Australian Alex Manly climbed to her second victory at the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour to extend her overall race lead and hand Team BikeExchange-Jayco their third win in three days.
The 26-year-old finished off some impressive teamwork in the closing kilometres and proved to be the strongest on the climb to the line.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco looked to have things under control during the 129km stage, despite Femke Markus picking up bonus seconds throughout the day to move level on time with Manly.
However, the Australian remained confident ahead of the finale, with the team fully committed to teeing up the stage one winner for another victory. Georgia Baker and Teniel Campbell each played their part in the technical run-in to the final climb, before Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Arianna Fidanza marshalled Manly into position.
The steep ramps of up to 15% saw a reduced bunch contest the victory, with Manly never far from the front before she launched her final kick to the line to take her second win of the race. The win means Manly now leads the general classification by 22 seconds with three stages to go in Germany.
Alex Manly (1st):
“I’m just stoked to win it for the girls! It’s a strange feeling for me to be in the yellow and to have people always working for me, everyone committing 100%, so I really wanted to finish it off and I’m just so happy that I can. It’s the girls doing a lot of work out there, I’m just finishing it off.
I was pretty confident in the finish that I might be able to get a few more seconds on her [Markus]. I made sure I was in some of the sprints, but I wasn’t too concerned.
I would like to [keep the jersey], but there’s three more stages to go, every day is nice and I’ll just enjoy it while I can.”
Andrew Smith (Sport Director):
“The girls were working really well together again. We started off the day actually thinking more about the GC than the stage, we thought we’d allow a few riders up the road who had lost some time, but the conditions turned out to be really windy and it wasn’t suited to a breakaway.
So, we just bided our time, then with 40km to go the girls put in the gutter in the crosswinds and tried to make a split, which we did, but it wasn’t really decisive. Then on the last lap we worked really well together setting it up for Alex in the finish.
It’s a fantastic victory and super teamwork by all of them again!”
LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 3 – Results:
1. Alex Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 3:26:58
2. Marta Lach +0:00
3. Femke Gerritse +0:00
LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 3 – GC:
1. Alex Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 8:40:54
2. Marta Lach +0:22
3. Maria Giulia Confalonieri +0:24
Photo: Arne Mill