Team BikeExchange-Jayco’sAlex Manly rode to second place on the penultimate stage of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour, to retain both the GC lead and the lead of the points classification.
The Australian, who had already won three stages prior to the fifth day of racing, worked with her team-mates to reel a lone breakaway rider back in and almost catch the eventual Stage 5 winner on the finish line.
Finishing four seconds behind Yuliia Biriukova, who soloed to victory from 90km, was more than enough for Manly to keep a secure hold on the overall lead of the race as the team managed the gap well throughout the day.
Manly had swept up further points in the intermediate sprints earlier in the stage to strengthen her grip on the points classification too.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco again worked fantastically as a unit to protect Manly on another demanding day, with Teniel Campbell and Georgia Baker both riding hard for Manly early in the stage, before a split left Arianna Fidanza and Ruby Roseman-Gannon to then put in huge shifts and help Manly in the team’s mission.
The last stage, a 104.3km relatively flat parcours starting and finishing in Altenburg, will see the team aiming to wrap up the overall win on Sunday as Manly heads into Stage 6 with a 31-second lead over her nearest rival.
“The important thing today was the GC and keeping our leader, Alex, safe. We won the first four stages so today it was fine. We worked a lot in the final 30km, the rider out front was really strong and congratulations to her.
There was wind and a long climb at the start of the race today, and we felt the wind a lot there. I was there at the front with three other riders, and then I stayed in the front group.
The team is really happy with this week. I’m also really happy with my performance. I’ve been doing my best to support the team and I feel in really good shape.”
Andrew Smith (Sport Director):
“Another good day of teamwork and everyone did a fantastic job today. It was really aggressive at the start, and in the run-in to the first big climb we had the numbers in the front group.
One rider got away and we were happy to let her go, and the girls just kept it in check. Surprisingly it seemed no other team was interested in chasing down the breakaway, and we were happy with the situation. We also didn’t want to expose ourselves and isolate Alex so we just kept it in check.
In the end it worked out perfectly, with Alex taking second place and some bonus seconds, and consolidating the overall lead.
We’ve got one more day to go, and I think we can pull it off if the girls continue in the way they have been.”
2022 LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 5 – Results:
1. Yuliia Biurikova 03:31:41
2. Alexandra Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +00:04
3. Marta Lach +00:04
2022 LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 5 – GC:
1. Alexandra Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 15:43:14
2. Marta Lach +00:31
3. Femke Gerritse +00:43
Image courtesy of LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour