24th International Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2011
Stage 2 - Johansson wins stage 2 and takes overall lead
Emma Johansson (HITEC Products UCK) finished the tough second stage into Greiz with a sprint that put her into first pace overall. Just behind Johansson, was Australian Vicki Whitelaw and then the current leader in the young rider competition Amy Pieters (Skil-Koga). Overnight leader Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Highroad) finished in the chasing bunch some 5 minutes 52 seconds down.
Stage 2 was the first big stage for the climbers to show themselves. With 3 mountain classification points and two sprints, in Zeulenroda and Greiz it was a day to gain valuable bonus seconds. Weather conditions threatened big storms. Thankfully it was only light rain in Thuringen not like other parts of Germany that had apparently flooded.
The roll out was pretty tough with the peloton having to climb, what would later be the third of the mountain classification points before they had ridden more than 14km.
At the first of the mountains in Mehla, Russian Svetlana Boubenkova crossed the top first ahead of Briton Emma Pooley (Garmin Cervelo) and Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink). The terrain continued to go upwards until Loitsh, where a brief descent on wet roads, ensured, that by the time the peloton reached the outskirts of Steinsdorf they were strung out. This allowed Pooley to attack, taking with her 9 other riders as they twisted their way through the village.
Making the break were nine riders initially. Four others managed to bridge across to the join the break. Included were a number of the top GC contenders. Garmin Cervelo's Pooley and team mate Noemi Cantele, Judith Arndt and Amber Neben (HTC Highroad), Johansson (Hitec), Trixi Worrack (AA Drink), Fabianna Luperini (MCipollini), Sylwia Kapista (Gauss), Claudia Hausler (Germany), Pieters (Skil-Koga) and three of the Australian national team, Whitelaw, Shara Gillow and Taryn Heather.
The leading group quickly gained momentum and increased their lead to 2 minutes 40 seconds. At the foot of the "Hankaberg', the second mountain points climb, Pooley and Arndt were driving the pace. 200m from the top, Pooley attacked to gain maximum points ahead of Arndt, Johansson and Worrack.
A fast descent into Zeulenroda for the sprint and Hausler secured maximum points ahead of Arndt and Johansson.
After 75km of racing the leading group had split. Surprisingly, Arndt, Pooley, Heather, Kapista and Worrack dropped back to the chase group, leaving nine leading riders.
At the sprint in Greiz, Johansson secured maximum points ahead of Hausler and Pieters. The leaders worked well together. With two riders left in the break, the Australians were able to provide a little rest bite to each other. They watched the group as the final mountain points climb arrived. Cantele was the first over the top, followed by Johansson and Luperini.
With bonus time at the finish, Johansson, by winning the stage, placed herself in first place overall and leader in the sprint classification, on the same points as Arndt.
Pooley holds the Mountain leader jersey ahead of Johansson.
Johansson was awarded the most active jersey for the stage.
Amy Pieters continues to lead the young rider competition.
Australia lead the team competition
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Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/07_Thuringen/02_Stage2/PhotoIndex.html]
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