The HTC-Columbia women’s squad claimed their fortieth win of the season on Tuesday when they powered to victory in the opening team time trial of the Tour of Tuscany in Italy. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg was the first HTC-Columbia rider to cross the the finish line in the 5.5-kilometer team time trial in Viareggio 11 seconds ahead of closest pursuers Cervélo.
“It’s always good to start with a win,” Teutenberg said afterward, “and to get such a big gap in such a short TTT is a very good sign that we’re all in great shape.” Teutenberg took the leader’s jersey, but she said there was no pre-race plan for that to happen. “It was just the way it worked out. I had to keep the speed up at the end there. When a team time trial is this short and with just three 180-degree corners, the times are always really tight. I’ve been sick and I need six days’ good racing here. So hopefully it’ll all keep going and we’ll be able to keep the lead for at least another stage.”
“Ina started the team going with a big acceleration and then Evelyn [Stevens] took over, and the whole group was riding very smoothly,” added Sports Director Ronny Lauke. “It was a very short effort, so you couldn’t afford to make a single mistake, and everybody did their job well. We couldn’t ask for a better way to start our last stage race of the 2010 season.”