Kristen Faulkner made all the right moves in the Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour to finish top 10 in the opening 88.6km circuit race held in Schmölln.
During the first of three 30km laps, a dangerous break of ten riders, initially containing representation from all World Tour teams and some national teams, escaped up a climb.
Faulkner reacted and bridged across to the break solo. The break stayed away, but the peloton gradually pulled back enough time for a group of seven to bridge across. From there, the run into the finish was hectic, but it didn’t stop Faulkner from finding the right lines to come across in eighth. Faulkner also sits in ninth place overall, 14 seconds behind the leader.
“Overall, it was an aggressive race from the start,” Faulkner said. “A lot of wind and a bit of rain. The break didn’t work super well together. From a maximum 55-second lead the gap then fell to about 30 seconds when the seven riders bridged across. Being in with the GC contenders sets us up well for tomorrow, but the races can change day to day, so we’re just taking it one day at a time.”
“Kristen did a great job of making it into the break, its a great way to start the race and we’ll look to continue the momentum in the coming days,” director Rachel Hedderman said.
Tomorrow’s stage of Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour is a lumpy 125.5km road race that begins in Gera. GCN/Eurosport will offer highlights of the race after the finish each day.