In His Own Words: Dave McPartland on Thüringen Rundfahrt Stage 6

Sun 5 Aug 2012

We had one goal this week. We wanted to win the overall classification. Judith Arndt moved into yellow on Friday after finishing second in the stage four time trial. Today, the team successfully defended her overall lead. Mission accomplished.

The final stage of the German Tour included four laps of a 21 kilometer course. We had a similar plan today as the one we had devised yesterday. We hoped to se a group go up the road to take away the bonus seconds available at the three intermediate sprints.

Groups were away throughout most of the race, but early on, no single move was able to stay away long. During the first intermediate sprint, no one was up the road, and Judith was forced to sprint. She stared the day in the lead by only five seconds over Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon). Emma Johansson (Hitec Products – Minstral Home) wasn’t too far back either, eight seconds down in third place. We couldn’t afford to let them get bonus seconds while we missed out. Luckily, Judith won the first intermediate sprint to extend her lead.

There was a group up the road during the second intermediate sprint, so Judith was able to relax in the bunch. The peloton had reshuffled and another move had gone away before the third intermediate sprint. They gobbled up the bonuses there. We had Claudia Häusler in that last break. She had gone up the road in the interest of the mountains classification. I had to call her back to help with the chase before the finish, and she wasn’t able to defend her lead in the mountains classification as a result.

We put the entire team on the front to peg back the breakaway ahead of the finale. At the finish, two riders remained out front. Jessie Daams (AA Drink – won the two-up sprint to win the stage two seconds ahead of the bunch.

Alex Rhodes earned the Amy Gillet award, and she was presented with a special trophy during the podium presentation. It was a discretionary award given to the rider that the race organizers believed demonstrated the most guts throughout the tour.

All in all, a good week. I’m proud of the way the team executed our plan. We were one of the strongest teams at the Giro Donne earlier this month, yet our results didn’t always demonstrate our strength. Here, the team rode with a clear focus and a single objective as we supported Judith to her third Thüringen Rundfahrt overall win.

From here, half the Thüringen squad heads to London. Judith and Claudia fly out tomorrow with their German teammates. I’m driving two-thirds of the Australian squad – Amanda Spratt and Chloe Hosking (Specialized-lululemon) -- to the Munich airport in the morning.

We won’t be able to provide you live updates from London due to commercial restrictions, so tune into our riders’ respective national federations for updates.