Liane Lippert raced to a strong third place at the end of a tough fourth stage of the Lotto Thuringen Ladies Tour in Germany, in the reverse situation of the day before where she was caught in the closing metres to catch the breakaway in the final kilometre to fight out the stage win on today’s uphill finish.
After a hard fight for the day’s breakaway, 12 riders eventually broke clear and build a lead of over a few minutes. The chase was on behind with Team DSM adding power to the front to bring the gap back with Franziska Koch and Pfeiffer Georgi initially riding to close the break’s advantage, while Susanne Andersen, Floortje Mackaij and Lorena Wiebes rode to keep Lippert out of the wind and safe.
After a hard fight the break was eventually caught in the final kilometres as the race turned uphill for the finish. Well positioned for the climb, Lippert raced from the front but was outpaced in the uphill sprint to the line to cross in third place, moving up to fourth on GC in the process.
Liane Lippert said after the stage: “Today was a really hard day and a tricky stage, again with some technical descents where we rode well together. The team did a great job holding me out of the wind the whole day and protecting me. The bunch was really nervous today and it took quite some time for the break to go. There was an organised chase for the GC while we were racing for the stage – Franziska and Pfeiffer did an amazing job smashing it on the front closing the gap together with two from Trek. We just made it in time so it was perfect.
“The others positioned me really well; Floortje was with me all day, Susanne protected me and Lorena brought me into a perfect position and took the descent with me. The climb at the finish was stop start and I found myself in the lead which wasn’t the ideal situation as it came down to a sprint in the end, but I could just hang on for third. I was hoping for more and also for a harder final on the climb which suits me a bit better. We rode really well as a team and I moved up on GC so everyone’s really motivated and ready to go with two stages still to come.”
Team DSM Women’s Programme coach added Albert Timmer: “We did a good race today – 12 girls went in the break from around halfway and behind we helped in the chance with Pfeiffer and Franziska and they did an amazing job. Afterwards we rode hard as we got close to the finish to set up Liane. The teamwork to get Liane into a position where she could fight for the victory was really on point so I think we can be happy with that.”
Stage General classification Points classification Youth classification Mountains classification Teams classification