Teniel Campbell blasted to her first victory for Team BikeExchange today, by winning the sprint from a 12-rider breakaway on day 6 of the Tour de l’Ardèche, turning things around for the squad after bad luck yesterday, when team bikes were stolen.
The 23-year-old rider from Trinidad and Tobago was helped by her teammates to get into a dangerous breakaway on the lengthy 138.5km stage, after the squad initially missed the move. Working to bring the gap to the 11 escapees back down to 20 seconds, Team BikeExchange gave Campbell, their sprinter, the best chance to launch herself into the move, which she successfully did on a short rise and was able to contest the final.
Remaining calm and collected, Campbell followed the moves and remained in the wheels as they headed to the finish line in Goudargues, before launching to a well-deserved and meaningful victory; her first victory in Team BikeExchange colours.
With just one stage remaining, the team’s general classification hopeful, Ane Santesteban, now sits in third place overall on the same time as second place and just nine seconds down on the race leader Leah Thomas.
Teniel Campbell – Stage 6 winner
“It’s extremely special to win today in so many ways. After what transpired with the bikes yesterday, how everyone kept calm and found solutions instead of freaking out. How everyone remained motivated throughout what seemed at first chaotic! Is completely unreal.
It was a complete team effort from the chef keeping our tummies happy to the staff working tirelessly last night to prepare the bikes, to my teammates chasing the breakaway to help me launch on away on a 700m climb over to the breakaway.
It hurt like hell but the trust from the team and how well we were working these last days really motivated me and gave me a drive and strong urge to get a stage victory here.
Each day we came with a plan to give each other opportunities, constantly backing each other.
From the start of today the adrenaline and motivation amongst us was really high so I believe everything just transcended and there was an energy flow.
It’s a first win from me with Team BikeExchange and I will cherish and remember it for a long time as it was such an amazing team effort. The first one for the season does indeed feel extremely good.”
Alejando Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“That finish was really good especially after yesterday and all the hard work from the mechanics to build the bikes and bring bikes from the service course.
It was always the plan to have Teniel or Jess Allen in the breakaway and we actually missed the initial breakaway of 11 riders and the team had to bring the gap back down so that we could launch Teniel on a short climb.
She actually closed the gap on that short climb really quick and got into the breakaway and that was it, so it was really a team effort to get there and it feels even better when it is the team setting it up and doing the job.
Teniel played it really cool in the breakaway, showing her strength and just keep calm and under control and as planned, going for the sprint and she won it. Tonight we can celebrate and have same champagne after all the stuff that happened yesterday with the bikes.”
2021 Tour de l’Archèche – Stage 6 Results:
1. Teniel Campbell (Team BikeExchange) 3:33:58
2. Nina Kessler ST
3. Lauretta Hanson ST
Tour de l’Ardèche – General Classification after stage 6:
1. Leah Thomas 20:55:08
2. Mavi Garcia +0:09
3. Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) ST
Photo courtesy of Getty Images