After an incredible ride on yesterday’s stage six, Elena Cecchini has today taken her career biggest tour victory after she won the general classification at Thüringen Rundfahrt. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider finished the final stage in the peloton to secure the win by almost three minutes from Amanda Spratt (OGE). The seventh stage in Gera was won by Coryn Rivera (UHC) from a five rider break. Amy Pieters (WHT) and Nicole Hanselmann (CBT) were second and third respectively.
The 131km stage around the city of Gera started with a constant flurry of attacks, including a dangerous move with many GC contenders on the QOM after 50km. Cecchini’s teammates Hannah Barnes, Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack did an extraordinary effort to keep the race in control. It wasn’t until around 85km into the race that a five rider break went clear and stayed away until the finish. With no danger to the general classification, Cecchini and her team mates could control the gap until the finish line to take the overall win for the three-time Italian national road champion.
Despite holding the leader’s jersey with a commanding lead going into the final stage Cecchini admits she was nervous to be so close to taking the biggest win of her career. “I was a bit nervous which is normal. But on the other hand I knew that I could count on some amazing and strong teammates during this last stage today. Ronny (Lauke) told us our strength today was to stick together, because no one in the peloton could beat the four of us if we put our energies together!”
“The team worked amazing all week, also when Alexis (Ryan) and Barbara (Guarischi) were here and we deserve this big one. We stayed together almost all of the race and they all did something special and unbelievable. This win means a lot for me and for the team. All of our hard work and team spirit has finally paid off. It’s dedicated to my team mates, but also to our staff who work perfectly day and night to make our cycling life a better one.”
Cecchini will now take some well deserved recovery before heading to Rio Olympics for the Italian road cycling team. CANYON//SRAM Racing will next race La Course by Le Tour de France on Sunday 24 July.