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Lisa Brennauer takes bunch sprint for second in Emakumeen Bira stage 1

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Lisa Brennauer took a hard fought second place in the opening stage of the Emakumeen Bira, in Legapzi, in Spain’s Basque Country, as she won the reduced bunch sprint. The former German Champion beat former black and orange rider Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling) in the race for the line as the group came in 17 seconds behind lone winner Sabrina Stultiens (WaowDeals Pro Cycling).

“It was a really nice day, and it was really great teamwork as well,” Brennauer said. “Elinor [Barker] and Eri [Yonamine] positioned us very well going into a steep climb, and I think that’s actually the reason that I made it over this climb! In the end the team was chasing to get the break back, which we caught just on the line, but only Sabrina Stultiens was still away solo.”

The rest of the break that Stultiens had escaped from consisted of three of the pre-race favourites for the race overall, in Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott). That these three were recaptured before the finish came as something of a surprise to the rest of the bunch.

“We were surprised to catch them back actually,” Brennauer explained. “I don’t know how Sabrina escaped from them, but in the end the must have been playing a bit or something. We quickly got close to them actually, in the final kilometre. We don’t know exactly what they did in the front, but we suddenly came closer.”

Brennauer’s second place means that she is also now second overall in the general classification and will start Sunday’s 28km time trial second from last. Although the former World Champion has ridden a short, 8km time trial in the Healthy Ageing Tour this season – in which she finished third – this will be her first opportunity of the year to ride her new Colnago K-One in a full length stage against the clock.

“I’m looking forward to that,” she smiled. “I’ve seen the course already, we went there yesterday. So we’ve been there. I like the course, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll do my best to do a good time trial.”

Result
1. Sabrina Stultiens (WaowDeals Pro Cycling)
2. Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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