Missed opportunities at yesterday’s stage on the ‘Hanka Berg’ leads to lessons learnt and success on Stage 3, as Team WNT bounce back to secure the Stage win, team on the day and the Lotto Leaders Jersey.
With Lisa Brennauer only having a 4” lead in the GC going into Stage 3, rival teams were only too aware that the Lotto Leaders Jersey could be on a different pair of shoulders come the end of the stage.
From the 0KM point, Irish National Champion Lydia Boylan set the tone for the race, the first of many attacks off the front. With riders not only fighting against a defensive peloton but a strong cross winds, for which the countryside of Weimar is renowned.
Even though the pace was high, averaging high 40’s (kph), the bunch stayed together until 84KM when a break of seven riders finally stuck and gained 1:45 on the peloton at their maximum effort.
Becca Carter and Anna Badegruber took to the front of the peloton, in front of huge crowds in Weimar as the race passed through the finish line to complete it’s first lap. The chase was on!
When it came to the final Opel Mountain Point of the day the break was down to four riders who only had a gap of 13” and the long straight road to the climb meant the peloton had them in their sights.
Team mate Hayley Jones, who’s currently 7th overall in the U23 classification said,
“After missing the winning move yesterday, we knew we had to be in the race today, there was a small break up the road that could be seen so just before the final Opel Mountain Point I said to Hayley and Nat that one of them should go on the climb”
With the break in their sights Natalie Grinczer came to the front of the bunch to lead the way for Hayley Simmonds.
Hayley Simmonds said “we came to a 14% section and Nat did a really good job of attacking off the front of the peloton and making it really hard, which strung it out a bit up the steep section of the climb.
I attacked on the cobbled section, hit it really hard, when I glanced behind me I had a gap on the peloton. I bridged to the break and just attacked it, I put my head down and rode as hard as I could to the top of the climb”
Hayley’s strong attack off the Mountain soon gifted her a 1-minute lead on the break and she soloed to victory securing her first ever UCI win. She leads by 18” with her strongest discipline tomorrow the Individual Time Trial. Hayley and the team will face tough competition from former ITT World Champion Lisa Brennauer who will want to claim back the leaders jersey of her home tour.