Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2010
Stage 2 -
Edita Pucinskaite claims victory in
Gera, 132.0km, 21 July 2009
Edita Puchinskaite (Gauss RDZ Ormu) won stage 2 of the Thuringen Rundfahrt, ahead of Olga Zabelinskaja (Saft-Pasta Zara) and Charlotte Becker (Cervelo Test Team).
With temperatures reaching 37 degrees in the later part of the stage, the conditions were difficult for the peloton. The Gera stage, is a constant flow of rolling climbs that sap the power out of the legs. The bunch were all together through the first sprint, Hanka Kupfernagel (German National Team) crossed first. In the second sprint the Becker took maximum points ahead of Elena Kuchinskaya (Gauss RDZ Ormu). At this stage of the race, that meant that Kuchinskaya was the new leader on the road ahead of overnight leader, Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling).
On the approach to the first climb in Eisenberg, the peloton had to cross rail tracks. Johansson was struggling in the bunch and fell back. Reports later stated she was sick after stage 1 and pride and being in the Yellow jersey had made her decide to start stage 2. By the time the leaders approach the first rise on the way to the Buchheim climb, one kilometre later, Johansson was still chasing back through the cars. The front of the race was being driven by Noemi Cantele (HTC Columbia) as they reached the top of the climb, and a break was starting to form.
As the race progressed to the second of the climbs at Roben, a leading group of 24 riders had started to form. By the time they reached the top, seven riders had formed a break. Cantele, Becker, the 2005 World Road Champion, Marta Bastianelli (Fenix-Petrogradets), in her first major race back after a two year ban. Puchinskaite, Kuchinskaya, Zabelinskaja and Irene Van den Broek (Netherlands National Team) quickly gained advantage. Johansson could not continue and had to pull out of the race..
After 101.3km the leaders had a 3 minute 40 second lead and by the time they reached Gera for the final sprint and final lap, the lead had stretched out to 5 minutes 20 seconds. On the final lap, Puchinskaite attacked and Zabelinskaja closed the gap to her. The pair quickly gained a 50 second lead over the remaining five riders who had not been able to chase.
In the final 150m, Puchinskaite sprinted to victory, Zabelinskaja finished just 2 seconds behind but with a clear advantage in the General Classification. Becker sprinted for third. Bastianelli led the remaining four across the line.
After two stages, Zabelinskaja holds a 1 minute 18 second lead ahead of Kuchinskaya and 1 minute 15 Seconds ahead of Cantele. Lisa Brennaur (German National Team) leads the young rider competition, Kupfernagel remains 1 point ahead in the Sprint competition but handed the Mountain leader jersey to Kuchinskaya. Zabelinskaja leads the Most Active competition.
Edita Puchinstaite (Gauss RDZ Ormu) was a very happy winner of the second stage into Gera. "Today was really hard. The constant rolling climbs and the heat made it very hard. Normally I like big climbs, like in the Giro, so all of those short climbs really made my legs tired. I attacked and Zabelinskaja came with me. I struggled to get away initially and only managed a short gap. When Zablinskaja joined me she had so much poser and really drove the break. We worked hard together and , Zablinskaja, knew she had moved into the leaders jersey and allowed me to win the stage. I am so very happy, " said Puchinskaite.
Olga Zabelinskaja (Safi-Pasta Zara) was very strong and takes a 1 minute 18 second lead into stage 3. "Today was hard and very hot. I am very happy today, " said Zabelinskaja.
Charlotte Becker (Cervelo Test Team) was very pleased with third place, “I am normally not the GC rider, but when the break went I was at the front and went with it. I had to work hard to stay there. When Puchinskaite attacked , I was surprised that Cantele and Kuchinskaya did not chase, they were higher on GC than me. I decided to attack in the last 500m,” said Becker. Becker wears the German National Raod Champion jersey and was asked how she feels racing in Germany wearing it, "I feel very proud, to be wearing this and being at the front of the bike race," she added.
Lisa Brennauer (German National Team) was very happy to be in the young rider jersey, "I am very pleased. The stage today was very hard. I did not make the break but I managed to keep the jersey. I was not sure how I would go this week after the U23 German Championships last week, so to be going this well is very good," said Brennauer
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