It was another fast day of racing with Team Sunweb in the thick of the action at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour in Germany on stage 6 where 2nd place overall Ellen van Dijk raced to 5th on the day. She goes into tomorrow’s final stage 2nd overall, just a matter of seconds behind the overall race leader on GC.
The stage got off to a fast start and soon enough a large group of 14 riders, including Pernille Mathieson for Team Sunweb, had pulled out a large advantage of up to 6 minutes. Under the impetus of Team Sunweb behind, a counter formed and eventually bridged the gap forming a lead group of around 30 riders with all 6 of Team Sunweb present.
Despite several attacks, including from the team, trying to break clear, the group stayed together heading into the final 10km. In the end it was a solo breakaway for the final 5km that took the stage, with Ellen pushing hard to finish as strongly as possible after a day where the team stamped their overall dominance on the stage, but didn’t come away with the desired result.
Ellen remains in second overall, with Coryn Rivera leading the points classification, and Liane Lippert leading the young rider’s classification.
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said after the race: “I think physically today was one of the strongest races I’ve seen from the team. They put the pressure on the climb, the pace was so high. We tried to attack in the final but it was too fast – in the end we were the strongest team but the efficiency wasn’t there. We’re of course disappointed to lose seconds on the GC, it’s going to be a big challenge tomorrow. Brennauer’s in top shape and we now need to make up 10 seconds which is a lot. Overall a strong performance, but a disappointing day.
“We still have Coryn in the points jersey and Liane in the young riders jersey. We were also the only team with 6 riders in the front which shows how strong we were together and we lead the team classification as a result.”