Die numerous spectators saw an exciting racev in Weimar. The stage was marked by many attacks, a four rider breakaway and an exciting closing phase. In the end, it was the Brit Hayley Simmonds from WNT Pro Cycling who took the win. Two times British national time trial champion Simmonds managed to break away from the bunch at the end of the final climb and last mountain classification on the Ettersberg and also secured the yellow Lotto Thüringen leader jersey.
Weimar, 15th July 2017 (TRF)
Another first in this years 30th edition of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour: Weimar start and finish of a stage for the first time. Having April-like temperatures and weather conditions again, the numerous spectators saw a thrilling race. During the first lap around the Ettersberg many riders tried to gain a lead over the bunch. But due to the high wind and an vigilant bunch, no one was able to break away. Likewise to the previous days, the dutch rider Amy Pieters (Nationalteam Netherlands), who was currently second in the general classification, tried to gain some bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. Being only three seconds behind Lisa Brennauer (Canyon SRAM Racing Team) before the start of the stage, Pieters managed to become second at the first sprint, got two bonus seconds and therefore reduced the deficit to one second. A four rider breakaway dominated the race after the intermediate sprint for most of the race. Part of this breakaway was also Aafke Soet (Team ParkHotel Valkenburg – Destil Cyclingteam) who said after the race that her team wanted to be part of todays breakaway. “I was in good position when they attacked and realized that the move could be successful and so I decided to follow them. I talked to my team during the race and we agreed on the plan to try to get the jersey for the most active rider and so I attacked many times. It’s nice when a plan is successful” she said after the race. Lauren Hall (United Healthcare Pro Cycling), who was also part of the four rider breakaway, also said that Soet did a really good job. “Soet really worked hard in the group and all of us worked together very well. I actually thought about winning the stage but at some point I realized that this wouldn’t happen, so I fell behind.” At the third and final mountain sprint of todays stage, the riders were all together again. Shortly before the end of the climb, the eventual stage winner Simmonds managed to set a gap between herself and the bunch. “I felt very well and I knew that I can be very fast on the uphill section. My teammates said that I should try everything on the final climb and so I did. I started my attack at the cobblestone section and just gave everything from that point on. I didn’t expect to get the yellow jersey today and only realized it when I crossed the finish line. It’s a great feeling” said the new overall leader from WNT Pro Cycling after her impressive victory. Lisa Brennauer and Amy Pieters are 18 and 19 seconds behind her in the general classification.
Tomorrow, the rider are in Schmölln for stage the individual time trial of this years’ tour.
LOTTO THÜRINGEN leader jersey Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT Pro Cycling)
WNT Sprint jersey Amy Pieters (Nationalteam Niederlande)
OPEL Berg mountain sprint jersey Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
Sparkasse jersey for the best young rider Marta Lach (Nationalteam Polen)
IKK classic jersey for the best german rider Beate Zanner (maxx-solar-LINDIG women cycling team)
Saalfelder Brauerei for the most active rider Aafke Soet (ParkHotel Valkenburg – Destil Cyclingteam)
Gotha adelt jersey for the best non-professional rider (not worn in the race) Elizabeth Banks (Team Storey Racing)