Specialized-lululemon doubles up on Gatineau weekend

U.S. squad sweeps Quebec UCI races ahead of the Exergy Tour

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The new powerhouse women’s team Specialized-lululemon swept the Gatineau race series in Quebec, Canada, over the weekend, with time trial specialist Clara Hughes taking Friday’s race against the clock and teammate Ina-Yoko Teutenberg sprinting to the win in Monday’s road race.

The UCI races were two of the final opportunities for riders to gain valuable UCI points ahead of team selections for the London Olympics.

Chrono Gatineau Rona individual time trial

Hughes won the Chrono Gatineau Rona time trial for the second year in a row, besting teammate Evelyn Stevens by just under 10 seconds. Specialized-lululemon dominated the Canadian UCI race, with Amber Neben and Teutenberg placing third and fifth, respectively. Only Canadian Tara Whitten (Tibco-To the Top) was able to break up the team’s monopoly with a fourth-place finish.

The 18.4km time trial looped twice around a 9.2km circuit that included technical turns, a roundabout, and one short hill with a gradient of six percent. American Marti Shea (Destination Cycling) kicked the event off with an early best result of 25:44.82, placing her on top of the leader board for almost an hour.

And then the Specialized-lululemon onslaught began. Teutenberg toppled Shea’s result with a time of 24:38.43, only to be beaten shortly thereafter by U.S. national champion Stevens, who blasted in with a time of 24:04.56. Just over 30 seconds faster than Teutenberg, Stevens was the woman to beat, and teammate Neben came close with a time of 24:16.44. Whitten, 22 seconds behind Stevens, also put in a good time, but it was the last starter of the race who took the day. Hughes powered past Nicole Cooke (Faren-Honda) as she approached the finish line, setting the fastest time at 23:56.76.

“We have amazing TT riders on this team so I knew it was going to be hard to beat my teammates,” said Hughes. “I just wanted to go out there and have a good race and have a good feeling about the race and everything leading into the race.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau road race

Racing continued Monday with the GP Gatineau road race, where Specialized-lululemon once again proved its dominance. Teutenberg nipped Rochelle Gilmore (Faren-Honda) and Alona Andruk (Ukraine National Team) at the line in a bunch sprint to take the team’s second win of the series.

“It was a pretty aggressive race,” said Teutenberg. “Especially the second half. We tried pretty hard to get in a break and so did all the other teams. It was good racing.”

The road race consisted of 13 circuits of 10.18km, for a total of 134km. Whitten started the aggression early when she launched a solo attack in the first half of the race. Bridie O’Donnell (Vanderkitten-Focus) later bridged to Whitten, but both women were eventually caught by the field. A flurry of attacks followed the catch, but no one was able to stay away on the hot, windy course and the Specialized-lululemon train cranked up the speed on the final lap, delivering it German sprinter Teutenberg to the line.

“I went a little too early in the sprint, especially into the headwind. But I was able to hold it so I was happy with that,” said Teutenberg.

Brief Results

Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau road race
1. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Specialized-lululemon in 03:25:03
2. Rochelle Gilmore, Faren-Honda at s.t.
3. Alona Andruk, Ukraine National Team at s.t.
4. Joelle Numainville, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies at s.t.
5. Carmen Small, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies at :02

Chrono Gatineau Rona individual time trial
1. Clara Hughes, Specialized-lululemon in 23:56.76
2. Evelyn Stevens, Specialized-lululemon at :07
3. Amber Neben, Specialized-lululemon at :19
4. Tara Whitten, Tibco-To the Top at :30
5. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Specialized-lululemon at :41

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