Pure aggression gives Johansson overall victory at Thuringen Rundfahrt

Thu 23 Jul 2015

Swedish champion Emma Johansson has been crowned the overall winner of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen after an aggressive show from ORICA-AIS on the final day of racing.

The Australian outfit was active in putting pressure on the bunch for the full seven day, eight stage Tour. They also walk away with the team classification, Amanda Spratt in fourth overall, a stage win to Gracie Elvin and seven additional stage podium places.

Johansson and Spratt claimed second and third place respectively on the final stage behind Karol-Ann Canuel (Velocio-SRAM).

With bonus seconds, the performance was enough to give Johansson her third overall victory at the German stage race following wins in 2011 and 2013. Canuel took second overall, ten seconds behind.

“It was pretty epic,” Johansson said of the day. “I started attacking from the first climb in the first kilometre and we didn’t stop all day.”

“I wasn’t flying in the first couple of days of the race but I could feel my form coming everyday and it was at its best yesterday and today so I’m happy to be able to use that form. It doesn’t always happen like that.

“Even more so, I’m so happy to bring home the yellow jersey for the team. They rode so well all week, were super strong and deserved this. I’m looking forward to spending the next couple of days with them before Paris and hopefully celebrating a little.”

After losing two riders – Melissa Hoskins to sickness (before stage 1) and Sarah Roy to a deep abrasion on her knee (stage 4), ORICA-AIS started the 98.9km final stage with just four riders, but determined to throw everything they had towards a result.

With Johansson (fourth) and Spratt (fifth) just 30 and 32seconds behind overall leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM), there were plenty of cards to play.

“It really helped that Amanda made up time in the general classification yesterday,” Johansson continued. “We had two options for today and that allowed us to be super aggressive.”

“We got away on a climb at about 80km in a group of four – Spratty and I with two others, including (Lauren) Stevens (Team USA) who was a threat on GC.

“We just kept attacking one after another to drop her. It was full on, about five kilometres of one after the other. Every time it came back I was thinking ‘oh, not my turn again’ and I think Spratty was feeling the same. Eventually I got away.”

ORICA-AIS next line up at La Course by Le Tour de France in Paris on Sunday, ahead on the arrival of the men’s race.

ORICA-AIS top 3 results at Thüringen Rundfahrt:

1st overall – Emma Johansson
1st stage 3b – Gracie Elvin
2nd stage 2 – Amanda Spratt
2nd stage 3b – Emma Johansson
2nd stage 4 – Emma Johansson
2nd stage 6 – Amanda Spratt
2nd stage 7 – Emma Johansson
3rd stage 5 – Chloe McConville
3rd stage 7 – Amanda Spratt