Thüringen Rundfarht 2007
Rund um Schmölln, 90km
peloton rolled out under stormy conditions for the second stage of day 5.
At 3km, Larissa Kleinmann (German National Team) attempted to attack but
this was quickly closed down by the teams of Flexpoint, Bigla, T-Mobile
and Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung. T-Mobile moved to the front of the
peloton and set tempo as they reached 1 km to the first sprint competition
point. Every second gained at the intermediate point sections, would have
had an impact on the top 2 places on the general classification in this
stage, therefore the teams of Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) and Amber Neben
(Team Flexpoint) were very evident on the front.
the first sprint Neben’s team mate Susanne Ljungskog jumped and took
first place ahead of Arndt and Neben. Almost immediately there was a
counter attack from Priska Doppmann (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB). She
gained a maximum of 35 seconds over the next 10km, not managing to break
free of the chasers.
the peloton rode into the outskirts of Neukirchen, a massive storm hit.
The temperatures plummeted and the rain hit sideways. Inches of water lay
on the roads and the race moved at almost zero visibility. Doppmann’s
lead was 30 seconds, and a very active group, were forming on the front of
the chasers. This group included all of T-Mobile, Bigla, Équipe Nürnberger
Versicherung and Team Flexpoint. It was at this point that the chief
commissaire decided to stop the race. The conditions were becoming
seriously dangerous; a few riders had minor crashes and despite the storm
clearing the roads were extremely slippy. The peloton stood for a couple
of minutes but this was enough time to get very cold and realise how wet
they actually were.
race was neutralised at the town of Meerance as the riders approached the
biggest climb of the day. A 500m cobbled road that climbed for the most
part at 18% and then kicked to 21% near the top. The part of the course
was deemed to dangerous to ride at race pace and the peloton continued to
be neutralised to the bottom of the decent. When it was restarted Doppmann
was give a 30 second start. She did not manage to stay ahead for much
longer though; within 10km she had been caught.
the sun broke through the clouds and the attacks started in earnest. At
67km Neben tried to attack, the top riders on general classification went
with her and created a demolishing impact on the peloton. It split into 3
main groups and a number of stragglers. 15 riders jumped into the front
group led by Arndt.
the peloton cornered into the main square of Schmölln to start the final
lap, Arndt moved to the front to secure further sprint bonus points. She
was followed by Trixi Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung and Neben.
This was the point at which Worrack jumped. By the time she was half way
up the climb she had a 23 second advantage over Arndt. This increased to
53 seconds by the time she reached the finish line. In the sprint for
second Arndt beat Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team), Neben was left to
fight to the line for 4th.
In the count back of time bonuses Neben held a 2 second advantage over Arndt. Arndt secured enough points to take the sprint competition jersey from Emma Pooley (Team Specialised for Women) who held on to the Mountain competition jersey with a narrow lead of 4 points ahead of Arndt. The Young rider jersey remained on the shoulders of Wang Fei (Giant Bikes). She holds a 1 minute 10 second lead over Virginia Hennig (Team Getränke Hoffmann). The most aggressive rider jersey was presented to Doppmann for her efforts on the front.
Neben (Team Flexpoint) secured the yellow jersey today after a fast
time trial and a 4th place on the stage. She commented on the
race as she finished, “The course wasn’t too bad but the weather added a level of
difficult. The time gaps being so small meant I had to chase the sprint
bonuses and turn into a sprinter, which I’m not.
I’m not blessed with a lot of fast twitch muscles like Judith [Arndt] and Noemi [Cantele] so that was a little nervous for me.”. Neben
was asked if the race being stopped and neutralised made it difficult for
her she added, “It
was unbelievable during the storm, I could only see about 10 meters in
front of me and the wind and the rain, or it could have been hail made it
really cold for a few minutes. When you stop you realized how cold you are
and then your muscles start shivering. You then have to get them to open
back up again as you get going. The first hard effort didn’t feel very
good. Once we got rolling and we saw the sunshine I think everyone’s
mentality was a little more positive, so that helped.
Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) rode strongly on the
climbs and could not be matched when she attacked on the final hill to
take the win. She reflected on the day. “It
was hard today and very windy”. WCN asked if she would have
preferred to race up the big climb rather than have it neutralised,
Worrack added “It would have been a good chance to get some more time so I was a
little disappointed when they neutralised the race at this point. It is
always a good chance to break away but that’s how it goes”. Worrack
was asked if it was hard to start the stage without Edita [Puckinskaite]
who crashed in the time trial. Worrack added “It
was very hard, we didn’t really know how she was, I hope she is ok. We
were glad that we could win the stage for her”.
Specialised for Women) crossed the line in 26th place1 minute
10 seconds behind Arndt. WCN ask how difficult the day had been.
my jersey’s no longer white” said Pooley, looking down and the
mud splattered Sprinters jersey.
“It was pretty harsh out there today, but actually the rainier it is the
more chance I had of staying with the leaders. When they stopped the race
and neutralised it I was already in the front group which was great for
me. I am happy I finished just behind the front bunch and that is what I
wanted. I have held onto the mountains jersey, so I am very happy.”
Doppmann (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation HB Team) rode strongly at the
front for much of the race today and was awarded the ‘Most Aggressive
Rider’ jersey as a reward for her efforts. She chatted about the last
few days of racing, including the decision for the team not to defend the
yellow, missing the break yesterday and her motivations for today. “It
was a tactical decision not to defend the yellow jersey. I know a number
didn’t like the way we raced but we didn’t have a large number of real
and we would have dropped back on the stage anyway. The second and third
spots were very close and if we have worked all day to defend the yellow,
it would have come down to a sprint and either T-Mobile or Nürnberger would have won anyway and been in yellow. It
was as much their responsibility to chase the attack as ours. They should
not say ‘well its your responsibility, it was everyone’s who were in
contention. There are 90 riders in the field and we can’t chase every
break. We probably would have ended up 6 minutes down anyway due to the
climbs and killing everyone to protect the jersey”.
“We thought that we would have
a chance to get it back yesterday but we made a tactical error and missed
the break. We only had one rider who managed to attack when the break went
but she could not make contact. If we had managed to get onto the break
the game would have started all over again. The worst thing for us is that
we have no one in the break and that hurt us. It was just bad luck. Had we
managed to get one in the break, it would have given us a chance today as
we are all very strong time triallist”.
was asked if the time trial result help to re-motivate the team, she
you saw we nearly had the top 3 places this morning.
This was expected for the team and helped to make the sponsors
happy. That was why we tried to do something this afternoon. I attacked
and I wasn’t sure how far ahead I was. I didn’t get any time gaps and
so it was hard to know where I was. I thought about the black jersey and
that if I kept going I might have a chance to get it and get on the
podium, especially I wanted to redeem
the team for the sponsors. I wasted energy for tomorrow but it was worth
it. Our sponsors are important and I want to thank them for their
Results - Top 10
General Classification Top 10
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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