Van Vleuten attacks to finish in sixth place on stage two of Thüringen RundfahrtSat 16 Jul 2016
Annemiek Van Vleuten produced a strong ride today for ORICA-AIS on stage two of Thüringen Rundfahrt, attacking and making it into a late move to finish in sixth place.
ORICA-AIS were in a strong position coming into the final with both Van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt represented in the day's final breakaway of 11 riders, which formed with less than ten kilometres to go.
From this leading group, Olga Zabelinskaya (BePink) made a surprise attack with just two kilometres remaining and was able to hold off the chase from behind to claim the stage victory.
Sport director Martin Barras was happy with the team's showing throughout the stage and the strength and determination that Van Vleuten displayed with her strong attack.
"It was a great day for us today," said Barras after the stage. "It fitted the bill for us to come and test ourselves, so we are very, very pleased with the day and the way all the girls conducted themselves."
"Annemiek had a very strong attack on the steep climb around 11km to go and Loren Rowney also did a very good job of leading her into the bottom of the climb.
"She was able to crest the top first and was then joined by a few other riders. This created the breakaway of eleven. Amanda also made it into this front split, she also gave it a go solo but was brought back a few kilometres to go.
"It's very encouraging for us to see what good shape they are in and I'm looking forward to testing the other girls out over the next few days."
How it happened:
Attacks came immediately from the start of stage two, with two riders jumping off the front and gaining a 15second advantage but it wasn't long before the fresh peloton reeled them back in.
Like most stages in Thüringen Rundfahrt, the peloton raced through small towns containing twists and turns and cobble sections. The first of these caused the bunch to string out in a yo-yo effect but it eventually regrouped.
After the first Queen of the mountains prime, three riders tried to establish a gap including Van Vleuten for ORICA-AIS. Despite their hard efforts they were not given any freedom and also returned back into the bunch like all previous attempts.
The short, sharp climbs came one after the other however they were proving too short to create any significant split within the group. One rider, Radotic was finally successful in an attempt and rode out solo to a maximum advantage of 30seconds for a number of kilometres.
It appeared, like yesterday's stage that the teams were too eager on these early stages to allow for any dangerous split to occur and with 20kilometres to go the group remained all in tact.
Once the bunch arrived on the final lap of the day, just 12km in length, the riders attention turned to a well anticipated nasty 13% climb.
Van Vleuten launched out of the wheels, attacking to claim top points in the Queen of the mountain classification and continued her momentum in an attempt to breakaway.
Soon after, due to the fast pace over the heavy terrain, Van Vleuten found herself in a small group of 11 riders alongside teammate Spratt, the perfect situation for the team with just five kilometres to go.
Zabelinskaya made a unexpected attacked inside the final two kilometres and despite the hard chase from behind she was able to hold on and claim the victory on stage two.
Thüringen Rundfahrt stage two results:
1. Olga Zabelinskaya (BePink) 2:43:58
2. Marianna Vos (Rabo-Liv) +0:23
3. Emilia Fahlin (Ale-Cipollini) ST
6. Annemiek Van Vleuten (ORICA-AIS) ST
General classification after stage two:
1. Olga Zabelinskaya (BePink) 4:24:33
2. Marianna Vos (Rabo-Liv) +0:19
3. Emilia Fahlin (Ale-Cipollini) +0:32
6. Annemiek Van Vleuten (ORICA-AIS) +0:36