Neylan fourth on the final stage, wrapping up a successful week for ORICA-AIS

Thu 21 Jul 2016

Former world championship medallist, Rachel Neylan continued ORICA-AIS' string of top results by sprinting to fourth place on today's final stage at Thuringen Rundfahrt.

The 34-year-old made it into the final breakaway of the day which formed around 50kilometres to go and successfully stayed away until the line, with Coryn Rivera (United Health Care) sprinting to the stage victory.

"The girls were super keen to try and get the most out of the last stage and really go for another result," explained sport director Gene Bates. "We knew after yesterday's stage that anything could happen and some teams had limited numbers with riders pulling out." 

"We went into the stage really thinking that anything is possible, and the girls certainly had a good go."

Similarly to the previous stages, Annemiek Van Vleuten was in amongst all the action jumping into different breakaways and eventually escaped solo maintaining a one minute 20second advantage over the peloton until she had a badly timed mechanical problem.

"Unfortunately Annemiek needed a bike change when she was leading solo," Bates continued. "She lost half of her advantage with this."

"There was still a long way to go on the stage and Boels-Dolmans were at the front about to start the chase to bring her back and it looked like it was going to eventually come back regardless of this problem. 

"At that point we decided it was best for her to sit up and return to the bunch to try and set it up again later on.

"The next move went with Rachel in it. We knew she wasn't the faster in the group and would need to attack if she was to win the stage and she certainly did that. She put in some really good attacks towards the final but in the end it came down to a sprint and she gave it a really good go."

The Australian outfit wrap a solid week of racing with consistent results having displaying great determination and an aggressive approach to racing throughout the stages, ultimately giving them a well deserved stage win, multiple podium placings and second place overall in the general classification.

"We really came into the race looking for good stage results," said Bates. "We really achieved that and animated every stage of the race. All the girls showed that they are in good shape and were super motivated so we can walk away from the tour very happy."

How it happened:

Full of motivation after claiming the stage victory on yesterday's stage, ORICA-AIS arrived at the start line ready to tackle another undulating 130kilometre stage.

Once again, the race kicked off with a rush of attacks with the lead group constantly changing. Dutch time trial champion Van Vleuten continued to display her courageous riding style present in all the action right from the very beginning of the stage.

Australian champion and yesterday's winner Amanda Spratt and Van Vleuten soon made their way into a dangerous move after 60kilometres of racing working alongside seven others. From this group Van Vleuten launched off the wheel to lead the race solo, gaining over a one minute advantage. 

However, due to a mechanical problem the Dutch rider returned to the peloton and immediately after another group formed at the head of the race. ORICA-AIS raced attentively, saw the move and placed themselves in the attack once again, this time with Neylan taking her chances at the front.

With no real threat to the overall classification the peloton were happy to let the move go and the leading group of five successfully stayed away.

Neylan tried numerous times attacking in an attempt to get away solo, but was unable to break the elastic with the stage eventually finishing in a sprint with Riviera proving too strong claiming the victory.

The ORICA-AIS rider finished in a respectable fourth place with teammate Spratt holding onto her advantage to conclude the week-long race in second place overall.

ORICA-AIS are back in action this Sunday at the WorldTour event La Course.

Thüringen Rundfahrt stage seven results:

1. Coryn Rivera (United Health Care) 3:22:00
2. Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5) ST
3. Nicole Hanselmann (Cervelo-Bigla) +0:02
4. Rachel Neylan (ORICA-AIS) +0:04 

Final general classification:

1. Elena Cecchini (Canyon-Sram) 17:41:04
2. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +2:58
3. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) +3:12