With a late solo attack Alice Barnes stole the win yesterday on the penultimate stage of Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour in Gotha, Germany. While Barnes secured her first victory for CANYON//SRAM Racing, her teammate Elena Cecchini won the bunch sprint for second place, and moved into third on the general classification.
Barnes was in an early breakaway on the hilly parcours, later joined by a 19-rider group that included Cecchini. “We knew it was a hilly course and we planned to try to get myself in the break to be up the road and get over all of the climbs. I was in the first attack, then Tiffany (Cromwell) was in one, and then the third attack created a group and we went away after just 3km into the race,” said Barnes after the finish.
“In the end when Elena and I were together we had to be smart because we were outnumbered. Elena felt good for the final sprint, so I followed the attacks. At one point there were so many, so I thought rather than be on the back foot I would just attack first,” commented Barnes. Barnes’ attack with 8km remaining was unmatched and despite a hard chase in the final kilometres, the 22 year old British rider soloed across the line. “I didn’t think there was that long to go in the race,” joked Barnes.
“But I am really happy to get the stage win. It was one of my goals for the tour so I’m really satisfied. It was also good that Elena and I were there together and that she was able to get second. It shows how strong she is racing,” added Barnes. With her second place on the stage yesterday, Cecchini moves into third on the general classification ahead of the final individual time trial stage today in Schmölln.
“I’m really happy that Alice made it because she was brave and we risked quite a lot with that attack. It’s a nice reward for some great team racing this week. And my second place on the stage was just the cherry on top of the cake,” said Cecchini.