Lotte Kopecky has clinched a decisive victory in the final stage and subsequently secured the overall classification of the Thüringen Ladies Tour. The 27-year-old demonstrated her superior skill and strength by detaching herself from the main body of cyclists in the closing moments of the final stage and then showcased an impressive solo performance over a 15-kilometre stretch to the finish line. Consequently, she also seized the general classification by a significant margin from her own teammates. This noteworthy achievement contributed to the team’s triumph, with SD Worx claiming victory in every stage of the Thüringen Ladies Tour, and marking stage wins for all five riders on the team.
The sixth and concluding stage of the Thüringen Ladies Tour both started and finished in Mühlhausen. The route was characterised by its length of 125.2 kilometres, interspersed with multiple ascents, the most gruelling being the Höheweg (3.2 km with a 6.1% gradient), positioned halfway through the stage. The concluding 15 kilometres were largely downhill.
Before reaching the base of the Höheweg, four riders – Lieke Nooijen, Amandine Fouquenet, Fabienne Jährig, and Mieke Kröger – staged an early break from the peloton, initiating the climb with a two-minute lead. However, their advantage quickly diminished on the uphill stretch, and shortly after the ascent, they were once again visible to the main field.
Sandra Alonso (repeatedly on the attack in this year’s race) and Clara Emond made a strategic move by launching an attack. Nooijen, as the sole early escapee, managed to briefly hold on but ultimately had to concede after a few kilometres. This resulted in a temporary reshuffling at the front, but the SD Worx team swiftly managed to restrain the pair.
A subsequent intermediate sprint saw Lotte Kopecky crossing the line first, thus accruing six bonus seconds and seizing the provisional lead. Entering the stage, she had been trailing her teammate Lorena Wiebes by four seconds, who was at the helm of the peloton during the last long ascent of the day. This led to a linear formation of the group, discouraging any daring attacks.
This dynamic shifted at the summit. Ruby Roseman-Gannon initiated a sudden attack, with Christina Schweinberger and Mischa Bredewold promptly joining her. AG Insurance-NXTG and UAE Team ADQ, lacking representation in the break, were tasked with closing the gap. On the following climb, with less than twenty kilometres remaining, Lorena Wiebes – having expended considerable effort – launched a surprise attack of her own. She was accompanied by Rosita Reijnhout from the Dutch national team.
The duo embarked on the day’s final climb together, with Wiebes rapidly outpacing Reijnhout. However, the first to crest the hill was not the European champion, but Lotte Kopecky, who made an audacious move away from the peloton, overtaking her teammate in the process. Despite having over fifteen kilometres to cover, Kopecky proceeded to solo to Mühlhausen with an unyielding display of power. Her lead expanded to more than a minute at one juncture, leaving ample margin at the finish line for a comprehensive celebration.
Kopecky’s triumph signified the sixth successive win for SD Worx in the Thüringen Ladies Tour. After clinching the team time trial on the first day, subsequent victories were claimed by Bredewold, Barbara Guarischi, Lonneke Uneken, and Lorena Wiebes. Prior to this, Kopecky was the only team member yet to secure a stage win – an omission rectified by her double victory today.
2023 Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 6 result
Results powered by FirstCycling.com