24th International Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2011
Preview - Updates
Thüringen Region, Germany
The 2011 edition of 'Thueringen', the 24th International Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen, starts on Monday 18th July 2011. This year's event is longer than previous years (with an additional day and thereby stage). Within a strong start list, 16 teams are represented by 96 riders.
The 2011 version begins with a short 3.4km Team Time Trial prologue in the University town of Jena, a city with a mix of old east German style and modern buildings. The race then heads east to the traditional towns featured in previous years. As with 2010, the race will visit the traditional towns of Gera, Greiz, Schleiz, Zeulenroda -Triebes and Schmölln, where riders will complete a 19 km individual time-trial. The final stage is hosted by one of the races major sponsors, the town of Altenburg. It is apt that Altenburg host the final day of the race. The town celebrates 140 years of brewing beer in the town at the Altenburg brewery and 60 years of association with sports in the town.
This year, like other years, it will be a race for an all-round rider. 2010 winner, Olga Zabelinskaya, returns this year with her national team, Russia. Previous winner (2008, 2007) Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad) has a strong team of climbers with her. Americans Amber Neben and Amanda Miller are talented climbers like Arndt and power riders; Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Adrie Visser and Chloe Hosking fill the sprinter line up, will help on the flatter stages. Arndt will be attempting to become the first rider to win the event three times.
Nederland Bloeit are missing 2011 Giro Donne winner Marianne Vos and Annemiek van Vleuten. Emilie Aubry, Sarah Duester and Loes Gunnewijk are their strongest riders along side Emily Aubry.
Garmin-Cervelo should not be underestimated at the event this year. Noemi Cantele, has started to show good form later in the season and recently won the Italian road and time trial championship. She has a strong team of riders with her. Britons Emma Pooley, Lizzie Armitstead and Sharon Laws, who can support her in the climbs and the tall Dutch rider, Iris Slappendel has great power on the flat and knows how to win stages in Thuringen having won the final stage in 2010. Australian Alexis Rhodes did not make her return to the race due to injury.
Hitec Products UCK leader Emma Johansson, is a strong contender for the race. She does not have the same depth of riders in her team but has proved she can ride consistently over stage races, finishing 7th overall in the Giro Donne recently. She is supported by the race's 2010 Young Rider competition winner, German Lisa Brennauer, Swedish rider Sara Mustonen and recent transfer to the team, Australian Tiffany Cromwell.
AA-Drink Leontin.nl have a mixed strength team. It includes 2009 overall winner Linda Villumsen. The team also includes the experienced Trixi Worrack and their leading sprinter Kirsten Wild.
SC MCipollini Giambenini, field a strong team this year, which includes the 2006 winner of the event and 2008 Olympic and World road champion Nicole Cooke. Cooke is joined by 2009 World road champion Tatiana Guderzo. Neither rider has won a major race this year but have ridden consistently in the recent stage races. They are supported by the experienced Fabianna Luperini and a strong sprinter Monia Baccaille,
The Australian national team makes a return to the event after a gap since 2007. They have are starting to build some talented riders who should feature high in the general classification. Ruth Corset is their best climber having finished 6th in the recent Giro Donne. They also have Shara Gillow who won a stage in the Giro. They have a good mix of some good young talent, Amanda Spratt, recent winner of the Tour de Feminin in the Czech Republic. After leading the tour from start to finish, the 24 year old won the first stage and then rode strongly through the next four stages to complete the 412km event with a 20 second winning margin over Russians Natalya Boyarskaya (Team P.C.W.) and Larisa Pankova (Russian National Team). The Australians also have more experienced riders like Jessie Maclean and Vicki Whitelaw.
The other teams scheduled to ride the event include; British Horizon Fitness RT team. This team includes local German Hanka Kupfernagel a former winner of the event and usually a safe tip for the podium on the time trial stage and includes team leader, Briton Helen Wyman.
The rest of the peloton is represented by Italian team, Gauss, German team, Abus Nutrixxion, Canadian team Juvederm-Specialized, the German National Team, Dutch team Skil-Koga Cycling Team, Austrian team Kuota Speed Kueens and finally German team Stevens-Redvil.
18.7.2011 - Team Time Trial prolog Jena 3.4km
19.7.2011 - Stage 1 Gera 119.2km
20.7.2011 - Stage 2 Greiz 105.5km
21.7.2011 - Stage 3 Schleiz 137.2km
22.7.2011 - Stage 4 Zeulenroda -Triebes 98.7km
23.7.2011 - Stage 5 ITT Schmölln 19.3km
24.7.2011 - Stage 6 Altenburg 99.6km
Start List -Provisional 14/7/2011
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