Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) stole a solo stage win and the overall title Sunday in the final stage of the San Dimas Stage Race.
Teutenberg attacked a four-rider breakaway of GC contenders with 4.5 laps remaining in the Incycle/Cannondale Old Town San Dimas Classic to take home the stage and secure her second consecutive San Dimas title ahead of overnight leader Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12).
In the men’s race, Hilton Clarke scored the first major win for his Bahati Foundation team as the 2002 overall winner beat out Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home) and Raymond Kreder (Holowesko Partners). Ben Day (Fly V Australia) finished with the bunch to repeat his overall win of 2009.
Stage, overall repeat for Teutenberg
HTC-Columbia set out from the start to make the women’s 55-minute criterium a fight, aiming to protect Evelyn Stevens’ second-place position in the general classification. Teutenberg found herself in multiple early moves and when a group of five went away halfway through the stage, the German national road champion went with it.
The breakaway was loaded with threats, as Teutenberg, Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation), Meredith Miller (Tibco) and Carmen Small (Colavita-Baci) were each in the top 15 after Saturday’s second stage. Abbott’s Peanut Butter & Co. teammate Katharine Carroll was also there to anchor the group and try for a free ride to a stage win.
When the break eventually built an advantage of more than a minute, Farina became the virtual race leader, with Small and Teutenberg following her up the GC. Carroll dropped off of the group to help the chase for Abbott, but by the time the peloton made progress on the break, Teutenberg had jumped away from the group to try for the solo win.
“Meredith was the strongest, so I timed when she just had a pull on the front,” said Teutenberg. “I thought that if I could get the initial jump I could hold them off.”
Teutenberg put on a 4.5-lap clinic to take the stage, finishing 38 seconds ahead of runner-up Miller and Small. With the time bonuses she earned at the last intermediate hot spot and the finish, as well as Farina flatting out of the break, Teutenberg gained enough time to vault over Abbott and secure her second consecutive San Dimas overall title.
“I really didn’t think we could make it up,” said Teutenberg. “It was a really strong break, with a lot of good GC riders up there, and I think that helped. By the time we had 60 seconds I was like, ‘OK, now we can really talk about trying to win the overall here.’”
Teutenberg erased Abbott’s 1:23 advantage to win the overall by 18 seconds. “It came really unexpected today,” she said. “I think I’m in good shape and I’m on target to be okay for the April races in Europe and hopefully I can win one of the big classics.”
Clarke on the day, Day for the GC
Day’s Fly V Australia mates controlled the 90-minute men’s race from the gun, drawing back a series of early attacks from the field. When Day secured the 10-second time bonus on the day’s first hot-spot sprint, his team took the edge off and soon blessed the day’s lone breakaway.
The move, which included Jorge Alverado (Bahati Foundation), Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis), Lucas Euser (Spidertech-Planet Energy), Daniel Holt (Team Type 1), 2009 U.S. U23 crit champion Alex Howes (Holowesko Partners) and Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home), stayed away for more than 45 minutes, but the gap never topped 30 seconds.
The field was together with eight laps to go and a chaotic run-up to the finish ensued as Bissell, Team Type 1 and UnitedHealthcare bid to come over Fly V Australia’s lead-out. Hilton Clarke fought to hold the position he maintained for much of the day – the caboose of the Fly V Australia train – and with half a lap to go, teammate Matt Rice brought him around and onto the point of the bunch. Missing, however, was Rahsaan Bahati, who was the team’s targeted sprinter for the day.
“I had my man, Matt Rice, looking after me and I was actually leading out Rahsaan today,” said Clarke. “The last two laps were quite a lot of chaos. With about a half lap to go, when Matty hit the front, I turned around and looked for Rahsaan and he wasn’t there and I just rode for myself.”
Borrajo and Kreder got the jump into the final corner, but Clarke stole the fast line and came around the pair at the line, winning with a bike throw. “I just mowed them down on the line,” he said.
The stage winner pointed to the work that the Fly V Australia riders did at the head of the race from the gun.
“Fly V showed today that they’re a quality team this year,” said Clarke. “They let a move go through three-quarters of the race and then brought them back and drove it through the sprint. They really controlled the race today and hats off to them.”
While they missed out on the stage win, the overall win was the prize of foremost concern for Day’s team.
“Unfortunately we didn’t come up with the win in the crit, but we did what we had to do,” said Day. “We’re very happy to win the overall, with another couple of wins for Fly V Australia, and we hope this success will continue through the rest of the year.”
11th San Dimas Stage Race
Final classifications – Women
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia)
Best young rider
Rebecca Much (Tibco)
Alexis Rhodes (Vera Bradley Foundation)
Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita-Baci)
Final Classifications – Men
Ben Day (Fly V Australia)
Best young rider
Andrew Talansky (California Giant-Specialized)
Brad White (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis)
Adam Switters (Yahoo!)