Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Lisa Brennauer put in a flying performance in the second stage time trial of the Emakumeen Bira, between Agurain and Vitoria, to finish in third place. The former World Champion completed the 26.6km course in a time of 34 minutes, 44 seconds, to cross the line just 44 seconds slower than current rainbow jersey Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott), and 30 seconds behind Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans).
“It was a very good day. It was a very nice time trial,” Brennauer said. “It was a nice circuit for me, so yeah, I had a good day. I can be happy with third place, so I think it’s good.
“In the beginning we were on quite small roads, and there were some - you can’t really call them climbs - some small hills in the first part of the race. Then there was super-fast downhill section, all on very nice, big roads. It was a high speed course actually.”
Brennauer’s third place on the stage, along with the four-second time bonus taken on the finish line of stage one, means that the 29-year-old German now also third in the General Classification just 40 seconds behind van Vleuten. The hilly nature of the remaining stages, however, mean that Brennauer is keen to take the race one day at a time.
“To be honest I think we have to look day to day, because the last stage is super-hard for me, not being a super-climber,” she said. “So I think it’s best to look from day to day and take it from there because I think I might face some problems on the last day!
“I think it’s the best for me personally to take it from day to day, although I was quite comfortable yesterday, so I’m confident, but I think it’s best to maybe not look all the way into it.”
As well as Brennauer in third place, however, strong performances from Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Austrian Champion Martina Ritter and Italian Champion Elisa Longo Borghini put them eighth and ninth overall respectively.
“That’s great as well,” Brennauer smiled. “I think the plan was to see how the TT was going, and what the GC standings are after this, and to make a plan from there. The plan is to sit together now and see where we are.”
Third place on stage two, added to second place on stage one, has also put Brennauer in the lead in the Points Classification and she will wear the Orange Points Jersey on stage three.
“That’s pretty cool,” she said. “I think it’s always nice in a Tour that you can wear a leader’s jersey in a classification, and yeah, I think it’s something really special.
“I would really like to keep it, of course, but I will see how it goes tomorrow.”
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott)
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans)
3. Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
Photo Credit: Vélofocus