After two stages of Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, the team are sitting in a strong position with Hayley Simmonds currently in 17th position overall, 35 seconds in arrears to Lisa Brennauer with her strongest discipline still to come, the individual time trial. Young rider, Hayley Jones is in 20th position 37 seconds behind, but most impressively has only a 13 seconds’ deficit in the Sparkasse Young rider classification.
The first stage was a 6.1km prologue in the town of Gera. A wet, rainy evening in the Thüringen region mixed with some challenging cobbled sections, it was set to be an early test for all of the riders technical abilities. Lisa Brennauer came out on top in front of her home crowd.
1) Lisa Brennauer 8:52
2) Amy Pieters 9:04
3) Olga Zabelinskaya 9:06
21) Hayley Simmonds 9:24
25) Hayley Jones 9:26
46) Natalie Grinczer 9:38
55) Lydia Boylan 9:46
60) Becca Carter 9:49
68) Anna Badegruber 9:57
The first stage starting/finishing in the town of Schleiz, was considered the Queen stage for the race being 124KM in length with over 1700m of climbing.
The peloton stayed together until the mountain point in Gahma – 75KM into the race, which proved the catalyst for a number of attacks from United Healthcare who had controlled the front of the peloton for the majority of the day.
The final ‘WNT’ Sprint location proved the turning point for the race allowing the peloton to see the finishing approach and come across the line in Scheliz before returning 5KM later to line up the sprint for the ultimate win.
Hayley Jones fought her way into the front group to contend for the final charge up the drag to the finish line, but some bad luck struck:
“Today was good, I was at the front with 1km to go but on the last climb I cramped so I had to free-wheel to the finish, but it was a good day out, and I’m pleased I made the front group. I am really happy. Still 5 days to go so I’ll see how I feel on the last day.”
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon // SRAM Racing) launched an early sprint for the line and came across with both arms in the air.
Team DS Graeme Herd recapped on a good day,
“A positive stage with three in the front group on a hot day, we’ll be looking for more opportunities to improve our position in the coming days”
All Team WNT riders finished safely and are looking forward to Friday's stage in Dortendorf where riders will face 4 x 26.8KM laps of the Dortendorfer Berg climb. Official start time 17:00.
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