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Teutenberg - Breakaway Master

While stage winner Lorena Wiebes took the plaudits at the end of the first stage of the 2024 Ford RideLondon Classique, it was another name that animated the race for almost its entirety.

Rolling in just over a minute behind the peloton after the opening stage of the 2024 edition of the Classique, Lea Lin Teutenberg slumped over her bike, exhausted. After a few seconds one of her Ceratizit-WNT team mates swung an arm around her shoulders and proclaimed; “Breakaway Master!”

It had been a long day for the young German. She and Danish champion Rebecca Koerner (UNO-X Mobility) had attacked in the opening kilometres of the 159.2km stage between Saffron Walden and Colchester. They were caught only 15km short of the finish, having bagged all the mountains and sprints points and bonuses.

“I’m tired,” she smiled, it had not been the plan. “We went and the peloton let us go. We were working really well and I was a bit surprised we could stay out for so long, but in the end the bunch was too big and the day was too long, but it was still fun.”

The duo shared the honours over the three classified climbs and two intermediate sprints punctuating the route, the Danish woman winning each of the climbs and Teutenberg the sprints. 

“On the climbs she was definitely stronger than me, so I knew from the beginning that it would be hard, she had the climbs and I had the sprints, sometimes you don’t have to talk much to understand each other.”

Did they ever dream they could win the stage at its finish in Colchester?

"Going on the first kilometres of a 160km stage is not really going for the win, but it’s still nice to be out there and represent the team. Also the team in the bunch doesn’t have to do any work, so it gave them a bit of an easy time in the back.

“The gap was never really big and there are so many strong teams wanting to go for the sprint, so I never really thought we might get it.

“It was nice to enjoy the day, lots of fans cheering, it was so loud going through some of the towns, and every time I’m here in Great Britain it’s really nice to have excited fans, it’s super nice to race here.”

So what next? “Something to eat first, then the massage and then a lot of sleep.”