Elena Cecchini has taken over the yellow leader’s jersey today on the penultimate stage at Thüringen Rundfahrt in Schleiz. Cecchini finished second behind breakaway companion Amanda Spratt (OGE) but with a 4 minute 49 second advantage on the finish line, the duo moved into first and second on the general classification. Annemiek van Vleuten (OGE) finished third on the stage.
The 130km stage was again another tough day. Cecchini said, “Right from the start Orica started attacking. The peloton was becoming smaller and smaller and after the second QOM we were only maybe 10 or 15 riders in the front. I saw Spratt preparing for the attack and I said to myself, ‘okay let’s go I have nothing to lose.’ She went on the top of the cobbled climb and I could follow.”
The duo formed a lead of almost five minutes on the chase group of 14 riders that included teammate Lisa Brennauer and the yellow jersey of Ellen van Dijk (DLT). “We were in front for the final 60km of the race and we had good collaboration and worked together. I thought that the chase group would bring me back because I wasn’t so far off on GC. But they didn’t and it’s amazing!”
The final stage tomorrow is 131km around the city of Gera. “It will be a super hard day. I will fight with all my teammates to keep the yellow jersey. Once we give our all, then we can have no regrets!!!” said Cecchini.
Cecchini takes a lead of 3 minutes and 5 seconds on the general classification ahead of Spratt. Meanwhile Brennauer keeps the Best German Rider jersey. Racing starts at 11:00 (CEST) and can be followed on the team’s Twitter @WMNcycling and with #ThuringenRundfahrt.