Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2009
Stage 3- Linda Villumsen solo's to victory and into yellow.
Schleiz, 125.2km 23 July 2009
Linda Villumsen (Team Columbia HTC) followed a break created by Sarah Duster (Cervelo Test Team) then broke away from the chasing bunch after the final climb and quickly gained momentum on the chasing group. She held almost 2 minutes on the bunch with 10km to go and held it to the line. A lone chase from Sarah Duster (Cervelo Test Team) clinched second ahead of a bunch sprint for third won by Eva Lechner (Gauss RDZ Ormu-Colnago)
The day started off in terrible weather. The rain that has daunted
the Thüringen race for many years came back again for stage 3. The bunch
rolled together until just before the first climb when Villumsen tried to
attack but she was quickly brought back to the bunch. At the first climb
at Ruppersdorf the group were together. It was the Mountain leader Tina
Liebig (DSB Bank) who was first to the top ahead of Virginia Hennig
(German National Team) and Petra Dijkman (Red Sun Cycling Team). The
peloton regrouped and fought out the sprint at Leutenberg at 39.1km
Today marked a special day for the race, as it completed 10000
km’s in the history of cycling racing in the Thüringen region. To mark
the occasion, the sponsor
At the sprint at Leutenberg, Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) secured an
additional 3 points in the sprint classification ahead of Martine Bras and
her team mate in yellow Luisa Tamanini (Selle Italia Ghezzi).
At the second climb at Kamsdorf, Liebig was the first over again,
followed by Eva Lutz (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Emma Johansson
(Red Sun Cycling) and Duster. Again the peloton regrouped on the decent.
However the conditions had taken their toll on the peloton and it was
considerably splintered into groups.
The final climb to Hutten was the decisive point in the race. Liebig
led Villumsen and Irene van den Broek over the climb and on the decent
Duster attacked. Duster quickly gained a 9 second advantage when Villumsen
took off after her. Then the Danish counter attacked and took off in heavy
rainfall during the final hour's racing. The pace of the race splintered
the bunch further and from Possneck to the first passage of the finish
line, Villumsen increased her lead. At 8 km to go her lead was 2 minutes.
Duster sprinted away from the chasing group and managed to quickly gain
space. She could not catch Villumsen who used her considerable Time
Trailing experience to take her to the line.
Duster cross 1 minute 22 seconds behind and the first of the
splintered bunches crossed the line led by Eva Lechner (Gauss RDZ
Ormu-Colnago) 1 minute 36 seconds back. Race leader, Tamanini, experienced
a mechanical in the final 5km and rolled in 3 minutes 42 seconds back.
Vos remains in the U23 and sprinters jerseys, Liebig in the Mountain
jersey. Villumsen was awarded the Most Aggressive jersey.
Villumsen (Columbia HTC) took off in a courageous solo attack that
earned her both the stage win and the lead, "Wow" said
Villumsen as she came to a stop after the finish line. Villumsen
said of being in yellow, “It feels good. We worked hard as a team
today like other days but today this makes it very special.” Asked
if she thought that she would be able to stay away, she said an emphatic “No,
it was super hard today and there were so many climbs.”
Rossner said later that Villumsen's victory was particularly pleasing because the team had been in the thick of the action for the first two days races, but had not taken any wins. "We've been in the breaks, looking for success, and it hadn't worked out. So we had a team meeting this morning and decided we'd continue attacking regardless." Rossner said Villumsen's first challenge as race leader will come on Friday, with a 23-kilometre time trial in Treibes. "First she has to recover from today's big effort, and then we'll see what happens. But in any case, this was an amazing victory."
Duster (Cervelo Test Team) initiated the break and then managed to
counter attack to gain second on the stage and overall. “At the
moment I went, I thought that everyone would go with me because I always
have someone on my wheel. I looked back and I was alone, so I thought ok
now it’s a time trial. On the decent into the town I knew I had second.
I was happy,” said Duster. “The stage was really
difficult today because of the rain and the wind made it even harder. The
whole time was up and down, up and down. It was hard from the start.
Tomorrow will be tough too, with the big climb. It isn’t like a normal
time trial, I will try my best” added Duster.
Lechner (Gauss RDZ Ormu-Colnago) was very happy with her third
place, “I am so happy. I did not believe that I would be up
towards the front on this stage. The last 500m was really fast and
difficult but I managed to find a way through on the right, so I am very
happy,” said Lechner.
Vos (DSB Bank) stayed in the sprinters and young riders jerseys
after the tough stage. “We tried so hard to stay in a good
position for the yellow. It was a difficult day. Linda [Villumsen] was
just too good today. It wasn’t a good day today but I have managed to
stay in the sprinters and young riders jerseys. Tomorrow is the tough time
trial so we will see what happens,” said Vos.
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