Basque again beautifully supported by Movistar team-mates, finishes 10th in 'Hankaberg' uphill, just ahead of GC leader Hammes (WNT); Colombian brilliant at demanding Dörtendorf hill.
Following the path of the previous two stages, the Movistar Team played again a big factor in how stage three of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour (UCI 2.1) unfolded, the German stagerace covering arguably its hardest route with 94km + three laps in a hilly circuit around the ‘Hankaberg’ (1,100m at 9%, max. 16%). An attack by Vita Heine (HPU) before the sprint rewarded the Norwegian with the stage win.
Biannic, Fournier, Rodríguez and a struggling Teruel, in the aftermath of her crash on Tuesday, took to the front of the bunch at several race phases to keep all breaks under control. Quite significant was an 11-woman move halfway through the race, including Coryn Rivera (SUN) or 2018 overall winner Lisa Brennauer (WNT).
The big group ended up together before the climb, with Paula Patiño completing another surprisingly good performance amongst the world’s elite for 5ª. In turn, Lourdes Oyarbide was a fantastic 10th place, taking 1-2″ against still-leading Kathrin Hammes (WNT). The jury did not set any gaps at the official results, yet Zanner’s (MAX) time loss over the line meant Oyarbide is now 3rd overall, 13″ back.
There’s still three stages remaining in Germany, one of which will be a crucial 15km ITT around Meiningen, with two tough slopes, on Saturday. Before that, day four will take the riders over a race-longest 114km in Gotha, including three climbs in the first half of the route.
Cover picture (c): Velofocus