Brits at the Thüringen Rundfahrt

With ten British riders at the Tour de France, the media are even less likely than usual to pay any attention to the six British riders currently racing at the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen. A pity, because it’s been a superb race and – just like Froome, Thomas and the rest – Hayley Simmonds, Nikki Harris, Lucy Coldwell, Sarah Storey, Gabriella Shaw and Bethany Hayward have given us some exciting racing and plenty of opportunity to celebrate our home-grown cyclists as they take on the best the rest of the world can offer.

Pearl Izumi also have Australian rider Nicole Moering onboard; her results are included below.

Official website – Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours InternationalMaxx-Solar

Stage 1

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Nikki Harris is best-known as a cyclocross rider, but she’s a very talented athlete on the road too

Nikki Harris, better known for her successful cyclocross career, was the fastest Brit in a difficult opening stage with some cobbled sectors that caused a few crashes – none of which, fortunately, were sufficiently serious to end any riders’ chances.

Harris finished in 31st place among the first group, thus recording an equal time to stage winner Lisa Brennauer. Following bonification, Harris’ overall disadvantage was 10″.

Stage 1 – Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) 1h44’39”
31 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
36 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
64 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +13″
75 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) ST
89 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +59″
98 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +4’16

56 Nicole Moerig +13″

Stage 2

Nikki Harris retained her status as leading British rider in the General Classification, but saw her deficit increase to 24″ – however, this was sufficient to increase her overall placing from 31st to 27th. Meanwhile, National Time Trial Champion Hayley Simmonds was the fastest Brit of the stage, finishing in 27th place and improved her GC standing by 27 places, jumping from 67th to 40th.

Stage 2 – Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana) 2h47’28”
27 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +14″ (GC +27)
30 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) ST (GC +35)
34 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC +4)
72 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +2’30” (GC +4)
78 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC -36)
90 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5’58” (GC +5)

81 Nicole Moerig +2’30”

 

Stages 3a (ITT) and 3b

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National TT Champion Hayley Simmonds prepares to leave the starting ramp (photo c/o Hayley Simmonds)

Not surprisingly, Simmonds, Coldwell and Storey all made significant General Classification gains when racing against the clock in Stage 3a: Simmonds, who was eagerly looking forward to her first chance to show off her National TT Champ jersey at this event, was the fastest and rose another 29 places to end the day in ninth place overall: the first time a Brit made it into the top ten since the race began.

Lucy Coldwell also made a big gain moving from 42nd to 19th but, being more of a TT specialist than Simmonds who is a better mass-start racer, is less likely to preserve her high placing in the coming stages. Sarah Storey, who founded the Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours team with husband Barney, had a successful ride too and improved her GC place from 85th to 64th.

Stage 3a (ITT) – Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) 27’40”
9 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1’30” (GC +29)
19 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +1’43” (GC +26″)
21 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1’46” (GC +21″)
57 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +3’40” (GC – 14″)
88 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5’30” (GC +1)
89 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5’33” (GC -11)

96 Nicole Moerig +6’56”

With the return to mass-start racing in Stage 3b, Harris was tenth over the line to take the best stage finish by a British rider in the race so far; she made a slight improvement to her overall place, from 41st to 38th. As expected, Simmonds was able to limit damage to the big gains she made in the TT, falling just two places overall from 11th to 13th despite four ascents of a cobbled climb she described as being “soul (and leg!) destroying.”

Stage 3b – Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) 1h52’56”
10 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +10″ (GC +3)
42 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +36″ (GC -2)
55 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +46″ (GC -7)
80 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5’33” (GC -11)
86 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +9’57” (GC -1)
92 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +11’46” (GC +1)

87 Nicole Moerig +10’01”

Stage 4

The biggest gain was once again made by Simmonds – although she was well off the front of the peloton as it crossed the finish line, she recorded the same time as stage winner Lotta Lepistö and thus jumped another 29 places in the General Classification to end up in 12th place with an overall disadvantage of 1’53”. Harris made another big gain, improving her GC placing by 22 to 37th

Stage 4 – Lotta Lepistö (Bigla) 3h07’40”
16 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC +22)
22 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) ST (GC +1)
42 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC +29)
68 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +18″ (GC +17)
82 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +10’19” (GC -7)
85 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +11’02” (GC+6)

86 Nicole Moerig +24’06”

Stage 5

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Hayley Simmonds showing off her stripes (photo c/o Hayley Simmonds)

“This race is just getting tougher! Thought it might ease off a bit today but it definitely didn’t – hardest stage yet with heat, crosswinds and fast cobbled descents all adding to the fun. 33rd on the stage but moved up to 10th on GC. Now to try and fix myself ready for the battle of the final 2 days… 6 stages down, 2 to go!” Hayley Simmonds

With riders now attempting to consolidate their GC positions and remain in the race during a tough stage that featured some challenging cobbled sectors, changes in the overall positions of the Brits were more limited that in previous stages. Nikki Harris had the biggest increase, improving her placing by eight places, though she has a disadvantage of 4’02”.

Simmonds’ increase of two places puts her into tenth place overall with a disadvantage 2’02” – not so great that, given a parcours that suits her and a bit of birthday luck for Stage 6, she couldn’t become a serious threat to the top three riders tomorrow.

Stage 5 – Coryn Rivera (Team USA) 3h16’14”
9 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +4″ (GC +6)
18 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +21″ (GC +8)
33 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +28″ (GC +2)
71 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +13’13” (GC +1)
80 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +14’24” (GC no change)
83 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +17’28” (GC -3)

DNF Nicole Moerig

Stage 6

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Bethany Hayward is lanterne rouge – but the fact that, at just 18, she remains in this race suggests a great future

Nikki Harris was again the fastest British rider, finishing just outside the top ten in 13th place and improving her overall position by nine places to 21st. Sadly Hayley Simmonds, who started the stage in tenth place overall was 38th across the line some 3’11” after winner Katie Hall, which saw her drop 13 places to 23rd overall with a disadvantage of 4’24” – with a disadvantage of 4′, Harris is now the leading British rider. Lucy Coldwell, who started in 15th place overall, is now 25th with a disadvantage of 4’58”. One stage remains and any one of the three could yet move back into the top ten; perhaps, though it would take either a phenomenal performance or a very great deal of luck, back into contention for a podium finish.

Sarah Storey gained time and jumped seven places to end the day in 73rd overall; however, with a disadvantage of 38’54” she’s now playing to limit losses. The same goes for Gabriella Shaw, who lost one place and is now 82nd overall, and for Bethany Hayward, who appears to have moved up one place from 84th to 83rd, but in fact remains lanterne rouge following the departure of Hitec Products’ Charlotte Becker. Both riders are young (Shaw turned 23 last month, Hayward is at 18 one of the youngest athletes in the race) and as such will consider their continued presence in a race of this level to be a success, boding well for their future careers.

Stage 6 – Katie Hall (Team USA) 3h45’40”
13 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +40″ (GC +9)
37 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +3’11” (GC -10)
38 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC -13)
55 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5’46” (GC +7)
77 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +22’46” (GC -1)
83 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +26’28” (GC +1*)

*See text

Stage 7

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General Classification winner Emma Johansson

Once again, Nikki Harris was the fastest Brit but sadly, none of of our riders were in a position to make big moves up the General Classification and she, Lucy Coldwell and Hayley Simmonds all made losses today as the professional teams, all of them more experienced in this sort of week-long stage race than British domestic riders used to the one-day events on the UK racing calendar, brought their big-name GC contenders to the fore.

For that very reason, all six of them deserve  congratulations for staying the course. While none of them made it into the top 20, they’ve completed one of the longest races in women’s cycling and have repeatedly finished right up among some of the greatest riders in the world – proving that if we had a few more stage races here in Britain, our home-grown riders could get the experience they need to take on the world. So… anyone fancy having a go at organising one?

Chapeau, Emma Johansson!

Stage 7 – Karol-Ann Canuel (Velocio-SRAM) 2h42’10”
25 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +2’55” (GC -1)
35 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +2’55” (GC -1)
36 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC -1)
44 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +14’20” (GC +4)
70 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +16’24” (GC +3)
67 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC +4)
Full result

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Fastest British rider Nikki Harris finished 22md in the General Classification

Final GC
1 Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) 19h46’01”
2 Karol-Ann Canuel (Velocio-SRAM) +10″
3 Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) +18″
4 Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS) +26″
5 Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) +1’04”
6 Joelle Numaninville (BTC City Ljubljana) +2’41”
7 Lotta Lepisto (Bigla) +3’02”
8 Martina Ritter (BTC City Ljubljana) +3’10”
9 Amy Pieters (Team Netherlands) +3’13”
10 Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana) +3’26”
22 Nikki Harris (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +6’33”
24 Hayley Simmonds (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +6’57”
26 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +7’31”
70 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +56’56”
78 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1h11’18”
79 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1h34’14
Full result