Lisa Brennauer wins the opening prologue of this years jubilee edition of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. Despite unfavorable weather conditions, the time trial specialists and the favorites for the overall win gave it everything. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon SRAM Racing) showed her time trial qualities on the short but challenging course to win the prologue in a time of 08:52 min in Gera. The rider from the Bavarian region Allgäu will therefore wear the yellow LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour jersey on the first stage in Schleiz.

 Gera, 12th July 2017 (TRF)

The 30th edition of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour started with a short but tricky prologue in Gera. It was the first of seven days of racing for the 107 riders who had to deal with partially heavy rain and slippery road conditions. The challenging 6 km course included a cobblestone section at the start and finish as well as an elevation gain of 80 meters. Admittedly, it stopped raining shortly before the start of the race, but numerous short showers caused wet roads. Due to the weather conditions, the organizers and commissaires decided to not to use a starting ramp. Instead, the riders started on the cobblestones section. Luisa Beck, who rides for the local maxx-solar LINDIG women cycling team, opened the prologue. But Eugenia Bujak (BTC Cuty Ljubljana) finished with a time of 09:09 and with that set a time that was unbeaten for quite a while. Numerous riders starting afterwards had to fight with heavy rain showers during their race, which made it even more challenging, especially on the cobbles. This was also the case for the current German national time trail champion Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM Racing), who was able to do the first uphill part in rather dry conditions until the weather changed again. “But the rain started when I was at the turnaround. The course was quite fast at the way back and I didn’t want to risk to much on the first day. And you don’t loose 3 minutes in a prologue” Worrack said. Crossing the finish line, she set the fourth best time. Her teammate Lisa Brennauer had similar conditions but was the only rider with a time below 9 minutes. “I already tried to give everything on the first uphill section. I was aware that I can’t risk too much on the downhill section. Even if the conditions are good, its hard to make up time,” she said after her race. Brennauer, who already finished third in 2013 and 2014, kept the best time of 08:52 min until the end of the prologue and will therefore wear the yellow LOTTO Thüringen jersey of the overall leader on tomorrows first stage. Amy Pieters (Nationalteam Niederlande) finished second in a time of 09:04 min and will wear the blue WNT sprint jersey tomorrow. The overall winner of 2010, Olga Zabelinskaya (Be Pink Cogeas) finished third and presents the colors of the Saalfelder Brauerei wearing the jersey of the most active rider on tomorrows stage. Best young rider was Emma White (Nationalteam USA) finishing fourth. Although having no rain during the race, the roads were still wet and slippery so that White couldn’t risk everything on the last corners and cobble sections to the finish line. But she still managed to finish with a time of 09:13 and thus won the jersey of the best young rider. Despite the stormy and wet conditions during the award ceremony, the enthusiastic crowd celebrated the riders.

The first stage will take place in Schleiz tomorrow. The hilly stage that is 124,8 km long, contains three sprint and three mountain classifications, hence promising an exciting second day.

jerseys:

LOTTO Thüringen overall leader Jersey Lisa Brennauer (CANYON//SRAM Racing)

WNT sprint jersey Amy Pieters (Nationalteam Niederlande)

OPEL mountain sprint jersey Olga Zabelinskaya (Be Pink Cogeas) (as representative of Brennauer)

Sparkasse best young rider jersey Emma White (Nationalteam USA)

IKK classic jersey of the best german rider Trixi Worrack (CANYON//SRAM Racing) (as representative of Brennauer)

Saalfelder Brauerei jersey of the most active rider Elizabeth-Jayne Harris (Team Storey Racing)

Gotha adelt jersey (not worn during the race) Elizabeth-Jayne Harris (Team Storey Racing)