Liane Lippert raced to seventh place on the short, fast opening stage of the Lotto Thuringen Ladies Tour taking the Queen of the Mountains jersey in the process after finishing second and first on the day’s two classified climbs along the 88.9 kilometre route.
The stage got off to a fast start with the day’s break going over the first climb inside the first 25 kilometres, 11 riders going clear including Lippert. The group grew to 17 after the second QOM holding a gap of around 40 seconds going into the final 10 kilometres. The fast chase behind saw the peloton splinter while the lead group also split on the final climb after an attack from Lippert before she took seventh in the sprint. Behind, teammate Lorena Wiebes took the bunch sprint for 18th.
“Today was a really crazy stage actually. We did a tricky local lap three times which had a hard final and a sharp corner with about 100 metres to go,” Lippert explained after the finish. “I was in the break first time up this climb and felt really good there so it was a good situation and I just did my turns. Later on more girls bridged over so I just focused on the final as I knew the group would make it to the finish line.
“I just kept cool and on the final climb with about three kilometres to go to the finish I tried an attack which saw some girls get dropped so that worked well and was a good leg test. In the final sprint I’m not so happy with seventh place because I was too far back in the tricky descent but in general it was a good day and a nice start to the stage race.”
Team DSM Women’s program coach Albert Timmer added: “From the first climb the race was on. We had a good situation with Liane up in the break once it went but it’s a pity we missed the break that bridged across to her group. In the final were present with Liane again when it split – she did a really good race and we are happy with the position that we have now and are looking forward to what is coming up.”