After an excellent spring classics campaign, our focus now turns to stage racing, starting with the Lotto Thuringen Ladies Tour (May 25-30). With its continually rolling roads, the German six-stage race is suited toward strong all-around riders, and team director Rachel Hedderman said Kristen Faulkner proved earlier this season she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
“I think we have a great lineup for this stage race, which has a lot of rollers that require strength,” Faulkner said. “It looks like it’s going to be windy and rainy, so every day could be unpredictable due to the conditions, which makes it even more exciting.”
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank at Liege-Bastogne-Liege earlier this spring. Photo/Twila Muzzi
Joining Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank is Clara Honsinger. Hedderman looks forward to seeing how the US cyclocross champion can transfer her cyclocross strength onto the road.
“I’m really looking forward to the race,” Honsinger said. “It will be my first UCI road race in nearly two years, so honestly, I’m a little nervous to be in the peloton again, but I think with guidance from my teammates, I’ll find my groove pretty quick. The course is very rolling and the weather looks like it will be pretty wet, so I think it will be a hard, enduring race, which suits us well. I’m excited to play an active role and support my teammates this week.”
Tanja Erath is also part of the Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank lineup. The sprint specialist is racing just three hours from her home.
“We’ll be looking to Tanja for the sprint finishes,” Hedderman said. “Eri (Yonamine) will give us another card to play as she starts her build-up towards the Olympics, and has now recovered from Covid-19. While Nina (Kessler) will use her experience to lead the team.”
Unfortunately, due to last-minute changes in travel regulations from the UK, Leah Dixon was unable to travel to Germany to race with the team.
How to watch: GCN/Eurosport will offer highlights of the race after the finish each day. Time are TBD.