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PHILADELPHIA (VN) — Ina-Yoko Teutenberg edged closer to the record book when she won the Liberty Classic for the fifth time on Sunday. Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) won a bunch sprint in Philadelphia over Rochelle Gilmore (Faren Honda) and world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara).
“I was able to do my sprint with 200 meters to go,” Teutenberg said at the finish. “I think I had about a (bike) length.”
She credited her team with bringing the field together and keeping it there, allowing the German to open up her sprint — and when she’s able to do that clean, she’s tough to beat.
Specialized-lululemon controlled a bulk of the 57.6-mile race, drilling the pace up the steep Manayunk Wall with a fractured field from the onset. The favorites kept protected throughout, with women falling off the pace on the opening lap.
Bronzini, the 2011 winner and two-time world champ, crashed heavily last week at the Exergy Tour.
“It was a nervous race because of the sprint,” she said. “The teams worked for the sprinters. The race was not so hard… I felt good in the race, but I arrived from an unlucky period, lots of crashes.”
Bronzini said she entered the sprint out of position and had to open her kick early.
“I was back, and had to begin my sprint before my preference,” she said. “But I’m happy… I like this race so much. I say thanks to all my team — today it was all work for me.”
It was yet another dominant performance by arguably the sport’s strongest team, Specialized-lululemon, a team that rose from the ashes of High Road Sports and T-Mobile of years past.
Teutenberg won a stage of the inaugural women’s Exergy Tour in Idaho last week, and the team swept the top three spots of the overall podium.
Teutenberg said the Liberty win is good for confidence going into the London Olympics, but that the field will be full of contenders.
“There’s 50 women who could win it,” she said, shortly before leaving the race finish to catch a flight.
Editor’s Note: Keep your browser pointed to VeloNews.com for more from the Liberty Classic and TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship.