Thüringen Rundfarht 2007
Gera - Gera TTT, 4.2km
20th running of the Thüringen-Rundfarht got off to an exciting
start with a team time trial to test the legs of the 16 teams. The town of
Gera came out to watch and had the traditional musical support, barbequed
sausages for the spectators to buy and an exhibition of marshal arts.
course, seemed from the profile a relatively flat one, however the first
challenge for the teams was the short but relatively steep climb just before
the halfway point. This was a little harder than expected for some of the
weather conditions were changeable; strong winds, cold and threatening rain
for the day, all a stark comparison to the 30+ temperatures in 2006. The
rain stayed away until just before the last team, Getränke Hoffmann was due
to race. Thankfully though it was a light shower only and did not affect
Lifeforce Creation HB Pro Cycling team took the opening prologue, going off
second-to-last, they knew before they set off that Team Bigla were the team
to beat. Bigla went off ninth of the sixteen starters and held the lead
until the Raleigh squad, with two time trial specialists (Karin Thürig and
Christiane Soeder) faced the timekeeper. The team were missing team leader
and 2006 race winner, Nicole Cooke, therefore Emma Rickards wears race
number 1 in the 2007 event Cooke’s
absence did not affect the team’s performance however, they powered
through the 4.2km course in a winning time of 6 minutes 4.93 seconds ahead
of Bigla Cycling, 6 minutes 9.753 seconds and T-Mobile in a time of 6
minutes 10.75 seconds just ahead of Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung 6
minutes 11.823 seconds.
Doppmann was first across the line for Raleigh Lifeforce Creation and was
presented with the overall leader’s jersey.
A very surprised Kate Bates (T-Mobile) was presented with the Mountains Jersey as the fastest up the climb. Andrea Graus, Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung was presented with the Most Aggressive Rider on the stage jersey.
Doppmann (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB Pro Cycling team),
wearing the leaders jersey was happy to chat after the ride. “We were a
little nervous today; it is always special to do a team time trial. When we
saw the circuit we though that it would be impossible for a true team time
trial but we decided to go as if it were an individual prologue and it
worked, it was perfect.”
reflected on the first stage, “I felt a lot better today than I did at the
prologue in the Giro (Giro D'Italia Femminile). Asked if the small climb
caused any problems, Wood added, “I don’t think we timed it perfectly at
the start and we had to work hard to bring it back.”
Bates (T-Mobile) was
awarded, with some surprise the mountains Jersey. “That was tough today,
chasing Judith (Arndt) and Oenone (Wood) up the climb was hard, although
they had to chase me down the hill. It is an interesting way to start one of
the bigger tours. This is probably the first and last time you will see me
in a mountains jersey, it’s a first for me.”
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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