26th International Thueringen Rundfahrt der Frauen
Stage 6 -Scandolara wins solo
Valentina Scandolara (McCipollini Giodana) attacked with 14km to go to win stage 6 solo. In the battle for second, Lucinda Brand (Rabo Women) took second ahead of Boel Dolman's Adrie Visser.
On another hot stage in Thueringen the attacks started right from Kilometre zero. Specialized Lululemon were active at the front and at the first sprint point, Lisa Brennaur and Trixi Worrack (Specialized Lululemon) and Anna Van der Breggan (Sengers Ladies) crossed the line first as the peloton was strung out behind them. Despite the speed the peloton did not break up. At the first of the climbs, at the famous Steilen Wand, a 500m cobbled climb (12%) after 22.3km was attacked by Hanka Kupfernagel (German National Team). On her wheel was the overall leader, Emma Johansson (Orica-IAS), Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo Women) and the leader in the mountain competion, Christine Majerus (Snegers Ladies). At the top Kupfernagel crossed the line first ahead of Majerus and Johansson.
After 28 km of racing the attacks were coming hard. Worrack and Emilia Fahlin (Hitec) tried to get away with Lisbet de Vocht (Rabo Women). They were chased by Orica-AIS and the gap was closed. Then celebrating her birthday today, Specialized Lululemon's Taylor Wiles attacked. She quickly gained ab advantage of 53 seconds. A number of riders tried to counter attack but they did did not get far. The first time over the Sommeritz climb, Wiles had a gap of 53 seconds. Orica-AIS took to the front and by the time Wiles had reached Schmolln for the first passage of the finish line, the gap was down to 43 seconds. Wiles was able to increase her gap again through the narrow villages.With 50km to go the gap was out toi over 1 minute 10 seconds. Visser decided to go on the attack and took Doris schweizer (Be Pink) with her. They managed to gaina small gap before the chase came from the peloton. The increased speed, strung the peloton out, and cracks started to form. McCipollini Giordana joined in on the attacks and by the time Wiles got to the second assent of the Sommeritz cimb, the gap was down to 20 seconds. At the second passage of the finish line the gap was down to 7 seconds.
With 40km to go, the 58 members of the main peloton were all together. With 14km to go, Scandolara decided to attack. She managed to gain a small gap on the peloton. Over the final assent of the Sommeritz climb, Scandolara had a 20 second lead. With 4km to go the gap to the main peloton was 15 seconds. Scandolara pushed hard to the finish. With 1km to go the gap was 10 seconds. The technical last 1km gave Scandolara an advantage. She cornered with 300m to go with a clear gap and was able to celebrate before getting to the finish line. In an attempt to gain the second and third places. The peloton was strung out. Annemiek van Vleuton (Rabo Women) took one of the final two corners too tight and crashed. Lucinda Brand (Rabo Women) avoided van Vleuten and crossed the line in second place. Visser (Boels Dolman) was third. Johansson who was delayed a litte by the van Vleuten crash, crossed the line safely to hold onto her overall lead. With one stage left, Johansson holds a 32 secondlead ahead of team mate Shara Gillow. The battle for third place is tight, Lisa Brennaeur (Specialized Lululemon) gained some valuable bonus seconds on the stage and sits 1 minute 31 seconds behind Johansson. Brand is in 4th 1 minute 35 seconds back. Completing the top 5, is Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) who is sitting 1 minute 36 seconds back.
Valentina Scandolara (McCipollini Giordana) was very happy with her teams first win of the tour, "I thought I was within the last 10km when I attacked. Then I reached the 10km sign and I thought Óh no I have gone too soon', "said Scandolara. "Then I just had to work harder to stay away for the win. Ths was a very important victory for my team McCipollini Giordana," smilled Scandolara.
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