Ina-Yoko Teutenberg of Specialized-lululemon won the bunch sprint of Exergy Tour's Queen Stage on Sunday taking the stage victory from Leah Kirchmann of Optum/Kelly Benefits and Megan Guarnier of Team Tibco. Team-mate Amber Neben finished safely in the bunch to retain the yellow leader's jersey going into the final stage on Monday.
"It was a hard day for me," said Teutenberg, referring to the 4500 feet of climbing they tackled during the stage. "I was suffering for 80% of the day.
"Leah also made the sprint really hard. It was a drag race for a while so I was happy to get around her and win the stage."
The 100km mountain stage was aggressive out of the blocks. A break of eight riders got away on the first climb in a move that looked like it could be the decisive move of the day.
"We had Trixi in that break," said Team director Ronny Lauke, "so we were happy with the situation but a couple of good teams in the field missed the break so eventually it was reeled in and the race descended quickly into the town of Idaho City for a 35 person sprint."
Monday will see the final stage take place in the Boise suburb of Hyde Park. A challenging circuit race with another 3700 feet of climbing will make for an exciting finale. (From Team Specialized-lululemon).
1. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Team Specialized-lululemon, in 2:29:23
2. Leah Kirchmann, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, s.t.
3. Megan Guarnier, Team Tibco-To The Top, s.t.
4. Inga Cilvinaite, Diadora-Pasta Zara, s.t.
5. Claudia Hausler, GreenEdge-AIS, s.t.
6. Jennifer Hohl, Faren Honda Team, s.t.
7. Tiffany Cromwell, GreenEdge-AIS, s.t.
8. Alison Powers, NOW/Novartis For MS, s.t.
9. Maaike Polspoel, Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012, s.t.
10. Flavia Oliveira, Forno D’asolo Colavita, s.t.
TEAM TIBCO REPORT
Team TIBCO Olympic long team member Megan Guarnier sprinted to a third place finish at Stage 3 of the Exergy Tour this morning. The Queen’s Stage took riders through the mountains for a 58-mile route with one harrowing climb reaching 6000 feet of elevation with 4520 feet of climbing. Guarnier was one of just 40 riders to make it over the climb and the Olympic hopeful still had enough left to deliver a strong sprint.
With Olympic qualifying points up for grabs, the Exergy Tour has had a different dynamic than most stage races. The Olympics are on everybody’s mind and the pressure to win is palatable.
“There is a big field here with strong international riders,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “Everyone is going full gas fighting for Olympic qualification points - not just Americans, but foreign riders too.”
While 90 riders took to the start line this morning, the main climb of the day took its toll and just 40 riders would make it over the climb in the main group. The pace was fast, yet steady, as the ladies began to launch attacks just 10 miles into the race. Team TIBCO young rider Lindsay Myers made an early break of just 5 riders and the group kept a gap of 45 seconds from the main field for several miles. The breakaway was caught by the main group, however, as they approached the top of the 9-mile climb.
Guarnier stayed near the front of the main field as they ascended the main climb of the day, watching for any attacks or counterattacks. After a quick descent, the road pitched up again for a short 3-mile climb, followed by a descent to the finish. The select group of about 40 riders headed to the line for a bunch sprint, with Guarnier sprinting to third. Ina Yoko Teutenberg took the win, with Leah Kirchmann coming in second.
“Today, the Team made it,” said van Smoorenburg. “The girls did a good job and we hope to repeat a great performance tomorrow.”
Tomorrow is the final stage of the Exergy Tour; a rolling 47-mile circuit race.