephens (USA) FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. RestoreRow 16 - Cell 2
18Veronique Labonte (Can) Real Deal Racing/LabiciclettaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Carmen McNellis Small (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 18 - Cell 2
20Shara Gillow (Aus) Greenedge - AISRow 19 - Cell 2
21Loren Rowney (Aus) Team Specialized - lululemonRow 20 - Cell 2
22Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora - Pasta ZaraRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Exergy Twenty12Row 22 - Cell 2
24Amber Neben (USA) Team Specialized - lululemonRow 23 - Cell 2
25Lindsay Myers (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 24 - Cell 2
26Lauren Hall (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 25 - Cell 2
27Kathleen Billington (USA) Vanderkitten-Focus0:00:21
28Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 27 - Cell 2
29Denise Ramsden (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 28 - Cell 2
30Kristen Lasasso (USA) Mellow MushroomRow 29 - Cell 2
31Lindsay Bayer (USA) Mellow Mushroom0:00:32
32Anna Sanders (USA) FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. RestoreRow 31 - Cell 2
33Nik Vogler (Can) Pro-Team Specialized-Mazda-SGCRow 32 - Cell 2
34Martha Buckley (USA) FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. RestoreRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jessica Chong (USA) Pure Energy Cycling ProAri-HFARow 34 - Cell 2
36Myriam Gaudreault (Can) Real Deal Racing/LabiciclettaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Evelyn Stevens (USA) Team Specialized - lululemonRow 36 - Cell 2
38Laura Medley (Aus) MVP Health Care CyclingRow 37 - Cell 2
39Mary Zider (USA) Colavita-ESPNwRow 38 - Cell 2
40Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge - AISRow 39 - Cell 2
41Andrea Dvorak (USA) Exergy Twenty12Row 40 - Cell 2
42Mindy Simmons (USA) Mellow MushroomRow 41 - Cell 2
43Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 42 - Cell 2
44Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge - AIS0:00:49
45Jasmin Hurikino (Aus) Vanderkitten-FocusRow 44 - Cell 2
46Amanda Miller (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 45 - Cell 2
47Kristin Mcgrath (USA) Exergy Twenty12Row 46 - Cell 2
48Leah Guloien (Can) Colavita-ESPNwRow 47 - Cell 2
49Amy McGuire (USA) FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. Restore0:01:15
50Ally Stacher (USA) Team Specialized - lululemonRow 49 - Cell 2
51Tayler Wiles (USA) Exergy Twenty12Row 50 - Cell 2
52Polona Batagelj (Slo) Diadora - Pasta ZaraRow 51 - Cell 2
53Liza Rachetto (USA) Forno d'Asolo ColavitaRow 52 - Cell 2
54Erin Silliman (USA) MVP Health Care CyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Kathleen Lysakowski (USA) Farm Team Elite Women's RacingRow 54 - Cell 2
56Carolyn Cartmill (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the CycleryRow 55 - Cell 2
57Samantha Schneider (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 56 - Cell 2
58Amanda Watson (USA) Tradewinds RacingRow 57 - Cell 2
59Jenny Ives (USA) Farm Team Elite Women's Racing0:02:10
60Jamie Dinkins (USA) Colavita-ESPNwRow 59 - Cell 2
61Melissa Ross (USA) Team Kenda p/b GeargriderRow 60 - Cell 2
62Elizabeth Bonilla (USA) Peanut Butter & Co Human ZoomRow 61 - Cell 2
63Ainhoa Perez (USA) Annapolis Bicycle Racing Team0:02:28
64Cheri Fager (USA) Pure Energy Cycling ProAri-HFARow 63 - Cell 2
65Jennifer Triplett (USA) CAWES/iFRACTAL p/b Specialized0:04:39
66Anne-Marie B. Morin (Can) Pro-Team Specialized-Mazda-SGCRow 65 - Cell 2
67Dana Walton (USA) Annapolis Bicycle Racing TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Julie Lafrenière (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the CycleryRow 67 - Cell 2
69Kate Veronneau (USA) Pure Energy Cycling ProAri-HFARow 68 - Cell 2
70Sue McQuiston (USA) Annapolis Bicycle Racing TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Bridie O'Donnell (Aus) Vanderkitten-FocusRow 70 - Cell 2
72Stephanie Swan (USA) Tradewinds RacingRow 71 - Cell 2
73Chiara Nadalutti (Ita) Faren Honda TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Amber Pierce (USA) Diadora - Pasta ZaraRow 73 - Cell 2
75Kelly Benjamin (USA) Farm Team Elite Women's RacingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Rachel Warner (USA) FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. RestoreRow 75 - Cell 2
77Audrey Friedrichsen (USA) Farm Team Elite Women's Racing0:05:12
78Myfanwy Galloway (Aus) Faren Honda TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Véronique Drapeau-Zgoralski (Can) Pro-Team Specialized-Mazda-SGC0:06:32
80Amity Elliot (USA) Team Kenda p/b GeargriderRow 79 - Cell 2
81Allison Beveridge (Can) Pro-Team Specialized-Mazda-SGCRow 80 - Cell 2
82Florence Laplante-Lamarche (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the CycleryRow 81 - Cell 2
83Kristine Wander (USA) Farm Team Elite Women's RacingRow 82 - Cell 2
84Anne Racioppi (USA) CAWES/iFRACTAL p/b SpecializedRow 83 - Cell 2
85Arley Kemmerer (USA) MVP Health Care CyclingRow 84 - Cell 2
86Emily Thurston (USA) Tradewinds RacingRow 85 - Cell 2
87Virginie Gauthier (Can) Pro-Team Specialized-Mazda-SGCRow 86 - Cell 2
88Nicole Raspa (USA) CAWES/iFRACTAL p/b SpecializedRow 87 - Cell 2
89Victoria Hanks (USA) Peanut Butter & Co Human ZoomRow 88 - Cell 2
90Heather Shearer (Can) Infinit Nutrition/CyclepowerRow 89 - Cell 2
91Alizée Brien (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the CycleryRow 90 - Cell 2
92Nicole Thiemann (USA) Tradewinds RacingRow 91 - Cell 2
93Kristine Church (USA) Peanut Butter & Co Human Zoom0:08:11
94Sara Clafferty (USA) Annapolis Bicycle Racing TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Mary Costelloe (Irl) Real Deal Racing/LabiciclettaRow 94 - Cell 2

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.

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