Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2008
final stage of the 2008 Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen, ended in an all
out sprint battle between two of Germany’s top cyclist and was won by
Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) ahead of Judith Arndt
(Team Columbia Women). Arndt was right on Worrack’s wheel across the
finish line and ensured that she had done enough to repeat her 2007
victory in the event, this year by 18 seconds ahead of Worrack and Grete
race was always going to go right to the line and it certainly lived up to
expectations. The attacks started on the way to the first climb to Dobia
at 20km. Carla Ryan (Cervelo Lifeforce), Elena Berlato (Safi Pasta Zara
Manhatten), Elodie Touffet (Gauss), Veronica Balderas (Gauss) and Alison
Powers (USA) who initiated the move tried to go away and held a small gap
on the peloton for 3 km, this did not however as the Equipe
Nürnberger Versicherung moved to the front to chase them down and
close the gap.
the climb the Canadians were on the front trying to lead out Felicia Gomez
however Angela Hennig (DSB) attacked them and managed to get over the top
first for maximum points. Gomez was second and Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Equipe
Nürnberger Versicherung) got her first mountain points of the tour.
three riders managed to gain a small advantage over the peloton of 28
seconds but this came to an end at 36km at Hohenölsen, which was in a
valley between a 10% decent and 10% climb. Despite efforts from
Vzesniauskaite the Lithuanian road champion and Cervelo Lifeforce no one
rider managed to break away from the peloton for the next 14km.
first time over the Everma, or, “Hankaberg” climb in support of the
local German Champion Hanka Kupfernagel, the current German road champion
riding for Team Columbia Women Luise Keller was on the front with the
leading riders in the tour. It
was Karen Aune (Swedish National Team) who took maximum points ahead of
Worrack and Keller.
was on the decent however that a decisive move from Leigh Hobson (Canadian
National Team) attacked on the decent and quickly gained a 50 second
advantage. Hobson held the lead for 28km before Priska Doppmann (Cervelo
Lifeforce) attempted to bridge the gap to Hobson. Doppmann gained a 31
second advantage before the peloton reacted to bring her back. Grace
Verbeke (Belgium National Team) counter attacked briefly but by the time
the Hobson was half way up the “Hankaberg” the peloton had reeled in
Verbeke and Hobson was within a few meters.
the top Hobson held on for maximum points and was followed over by Keller
Willock (Webcor) was in 4th wheel over the climb and
immediately attacked on the decent. She had a 30 seconds gap very quickly.
Doppmann tried again to counter attack but only managed a 200m gap before
it was closed down. Willcock was allowed to go and by the time she reached
Zeulenroda for the second passage she had a 34 second advantage.
Zeulenroda the start finish line was the point for the sprint competition
and Suzanne De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) and Emma Johansson
(Swedish National Team) were on equal points at the start of the stage and
De Goede won the first sprint and took second behind Willock in the second
to secure the overall Sprint jersey.
Thürig (Bigla) attacked and managed to bridge the gap to Willock. The
pair managed to gain gap of 1 minute 10 seconds. At the front of the
chasing peloton, Vzesniauskaite led team mate Worrack and the remaining 58
riders at tempo. The gap to the leaders moved out to 1 minute 28 seconds
and the only rider to try to bridge the gap was Liesbet De Vocht (Belgium
National Team) but only managed a 5 second gap.
final approach over the Hankaberg at 110.6 km at Merkendorf was the point
at which the chase to close the gap to the leaders started. At this point
Willock and Thürig had 1 minute and 33 seconds but this was down to 1
minute 26 at the foot of the “Hankaberg” climb.
fast decent into the finish was the opportunity for Worrack and Arndt to
attack off the front of the peloton. The pair rode strongly and by the 6km
to go point they were in sight of Willock and Thürig. Willock took the
opportunity to attack Thürig and managed to get away. Thürig was
swallowed up by Worrack and Arndt at 4km to go and the gap to Willock was
17 seconds. It took Worrack and Arndt another 2km’s to catch Willock. In
the chasing peloton Karen Thürig broke free and caught sister Andrea. The
siblings worked well together and maintained a small advantage of the
Worrack and Arndt rode into the finish together to the 500m mark when
Worrack sprinted for the finish. She just beat Arndt to the line, followed
by Willock at 2 seconds. The Thürig sisters rolled in together 7 seconds
behind and a stream of riders followed.
Pohl (German National Team) finished in the under 23 jersey 1 minute ahead
of Oxana Kozonchuk (Menikini Selle Italia)
Gomez (Canadian National Team) managed to get points over the first climb
to further consolidate her hold on the Mountain jersey to the finish.
Gomez finished with 28 points 5 points ahead of her nearest rival Worrack.
De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) had a tough battle to win the
sprints points during the final stage. There were only two sprint points
in a mainly mountain stage and De Goede just beat Emma Johansson (Swedish
National Team) in the first one and due to the break in the race the
second sprint was
crucial for De Goede to beat Johansson and she
did to finish the tour on 15 points ahead of Johansson on 13 points.
Powers (Team USA) was awarded the most active jersey after her time at the
front of the race driving it forward.
Doppmann (Cervelo Lifeforce) was awarded the Amy Gillett for her approach
to the race, fairness, her drive to attack and her attitude throughout the
Columbia Women) had a tough ride and had to work really hard to hold onto
the leader’s jersey. “The
other teams covered every attempt to attack during the race and I tried to
make sure that I stayed with Treier and Trixi [Worrack] on the climb. When
Trixi attacked just before 4km to go I didn’t really expect that so I
had to go after her and catch her. It was very hard. We worked together to
catch Willock and she deserved the stage win”
said Arndt. “This
has been a great win for the whole team. We were only 4 riders for most of
the tour so to get the overall is really good” added
Arndt. Arndt leaves for Beijing after the Sweden World Cup road race and
“This win is great for my self confidence”.
Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger
Versicherung) was very happy to win the stage. “That
was a hard race” said
Worrack as she finished. “I won the sprint” she
added with surprise in her voice.
(Gauss) was very happy to have finished the tour and be in the top 3. “I
can’t believe how I have performed during this tour. One stage win and
to finish in the top 3 is amazing”
De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger
Versicherung) was relieved that the tour was over and very happy to have
won the sprint jersey. “I
am very happy to have won the jersey and when you come to the finish and
you hear that your team mate Trixi has won the stage it is really great
for the team. It was hard today but I am very happy”
said De Goede.
National Team) secured the Mountain jersey and was very happy with her
performance during the tour. “I am so happy this is my first major
tour jersey so I am very happy. We came here with a goal to win this
to the Mountain jersey] and my team
really helped me. It was really at team effort so it makes it really
special” added Gomez.
(German National Team) was very happy to have finished the tour as the
leader in the young rider category. “I am so happy this is my first big
tour so I am very happy to win this jersey” said
stayed away for 50km and was disappointed at being caught 2 km out. “That
was one hell of a race”
said Willock as she recovered from her efforts.
“Trixi and Judith are incredible riders, it was hard to be caught by
them but I was not surprised. This race is great training for Beijing just
to get that additional form in the run up, so I am very happy” added
Doppmann (Cervelo Lifeforce)
was very humble about receiving the Amy Gillett award and very happy with
her team's performance during the tour.
tried really hard today to make a break but we just could not get away.
Karen [Thürig] was the only one right at the end to get away but the
finish came too soon” said
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