24th International Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2011
Prologue - HTC Highroad win opening Team Time Trial
Highroad were, on paper the strongest team to start the 24th International
Thuringen Rundfahrt prologue. With the newly crowned German individual time
trial champion Judith Arndt, former World and USA champion Amber Neben,
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg the German road champion, Adrie Visser, Amanda Miller
and Australian Chloe Hosking in the line up HTC Highroad crossed the line
first, with Teutenberg at the head of her team as they won opening prologue
team time trial in a time of 4 minutes 34 seconds. Garmin-Cervelo with the
current World Individual Time Trial champion Emma Pooley and Italian
champion Noemi Cantele in the squad, was second ahead of the Russian
National team. According to the results, 2010 defending champion Olga
Zabelinskaja did not finish with the team, she is recorded with a time, 1 minute 6 seconds
slower than the winner.
The 3.4km (2 x 1.7km lap) technical course was challenging for the teams. The course started with a small descent in the first 500m before it twisted uphill for 750m, before levelling off and descending to repeat the course for a total of two laps. Conditions were overcast and a downpour just before the start meant some teams changing their plans regarding use of equipment. Some teams, like HTC Highroad chose to use a full set of disk wheels, while others, Hitec, Russia and second place, Garmin-Cervelo decided against the full set. In hindsight the 7 second gap at the end of the race could have been the difference in wheel use.
The Australian national team started first and looked strong in the first lap but slowed a little as they started the second. They finished a credible 8th overall.
With the favourite teams starting down the order, the first to stir up local support was the Horizon Fitness RT team that contained local rider Hanka Kupfernagel. By lap two however, Horizon had started to lose riders on the climb and finished well down the order.
SC Mcipollini Giambenini started 7th from last and the team showed well on the technical course. Nicole Cooke current Olympic road champion led the team up the climb but the pace was a little too fast for Samantha Galassi as she tailed off half way up the climb.
AA Drink-Leontin.nl and Hitec Products UCK both looked strong and had a full compliment of riders for both laps.
Emma Pooley (Garmin -Cervelo) set a blistering pace up the climb both times at the head of her team. The second time however it was a little too much for Trine Schmidt as she fought to stay with the team. They completed the course in 4 minutes 41 seconds.
Nederland Bloeit who are missing two if their key riders this week, looked strong but could not keep the pace high enough through to the finish.
Starting second to last, HTC Highroad were fast and slick round the course and climbed effortlessly both times up the hill. They were ahead after the first lap and maintained the momentum through to the finish line.
Starting last the Russian National team could not match the speed of HTC Highroad only managing to complete the course in 4 minutes 43 seconds. Hitec Products held on for fourth completing the course in 4 minutes 44 seconds.
Stage 1, Gera 119.2km is a tough rolling stage with three sprints and one mountain points competition on offer.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg starts the day in the leaders jersey. Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) wears the sprint jersey. Emma Johansson (Hitec) wears the Most Active jersey and Svetlana Boubnenkova (Russia) wears the mountain jersey.
Please note results are provisional. The rule in the race manual was that the time of the fourth rider would be the team time (slower riders excepted) the time of some teams in the results may not reflect fourth rider time at the moment.
Post Race Comments
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Highroad) was pleased to be wearing the overall leader’s jersey at the end of the opening prologue. “It doesn’t mean anything for the GC at the end of the week, but we have a win in the prologue and it is great to have everyone on the podium today and to start the first stage with the yellow jersey. Let’s see how far we can keep it,” said Teutenberg.
“The best riders are coming from the Giro [Donne] with some good form so it will be difficult to defend and a hard contested race to win, but we will give it our best shot, “ added Teutenberg.
(Garmin-Cervelo) was enjoying being back racing after her
crashing in the Giro Donne. She starts stage 1 in the sprint leader’s
jersey, “It is a good result for the team, and we are pretty pleased
with that. We have not really worked together on the team time trial. We had
the Giro which was a big goal for us. To come together as a team and get
second is really great,” said Armitstead.
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) was enjoying being back racing after her crashing in the Giro Donne. She starts stage 1 in the sprint leader’s jersey, “It is a good result for the team, and we are pretty pleased with that. We have not really worked together on the team time trial. We had the Giro which was a big goal for us. To come together as a team and get second is really great,” said Armitstead.
“For me starting in the sprinters jersey is great but it is a shame
I don’t get to show off my British Champion jersey. I hope to go well in
the sprint competition and keep improving in that. I had quite a bit of time
off after my crash in the Giro so will see how I go. The Thuringen tour is
tough. It is a little unpredictable so who know what the outcome will be at
the end of the week, “added Armitstead.
“For me starting in the sprinters jersey is great but it is a shame I don’t get to show off my British Champion jersey. I hope to go well in the sprint competition and keep improving in that. I had quite a bit of time off after my crash in the Giro so will see how I go. The Thuringen tour is tough. It is a little unpredictable so who know what the outcome will be at the end of the week, “added Armitstead.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/07_Thuringen/00_Prologue/PhotoIndex.html]
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