Thüringen-Rundfahrt: Carmen Small takes bunch sprint finish on stage two
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thüringen-Rundfahrt: Carmen Small takes bunch sprint finish on stage two

by Ben Atkins at 6:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Emma Johansson holds yellow jersey after a day dominated by two-rider break

Carmen SmallCarmen Small (Specialized-lululemon) took her first road race victory of the season, as she won the second stage of the 2013 Thüringen-Rundfahrt, in Hermsdorf, in a bunch sprint. The US time trial champion was fastest to the line at the end of the 121.4km stage, ahead of Italian Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini-Giordana) and stage one winner Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).

The stage was dominated by a two-rider breakaway from Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier (Wiggle Honda) and Chloe McConville (Australia), who had escaped after 49km but reeled in with less than ten kilometres to go.

“We had planned to get a rider into a break-away,” Small explained afterwards. “As we didn’t deliver, the whole team had to put in all effort to close the gap on Anna Bianca and Chloe, and did a great job of it. Some two kilometres from the finish, I discussed with Lisa [Brennauer] who would compete in the sprint for our team. She told me, up to you, your legs are better today. And she was right.”

The early kilometres saw the peloton stay together, with a battle for bonus seconds played out between the riders at the top of the general classification. The first intermediate sprint, after just 10.8km was taken by Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) ahead of Johansson and Orica-AIS teammate Loes Gunnewijk.

The first climb of the day was then taken by mountains classification leader Christine Majerus (Sengers Ladies), with Valentina Carretta (MCipollini-Giordana) second and Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) third, but still nobody was able to get away.

Finally, after 49km, however, after a series of attacks, Schnitzmeier and McConville got away and were able to pull away from the peloton. The duo’s climb reached its maximum over the second climb of the day, as Schnitzmeier took the maximum points, ahead of McConville, with Majerus taking third place 3’35” behind.

Orica-AIS and Specialized-lululemon steadily pulled back the two riders, however, and by the time McConville had crossed the second intermediate sprint - on the finish line with just an 18km finishing loop to go - they were just a few seconds ahead as Johansson took third place.

The attack was over inside the final ten kilometres; a group of nine riders, including local rider Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), briefly escaped, but the peloton had the group under control. There was a crash with six kilometres to go, with stage one fourth place Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) among the fallers, but most of the peloton arrived at the finish intact, where Small was the fastest.

Result stage 2
1. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon
2. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Sengers Ladies
6. Alena Amialyusik (Blr) Be Pink
7. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies
8. Beate Zanner (Ger) Maxx Solar-Stevens
9. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
10. Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Standings after stage 2
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 10s
3. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans @ 16s
4. Alena Amialyusik (Blr) Be Pink @ 24s
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
7. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
8. Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Hitec Products
9. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 26s
10. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) German National Team @ 28s


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