The 21st Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen kicks off in Schleusingen today. A day earlier, the 16 teams with riders from 20 different countries were presented to the public in Altenburg. 96 riders will tackle the six-day race, going over 560 kilometres.
Six teams from the current top ten in the UCI ranking will be present. Five national champions are on the start line.
Defending champion Judith Arndt can count on a strong Columbia team. Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung also has a very strong team to avoid another Columbia victory. The Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team will hope for the time trial, with Swiss Karin Thürig, Austrian Christiane Soeder and Australian Carla Ryan.
Team DSB Bank and Bigla are also fielding strong teams. K leads the Menikini Selle Italia squad. Flexpoint, Safi-Pasta Zara Manhatten and Webcor are also in the mix. Team Gauss and a Mix-Team Rothaus – Rügenfisch will be the outsiders. National teams from Germany, the USA, Canada, Sweden and Belgium complete the field.
A competition pits the stage towns against each other. Which one can pedal the most on a home trainer in two hours? During the presentation, Altenburg set the benchmark with 283.23 kilometres. The best participant from the local bike club pitched in 60 kilometres alone. 26 riders participated.