Thüringen-Rundfahrt: Emma Johansson consolidates lead with stage five victory
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Thüringen-Rundfahrt: Emma Johansson consolidates lead with stage five victory

by Ben Atkins at 7:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Swedish rider fastest from a 17-rider group that escapes early

emma johanssonEmma Johansson (Orica-AIS) took her second victory of the 2013 Thüringen-Rundfahrt as she outsprinted a 17-rider group on the cobbled, uphill finish in Altenberg, Germany. The former Swedish champion finished a length clear of Netherlands champion Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv/Giant), with Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini-Giordana) third.

Bonus seconds, as well as a small time gap, saw Johansson further clear of teammate Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) in the general classification, increasing her lead to 30 seconds.

“It’s never easy to win a bike race, but I feel at home on this course,” said Johansson. “It’s a stage I have won in the past. I like the technical finish, and I think when you enjoy yourself and have fun, it makes the racing a bit easier. You’re working with the course instead of against it. It was a good day for us, and I was happy to finish off the team’s work with the win.”

Shortly after former time trial and cyclocross World champion Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) had taken first place across the line at the end of the first lap, ahead of Johansson and Scandolara, the first group of 14 riders escaped.

With Kupfernagel, Johansson and Scandolara were Brand, Roxane Knetemann, Iris Slappendel and Annemiek van Vleuten (all Rabobank-Liv/Giant), Loren Rowney (Specialized-lululemon), Gillow and Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS), Christine Majerus and Anna van der Breggen (Sengers), Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) and Beate Zanner (Maxx Solar-Stevens).

Missing from the group were overnight third and fourth places Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) and Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon) but, with Brennauer’s teammate Rowney in the break, it was up to the giallo fluo team to keep the move under control.

Mountains leader Majerus took first place over the climb, ahead of van der Breggen and Gillow, but the group was just 38 seconds ahead of the peloton as Villumsen beat Johansson and Kupfernagel to the bonus seconds the next time across the finish line.

The third lap saw several attacks, with Latoya Brulee (CyclelivePlus-Zannata) trying to bridge the gap alone, but a move came from Brennauer, Guderzo, Giorgia Williams (Be Pink), Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda) and Amy Cure (Australia) looked like it was going to make it.

Once they were just a few seconds behind the break, however, the others attacked and managed to join up with the group, but left Guderzo behind. The former World champion continued to chase, but was unable to make it across the gap and began to drift backwards again.

Majerus took the climb again, ahead of van der Breggen and Spratt, but the group was reduced to 17 riders, as Rowney was dropped. Van der Breggen then beat Johansson and Scandolara across the finish line to take the final intermediate sprint as the group took the bell.

The final climb went to Majerus again, with van der Breggen second again, ahead of Slappendel, but the attacks were now beginning as the finish approached.

Having worked hard, holding it together for their teammates, Slappendel and Becker were dropped in the final kilometres, with Majerus left behind soon afterwards following her efforts on the climbs. There were still 14 riders heading into the finish, however, with Johansson taking the victory on the cobbled uphill straight.

Guderzo finished in a group more than six minutes down, with her podium hopes now finished, while the rest of the peloton came in more than 12 minutes later. Having both taken three seconds time bonus, and finishing two seconds ahead of Brennauer, Villumsen and van der Breggen were now on equal time with the German rider in third place.

Result stage 5
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
3. Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
4. Amy Cure (Aus) Australian National Team @ 3s
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies @ 5s
6. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) German National Team @ 7s
8. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
9. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 8s
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 9s

Standings after stage 5
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
2. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 30s
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’34”
4. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies
6. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 1’47”
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) German National Team @ 2’24”
8. Georgia Williams (NZl) Be Pink @ 2’46”
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 2’47”
10. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 2’55”

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