Kirsten Frattini (CyclingNews) spoke with newly signed women’s team director and two-time Olympian, Ina Teutenberg, following her first race with the team in Chico, CA last week. The women won three races in three days. Teutenberg, whose career spanned twelve years and included over 200 wins, will be directing alongside Zach Bell at key events this season.
“Jonas Carney approached me over the years and I wasn’t ready,” Teutenberg said. “Zach Bell has been doing a great job with the women’s team, and Jonas asked if I would be willing to do some races with the team this year, just to step in and out. I’ll step in to give Zach a break here and there. I’m not doing a full season, but some key events.”
“I think Zach is doing a really good job and he has more experience directing than I do. He is a super nice guy and we will be good together.”
The team hired Zach Bell as the women’s director in 2016, under the title sponsorship Optum. The Canadian Olympian stopped racing at the end of the 2014 season after nearly a decade of top-level competition. He noted the importance of including Teutenberg in the team’s set up for this season.
“She comes with a huge body of racing instinct which she is very good at articulating in a simple straightforward way. She balances that enormous and prestigious race history with a personality that helps the young riders see that they don’t need to be defined by the sport and put so much pressure on themselves. But they can still hold themselves very accountable to their own performances in order to improve. Those things can be hard to separate as a young athlete without a role model like Ina helping you navigate that separation.”
“She is a great role model who is still excited about good racing. When you have a legendary role model excited about how you are racing it is a huge confidence builder to have that meaningful energy in your corner as an athlete.”
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