Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Lisa Brennauer has won the 2018 Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, following a stunning ride in the seventh and final stage Time Trial around Schmölln, in easter Germany. The former World Time Trial Champion completed the rolling 18.7km course in a time of 26 minutes and 40 seconds, to finish just two seconds slower than her main general classification rival, European Champion Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and end the race five seconds clear of the Dutchwoman overall. Van Dijk’s teammate Lucinda Brand was third, another two seconds behind Brennauer.
“I had a really good day on the bike. It was really cool. In the time trial I felt already on the bike that it’s going well today, and I’m going quite fast. But still, that it worked out, and I won this Tour… yeah, I’m super happy!
“Actually, I’m still a bit speechless, but it was just a great week, and a great week of teamwork. This is also sums up the week in the best way.”
Brennauer’s second place on the day means that she has finished on the podium in all of the Tour’s seven stages but one, which was the day she took the yellow jersey on Stage 6. This has been far from a solo effort, however, as the German rider was quick to point out, and has come as a result of a fantastic effort from the entire Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team.
“Also, the team, what they did for me the whole week, it was a big statement,” Brennauer said. “It was really cool teamwork the whole week. They were all so nervous as well today, and they wished it so much. Everybody was so happy, they came to see me at the ceremony; they were standing there before the stage to see the victory ceremony, and it meant a lot to me.”
At seven stages long, with a lot of challenging courses, the Lotto Thüringen Women’s Tour was the longest stage race of the season so far. Despite the accumulated fatigue of the preceding days, however, Brennauer was still confident that she could produce a good performance in the all-important final time trial.
“I wasn’t too worried,” the . I still was pretty confident, and I had the feeling that I still had some energy left and that I was able to go well. I also didn’t stress too much; it’s an 18km time trial and you can only go full gas and see what’s the outcome. you just have to go and it either works out or it doesn’t, and I’m super happy.”
Brennauer’s overall race victory makes her the first rider since her almost legendary compatriot Judith Arndt to take back to back wins in what is now the biggest race in Germany.
“That’s what they told me!” Brennauer smiled. “They said that Judith was the last one that won the Tour twice, and that it hasn’t been often in the past.
“It’s was really a great week,” she added. “I was super-motivated, but also the other girls, you could really feel it within the group. Everyone was pulling together for this one goal and it’s so nice when it works out in the end.”
Result Stage 7
1. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb)
2. Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb)
Final General Classification
1. Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb)
3. Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb)
Photo Credit: Vélofocus