24th International Thüringen Rundfahrt, 2011
Stage 5 - Happy Birthday for Judith Arndt, Neben in Yellow
Schmölln 19.3km ITT
Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad) had the best birthday present ever. She won the stage 5, the Individual Time Trial round Schmölln, in a time of 27minutes 13 seconds. World ITT champion Emma Pooley (Garmin Cervelo) finished just off the pace 9 seconds down. HTC Highroad rounded out the top three with an incredible time trial ride from Ina-Yoko Teutenberg in a time of 27 minutes 32..
Conditions were cool and windy at the start of the time trial. Seventy seven riders started stage 5, Iris Slappendel (Garmin Cervelo) the only rider not to start. The course was very technical with long exposed drags in the wind then technical sections through the small villages.
Trine Schmidt (Garmin Cervelo) set the early pace with a time of 29 minutes 57 seconds over the 19.3km rolling course. It was not long however before that time was beaten. The 2010 winner of the Thuringen Rundfahrt, Olga Zabelinskaya rode a 28 minutes 26 seconds.
Taryn Heather (Australia) set the second best time at the half way point of the riders, completing the course in 28 minutes 38 second.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Highroad) blasted the course to move into first place in a time of 27 minutes 32 seconds. Local favourite Hanka Kupfernagel (Horizon) complete the course 28 minutes 30 seconds to move herself into third place at that stage in the race.
Teutenberg had to wait for 15 riders to finish, before being moved to third behind Arndt and Pooley, who complete the course in 27 minutes 22 seconds.
With 13 riders left to finish, including former World Champion Amber Neben (HTC Highroad), Oceania Champion Shara Gillow (Australia), Italian road and time trial champion Noemi Cantele (Garmin Cervelo) and race leader Emma Johansson (Hitec) the top three was still at risk. Neben could only manage 27 minute 45 seconds, to finish 4th, Gillow completed the course in 27 minutes 52, to finish 5th, Cantele finished 12th in a time of 28 minutes 43 seconds. Emma Johansson (Hitec) managed to complete the course in a time of 27 minutes 59 seconds.
Neben's result placed her 3 seconds ahead of Johansson on general classification. Gillow moved herself up into third overall 26 seconds back.
Going into the final stage in Altenburg there will be everything to ride for. With three intermediate sprints and valuable seconds on offer with those and three mountain climbs, the leaders position could come down to milli-seconds like it did in 2007.
Going into the final stage, the young rider jersey is still held by Amy Pieters (Skil-Koga), Trixi Worrack (AA Drink) rides in the most active jersey, Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin Cervelo) holds the sprint jersey and team mate Pooley holds the mountain jersey.
Post Race Comments
Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad) was very happy with her win and even happier that her team mate Neben had moved into yellow. "I am happy, it is always nice to win, but I am also happy that Amber [Neben] got the yellow jersey, that is very important for the team," said Arndt. Reflecting on the final stage and the 3 second gap, Arndt added, "It is possible to win for sure, but it will be hard for sure. Emma Johansson is a good sprinter. We will need all our team to take away all the seconds that are available. Amber was in this situation in 2007. I am happy to help her this year to win the tour."
Amber Neben (HTC Highroad) moved herself into yellow with 3 seconds lead over Emma Johansson (Hitec), "I am going to rely on my team tomorrow. We are going to do our best. I am confident in my team," said Neben
Emma Pooley (Garmin Cervelo) proudly wore the World champion ITT skin suit but was disappointed to miss out by 9 seconds. "It was a bit 'blowy'. I am a bit gutted, 9 seconds. Maybe I did not corner all that well. It is a good job for Judith and it is nice for her to win on her birthday, " said Pooley.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/07_Thuringen/05_Stage5/PhotoIndex.html]
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