Thüringen Ladies Tour 2023 Race Preview

Thüringen Ladies Tour History

The Thüringen Ladies Tour is another race with a long storied history in the women’s peloton but probably without the top-drawer race level that would normally bring. Hosted since 1986, it has never made it to the highest level of the women’s cycling calendar, although moves are being made to change that now. The race can look back on a list of winners that includes greats like Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Mirjam Melchers, Hanka Kupfernagel, Zulfia Zabirova, Judith Arndt, Emma Johansson, and Lisa Brennauer.

The Swede Emma Johansson and German Judith Arndt are the riders who have won the Thüringen Ladies Tour the most times with 3 victories. Johansson’s were in 2011, 2013 and 2015, with Arndt taking hers in 2007, 2008 and 2012.  Riders like Brennauer and Zabirova have won 3 editions of the Thüringen Ladies Tour.

The race became 2.Pro level in 2021, with increased live coverage one of the reasons for that. Last year’s editions saw dominance from Jayco-AlUla as Alex Manly won the GC and 4 stages. The team also won another stage through Georgia Baker. They return in 2023, albeit without Manly. 

Previous Winners

2022
Alex Manly
2021
Lucinda Brand
2020
Not held

Thüringen Ladies Tour 2023 Profiles

Stage 1 Profile

Stage 2 Profile

Stage 3 Profile

Stage 4 Profile

Stage 5 Profile

Stage 6 Profile

TV Coverage

Tuesday 23rd May 2023 to Sunday 28th May 2023

Live on Eurosport/GCN

Stage 1: 13:00-15:00
Stage 2: 13:00-15:00
Stage 3: 13:00-15:00
Stage 4: 13:00-14:45
Stage 5: 13:15:15:15
Stage 6: 12:30-14:25

All times in BST

Twitter: #LTLT23

Startlist: FirstCycling

Thüringen Ladies Tour 2023 Contenders

AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step comes to this race with a strong team and one that should do well in the opening team time trial as well. Kiwi Ally Wollaston will probably be the leader as her strong sprint will put her into contention. She crashed out of the Antwerp Port Epic this weekend but hopefully is ok. Her 1st and 2nd stage results, plus her overall GC win at Festival Elsy Jacobs make her a favourite here though. Teammate Romy Kasper finished 6th in GC at the Bretagne Ladies Tour and will do a combination of help get Wollaston to the front and maybe race for her own ambitions as well. Another rider worth watching out for is Maaike Boogaard who was a great 2nd on the TT day in Brittany. She’s a rider who can be a threat in an attacking sense and we got used to seeing her do well in these lumpy stage races last season. 

Italian Marta Bastianelli will be a favourite here, although I’m not sure about how her UAE Team ADQ team will fare in the TTT and therefore what will happen with the GC. Bastianelli has been her usually strong finishing self this year with wins at Festival Elsy Jacobs and Le Samyn des Dames, she will contest stages here for sure. Teammate Eleonara Gasparrini might get a nod too if Bastianelli is dropped on any of the stages. She was 4th at Navarra Elite Classics recently and a strong 11th in GC at Festival Elsy Jacobs whilst working for her leader here.

Arkea can get their hopes behind Vuelta Extremadura GC winner Megan Armitage and in the sprints Dani de Francesco. Armitage is a strong climber and finished around 20th on each day of the Festival Elsy Jacobs. She’ll want to recreate her 4th place from GP de Chambéry. Dani de Francesco impressed at GP Morbihan, finishing 8th and was consistent enough to finish 16th at Bretagne Ladies Tour. Both riders might struggle for the GC here because of the team time trial but they’ll be threats.

Silvia Zanardi took a pair of top-10 results at Vuelta a Burgos as it looks like the Italian is starting to get back to impressing at a high level. BePink will struggle in the team time trial but Zanardi is the sort of rider who can get over the lumpy stuff in this year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour and sprint at the end of the stage.

5th at the Vuelta Femenina was German rider Ricarda Bauernfeind. She is going to climb well and doesn’t have to share leadership duties with Niewiadoma here so should be a contender. She was 5th in last year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour and can potentially turn that into a win this year with her current form. TeammateMaike van der Duin will be Canyon SRAM’s best shout in the sprints and is in solid nick at the moment after 3rd at Omloop der Kempen and 8th at Veenendaal Veenendaal. The team’s wildcard is another German in Antonia Niedermaier. Thüringen Ladies Tour will be her first race of the 2023 season, so even though it was ages ago her last win was at the Tour de l’Ardeche.

But for a time trial stage, Marta Lach might have won the Bretagne Ladies Tour but ended up 8th in the end. She was the closest contender in this race last year but finished behind Manly on each stage on her way to 2nd in GC. It’s possible to see her repeating that podium performance again.

Julie de WIlde
Julie de WIlde

Fenix-Deceuninck will have a good shot at sprint wins with the combination of Julie de Wilde and Maria Martins. De Wilde will be the better option on the lumpier stages but Maria Martins can come into her own on the flatter ones. One thing to just note about De Wilde though is that it’s her first race since the big crash at Brugge-De Panne so she may not be at peak form yet. Maria Martins has finished 5th twice this weekend, which goes with her 5th at Ronde de Mouscron earlier in the season. She was in a similar ballpark with 4th places at Bretagne Ladies Tour too and can repeat that here.

Femke Gerritse did a good race at Festival Elsy Jacobs finishing 4th in GC there. She was on the podium at last year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour and there’s a chance she can match that this year. It was her consistency across all of the stages that took her to that position and we’ve seen that’s possible again. Teammate Lieke Nooijen might get a go in the sprints, which we’ve seen with 3rd at Leiedal Koerse and 5th at Le Samyn des Dames. She was quiet here last year but should be a contender in the finishes.

I thought Ruby Roseman-Gannon was going to be a major contender here last year but the team ended up playing the Manly card and that pushed Roseman-Gannon down the order a bit. She’s a strong rider on these lumpy stages and certainly has a sprint kick too. She was 5th back at Dwars door Vlaanderen and her 4th in GC back at the Tour Down Under is possible again here. Teammate Georgia Baker won a stage here last year but this is her first race since the final day of the UAE Tour back in mid-February. I’ve been wrong about picking the Jayco rider at this race before but surely this time Roseman-Gannon is their main rider.

SD Worx aren’t bringing their biggest stars but we know they’ve got plenty in depth. I’m backing Christine Majerus to lead the team’s GC hopes as she hunts for more points for Luxembourg going into the Worlds and the Olympics. She was 9th at Festival Elsy Jacobs where, unfortunately for her, some quicker sprinters dominated the endings. The team should do well enough in the team time trial to give her a good GC start. There’s going to be a dart throw about which rider will be sprinting. It could be Lonneke Ueneken or Femke Markus or Barbara Guarischi. Uneken has a best result of 11th at Ronde van Drenthe, Markus was 19th at Paris Roubaix Femmes after hitting the deck in the finish and Guarischi’s best result of the year is 20th at Veenendaal Veenendaal

All of which makes it hard to pinpoint a single option. Looks like it’ll actually be Lorena Wiebes going for the sprints here, which changes things quite a bit! She confirmed in her post-Vuelta Burgos interview that she was going to have a quick turnaround and head to Thüringen this week. That probably means we’re looking at multiple stage wins and a GC battle. There’s now also Lotte Kopecky on the start list for SD Worx, which if anything makes them more likely to secure the GC win. Kopecky has been in strong climbing, sprinting and attacking form this year. With only 5 riders on the team, she might lose a bit of time on the TTT but she’s going to make it up no problem for a GC win.

As usual, the Top Girls Fassa Bortolo pair of Cristina Tonetti and Alessia Vigiliaget a mention here. Tonetti has a number of top-10s at GP della Liberazione PINK, Trofeo Ponente, La Classique Morbihan and Trofeo Oro. She should be a contender but her teammate Vigilia seems to have the best recent form. 4th at Durango Durango, 3rd in GC at the Bretagne Ladies Tour and 2nd at La Classique Morbihan are all great results. The TTT will make things tough but the pair will be stage contenders once more.

Thüringen Ladies Tour 2023 Outsiders

Linda Riedmann
Linda Riedmann

Linda Riedmann will be racing for a German national team here rather than Jumbo-Visma and it appears they’re starting with only 4 riders which will make the team time trial opener a tough one. So maybe no GC ambitions but Riedmann can challenge on the other stages for wins. She was 12th on the opening day here last year and 11th at the 2023 Omloop van Borsele. It’s a rare chance to race for herself at the Thüringen Ladies Tour.

Katharina Fox impressed many at last year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour whilst racing for the Maxx-Solar team she’s still a part of. The best stage result of 23rd hides the amount of attacking the German did in her home race and she will no doubt do something similar this year. 

Team Bridgelane’s Keely Bennett is still finding her feet in the European peloton but she’s one of the best prospects to come out of Australia in recent years. Just 20 years old there’s still plenty of time to develop and at the moment she can certainly sprint well. It feels like there’s a result of note around the corner.

Top 3 Prediction