Women take charge of Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen

Former professionals aim to assure future of German stage-race

German women's race Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen is firmly in female hands, with former riders Vera Hohlfeld named the event's new Race Director and Franziska Rippin appointed to the role of Sport Director.

Hohlfeld, 38, was named earlier this year to take over from Nico Kleinert. She had served as Sport Director for the race for several years. "I'm excited by the task at hand, especially since I know that I can rely on a well-rehearsed and proven management team which has run the Thüringen Rundfahrt for many years and knows it inside out.

"Cycling has a long tradition in Thüringia, and the race has always been an excellent competition. In the future we will maintain and expand this reputation. The race is pure advertising for Thüringia.“

Hohlfeld rode professionally in the 1990s and early 2000s. She finished fourth in the women's road race at the Atlanta Olympics. She started the Thüringen race 12 times, winning seven stages and finishing second overall in 1996.

She will be joined on the race's management team by Franziska Rippin, who rode from 1995 to 2004. The 27-year-old rode the race three times, from 2001 to 2003. After retiring from riding, she served as Directeur Sportif for a junior team, and has worked with the Thüringen Rundfahrt since 2008.

Rippin took on the new assignment "because I want to give something back.“ When she herself rode the race, Rippin was impressed by the organisation and its many helpers, and said she now wants "to be able to offer the riders a race of the highest quality.“

Last year's edition of the race was won overall by Linda Villumsen (Team Columbia HTC Women), who finished 33 seconds ahead of Marianne Vos (DSB Bank - Nederland Bloeit) and a further seven seconds in front of Swede Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint).

The 23rd edition of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen is scheduled for July 20 to 25, 2010.

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