Thüringen Rundfarht 2007
Zeulenroda - Zeulenroda, 115km
The town of Zeulenroda shone brightly on the riders as they rolled out for stage 2 of the Thüringen-Rundfarht. The peloton was neutralized through the town to the foot of the first climb on the outskirts of Pöllwitz and as the bunch hit the climb the pace increased and evident on the front was T-Mobile, Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung and Bigla.
the bunch reached the first mountain point, it was Briton, Emma Pooley
(Team Specialized) who attacked to cross the line first closely followed
by Katie Mactier (Australian National Team (AIS)) and Natalie Bates (Team
Getränke Hoffmann). Pooley continued to drive hard and was joined by
Charlotte Becker (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) and Carla Ryan
(Australian National Team (AIS)). This attack formed a split in the peloton
and approximately 60 riders formed a group. The race came back together as
the race route rolled up and down. The bunch constantly found itself
strung out on many of the climbs as the riders struggled with high winds
and the pace set by the leading top climbers as they tried to attack.
before the first sprint point and the small climb to Mehltheuer, Natalie
Bates (Team Getränke Hoffmann) attacked and quickly gained a 1 minute
gap. At the sprint point, Bates (Team Getränke Hoffmann) led Mönike
Holler (Bigla) and Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini Selle Italia Gysko). The
Bates attack disintegrated the field into 3 small groups. By the time the peloton
had reached the top of the climb to Tobertitz, Bates had been caught but
not before she scored maximum points over the climb. Lang Meng Giant Pro
Cycling took second and Pooley secured third.
break was one of many attempts to go clear of the peloton but none were
successful. Strong winds hampered the riders. Raleigh Lifeforce Creation
moved to the front and pulled the lead group together. Immediately a small
group of riders attacked and gained 25 seconds, among them were Andrea
Graus (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Anita Valen (Vrienden van het
Platteland) Karen Thürig (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation), Tina Liebig (Team
Getränke Hoffmann) Nicole Brändli (Bigla), Christiane Soeder (Raleigh
Lifeforce Creation) and Angela Brodtka (Team Getränke Hoffmann). T-Mobile
worked hard on the front to bring this group back.
they were caught a small group of four attacked, Charlotte Becker (Équipe
Nürnberger Versicherung), Emma Rickards (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation),
Noemi Cantele (Bigla) and Sara Carrigan (Australian National Team (AIS))
managed to get away. They only managed to create a small gap of 10 seconds
back to the first group of chasers in the main peloton. The chase group
was led at the turn in Unterkoskau by T-Mobile’s Judith Arndt. Arndt’s
power secured the group were caught within the next kilometre. Arndt’s
power at the front allowed her team-mate Anke Wichmann to attack and
escape. She quickly gained a gap and with 86km completed she was 2 minutes
20 seconds in the lead.
field chased hard to bring Wichmann back. As the chasers came through the
start/finish area to start the final 20km loop of the lake near Zeulenroda,
the gap was down to 40 seconds. Edita Puckinskaite ((Équipe Nürnberger
Versicherung) forced the pace at the front, closely followed by Amber
Neben (Team Flexpoint). Oenone Wood (T-Mobile) marked Neben and chased
hard, Joanne Kiesanowski (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) also reacted and
brought the remainder of the peloton with her.
the peloton reached 13km to go Wichmann had been caught and the sprinters
began to position themselves at the front of the group.
the 6km point, Cantele (Bigla) attacked and managed to get a 20 second
gap, Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung and T-Mobile reacted and closed the
150m to go the sprinters were at the front led by formed World Champion
Regina Schleicher, who took the stage win. At the line Brodtka took second
and Wood crossed the line in third.
Emma Rickards took over the yellow jersey from team mate Priska Doppmann, Anke Wichmann was awarded the most aggressive rider, Emma Pooley took the mountains jersey, Regina Schleicher won the sprinters jersey and the young riders jersey was taken by Suzanne van Veen (Team Flexpoint)
Rickards (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) was proudly wearing the
yellow jersey after the presentation, disclosing that this was the “first
one” she has worn. “I
am very excited to be in yellow at Thüringen. It was a very hard race for
us today and anyone of us could have been in yellow. I managed to get in a
break and secure some extra bonus seconds and I managed to just hang on at
the finish and not loose and extra time so that worked well for me.
At the finish when we realized it was going to be a sprint, we were
going to try for Jo [Kiesanowski] but it didn’t work out. Asked
if the team will now defend the jersey to the end of the week, Rickards
have not planned what we are going to do, but if we loose it then that’s
ok. Although having said that, we plan to watch the moves and do what we
can to keep it. There is another time trial at the end of the week and we
have a strong team of time trialists
we should be ok”.
Wood (T-Mobile) reflected on her third place in the sprint and the
race overall. “It
would have been great if Anke [Wichmann] could have stayed out there today
but unfortunately that’s
not how it ended up. It was a very hard day today, it’s always hard in
Thüringen. These courses go up and down, left, right, and through
was asked if it was difficult to keep some control in the peloton given
the number of attacks. “It certainly was, some teams seemed to have stronger numbers in the
breaks so we definitely had to keep on our toes today. We had to work
really hard chasing breaks and making sure we were always in the important
moves and had things under control”.
Pooley (Team Specialised Designs for Women) rode herself into the
Mountains jersey today and chatted after the presentation.
“I am very pleased to be in the
jersey it was a tough day for the team today but it was good for us to be
on the podium today. After the last climb I was pretty sure I had the
jersey. It would have been nice to stay in the front group but I didn’t
manage it. I am happy though”.
Hennes (Bigla) was in the final group on the road today,
struggling to find form after a bout of illness. “I am not sure how the team faired to day, but it was a hard day for
all. This was my first race after being sick for two weeks. The speed was
really high and it was very windy. I had to work really had just to stay
in. All the teams are coming out of the Giro which is a very high speed
race so I am happy with today and will see how I go tomorrow”.
Asked if the team had planned for Noemi [Cantele] to attack with 6km to go
Hennes added, “We
don’t have a sprinter so it was important for Noemi to try to go early.
She can hold good speed when she is on her own, this
was our goal today but sometimes it doesn’t work”.
Bates (T-Mobile) found the going tough today, she chatted after
the race. “For
me it was very tough, groups just kept attacking I just had to stay up the
front and be alert all the time. The last 5km in was very tough. I am very
tired now”. Asked if the team had planned to support the
mountains jersey, she added “That
was a bit of a joke today, although defending it was at the bottom of our
list of priorities I think it
given me a boost because I was climbing much better than I normally would.
It’s time to hand it over now”.
Spratt (Australian National Team (AIS) looked tired after the race and
spoke briefly about her day. “It
was very tough out there today. It was on right from the start and there
were quite a few climb. I haven’t raced for a couple of months so found
it very hard. It was good to get back in there [the race] and I am very
happy with my ride today and we had a good day as a team. The winds played
a real factor on the race today, there were occasions where it was just
little groups all fighting to get together. As a team we had lots of bad
luck today, we had 3 punctures and one in the last 5km to go. Josie
to get a spare from another
team as the service had gone to the finish”.
Kiesanowski (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB) was pleased with the team
performance and the fact that they had kept the yellow jersey. “It
was a bonus that we managed to keep the jersey in the team. We decided
that we weren’t going to waste the whole team to defend it today, it’s
a long week. We are really happy that we kept it, we tried to go with
every break there was and Emma [Rickards] managed to get in one and gained
some valuable seconds. There was a point that all 6 of us were in the lead
group so it shows we were strong today. The pace was really high in the
wind which made it tough and even harder for the breaks to stay out there
Brown (Vrienden van het Platteland) found the race tough today. Brown
has been suffering with a chest infection for some time and has some
niggles in her previously injured knee. All of this culminated in a very
frustrated end to the race. “It was a very tough day, I got
:time cut" so that’s the end of the tour
for me. I didn’t expect to be going fantastically and I thought I might struggle. My head probably wasn’t in the right place for this
tour at the moment so I am not too disappointed. My knee was sore and the
continuous up and down meant there wasn’t much I could do”.
Anna Wilson (T-Mobile -Director) was pleased with the team's performance today, although she would have been justified in a little disappointment that Wichmann's break didn't last to the finish. “We were very excited that Anke was in the breakaway for so long, when it went out to over 2 minutes 20 seconds, we though she had a chance to take the stage win and the yellow jersey. With the wind and the chasers it made it very hard to stay away. We are pleased though, we had the three riders we hoped for something on GC all finishing in the front. I think today was more about not loosing time more than gaining it although that would have been nice. As you could see the bunch split in half so some riders are out of contention now. We have the three we want in there so that’s good”.
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