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Lisa Brennauer takes the Yellow Jersey in Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Lisa Brennauer has moved into the Yellow Jersey of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, as leader of the General Classification, after finishing fourth on the fifth stage in Dörtendorf, eastern Germany. The former German Champion was within less than 100 metres of winning the stage, at the top of the “Hankaberg” – affectionately nicknamed after local rider, multiple World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel – but was passed just before the line by Rozanne Slik (FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team).

“I really didn’t know until they called me for the Yellow Jersey!” Brennauer laughed. “It’s really cool!

“We came into the last climb and caught the two leaders, and I went up the climb as fast as I could in first position, because I have to go my own speed as long as I can. Then there was an attack coming in the last 50 metres, I would say, and they gapped me a little bit. The three were pretty close on the line.”

The 102km stage was based on four laps of a circuit, which climbed the Dörtendorfer Berg – AKA the “Hankaberg” – and was dominated by a large breakaway group that included Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Austrian Champion Martina Ritter.

“It was a really hard day again,” Brennauer explained. “Again Sunweb, lots of attacks, and then this breakaway that got almost four minutes and it was really good to have Martina in there. I started to get a bit nervous so I thought maybe we should put one rider on the front, to chase, along with Movistar and other teams that were not in the breakaway. And then the gap came down quite quickly.

“Also I remembered last year, we had the same situation in the stage and in the peloton you roll a lot faster than in the breakaway, so we caught them back.”

With the breakaway finally caught, Brennauer was led into the final climb by teammate, former Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin, and the former World Time Trial Champion made her bid for the stage.

“So then I just had to go up this last climb as fast as I could, and that’s what I did, but they passed me just before the line,” she explained.

“I came into the last climb – it was 1km and very steep – I came in to the climb with the peloton because Emilia [Fahlin] had done one last really big pull. By the way the team was awesome again today!”

Although Brennauer was overtaken by van Dijk, one of her closest rivals in the General Classification, and the Dutch rider earned a six-second time bonus, the former German Champion was close enough to take the lead by two seconds. With one more road stage and a time trial to come, Brennauer hopes to be on course to successfully defend the race that she won in 2017.

“Tomorrow is a long climb on the menu so we’ll see,” Brennauer said. “I’ll have to get out my climbers legs for tomorrow!

“I think everybody is happy at this point,” she added. “The team was really so cool again today. Everybody sticks together a lot, and the staff are doing a great job as well, so I think we’re having a really cool team here in Thüringen!

“We’re also having a lot of fun, and you need this in a tour of seven days!”

Result
1. Rozanne Slik (FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Futuroscope)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb)
3. Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team)
4. Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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