Schleiz - Gera, 130km
Rain greeted the start of the stage and made the temperature a little cooler, although finishing temperatures were still above 30'C. The race was split apart early on when the decisive break went away. Veronica Andreasson (Colnago Fenixs), Emma Rickards (Univega), Tanja Hennes (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint), Magali Le Floche (T-Mobile), Jennifer Hohl (Team Bigla), Emanuela Azzini (Nobili), Corine Hierckens (AA Drink) and Liane Bahler (Colnago Fenixs) were the breakaways who went at just over 30km covered.
Liane Bahler, was the rider who caused the break to go, attacking in the small town of Dittersdorf, she created a seven person break and remained active. She managed to take the sprints competition jersey as a result of her aggression. The maximum time the break gained was around 5 minutes, until Nicole Cooke's Univega team and (second placed at 14 seconds) Zoulfia Zabirova's Team Bigla went to the front to bring the break back. In the closing kilometres, Andreasson made her move, worrying about Bahler's strength, she decided to go rather than sprint against her, she explained after the stage.
Veronica Andreasson "I am doubly lucky, because I also moved up so far in the General Classification" [She moved up to 12th overall, 1 minute, 43 seconds down on Cooke]
Emma Rickards "The rain early on was quite dangerous and there were constant attacks. With Nicole in yellow, we just wanted to control anything that was going away and so the break actually went at about 35km and so we spent almost 100km off the front. I was told just to sit on, it was a pretty solid day off the front!
The final passage through the finish [the was a finishing circuit with a 12km lap of Gera at the end of the stage], there were a lot of attacks and I covered as much as I could and then Veronica got away with about 5km to go. She attacked at the right time and everyone hesitated. Unfortunately I'd just covered a move and was too tired to go again, when she got a good gap with about 3km to go, I "we're not going to catch her, so I may as well concentrate on the bunch finish. But I felt good at the finish, it was good to win that and to beat a sprinter like Tanja Hennes, it was very satisfying."
And the team plans for defending Nicole Cooke's yellow jersey lead?
"For yellow, we've got a few options because Nicole's there at the moment, Karin [Thürig] and Christiane [Soeder] haven't lost too much time and tomorrow's the time trial and they're specialist time triallists, we'll see what comes out of the time trial and then have a look at how we take the race stage in the afternoon and on Sunday."
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