Stage 6: Gotha - Gotha
Brand, the cyclo-cross world champion, won two stages of the race to secure the overall honours in a close final finish which was decided by time bonuses.
Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) finished second on the final stage and runner-up overall to Brand, while Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen (Movistar Team) was third on general classification.
It was Wiebes' second stage victory of the race after also winning the sprint finish into Gera on the second day.
Kopeckey was well beaten into second on the final stage, while Emilia Fahlin (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) rounded out the stage podium in Gotha.
How it unfolded
The sixth and final stage of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour was thought to be the flattest of the race, at 97.8 kilometres starting and finishing in Gotha.
Sunshine and a comfortable 17 degrees Celsius greeted riders for the final stage which included one large lap of 70 kilometres, including the two Queen of the Mountains summits, and then a smaller and flat final loop of 27 kilometres.
Race leader Brand started the day with a 17-second advantage over Kopeckey. Jørgensen was also still in the overall hunt, sitting a further second back, and with 16 seconds in bonuses up for grabs on the stage.
Despite several attacks within the first 20 kilometres, including one by Amy Pieters (Team SD Worx), the bunch kept the pace high.
At the first Queen of the Mountains summit, it was Beate Zanner (Maxx-Solar Lindig) who led ahead of Katharina Fox (RSG Gieben Biehler) in second and Shari Bossuyt (National Team Belgium) in third.
Over the top of the climb, 36 kilometres into the stage, Elena Cecchini (Team SD Worx) attacked and was joined by Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM Racing) and Karlijn Swinkels (Team Jumbo Visma Women). The trio swept up the second Queen of the Mountains points, with Swinkels leading from Bradbury and then Cecchini.
Queen of the Mountains overall winner Kathrin Hammes (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) wanted to join the leading trio and set across bridging the 50-second gap.
At the first of two sprint points, at 57.4 kilometres, Swinkels led from Cecchini in second and Bradbury in third.
Hammes’ attempt to join the leaders was unsuccessful and she dropped back to the bunch which sat at 1.16 behind with 28 kilometres remaining.
The trio were no threat to the overall lead, with Cecchini best placed at 5:07 behind Brand, and were allowed their gap.
Cecchini also swept up the second intermediate sprint with 17 kilometres remaining ahead of Bradbury and Swinkels.
With Lotte Kopecky looking for her second stage win of the race on the uphill drag to Gotha, the Belgian Cycling Team started to pull the gap back to 36 seconds with 16 kilometres remaining. The gap reduced further as the sprinters sensed a final stage bunch finish in Gotha, with the trio eventually caught with eight kilometres remaining.
With seven kilometres remaining, Movistar Team were next to take control, looking to give Emma Norsgaard a chance at victory and to leap above Kopecky in the overall fight for second.
Kopecky would win that battle but was not fast enough to deny Wiebes the stage victory, while Emilia Fahlin (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) placed third.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Team DSM||2:28:28|
|2||Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing|
|3||Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope||0:00:02|
|4||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Team SD Worx|
|5||Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|6||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team|
|8||Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar Team Women|
|9||Zsófia Szabó (Hun) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch|
|10||Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women Team|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||17:53:35|
|2||Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing||0:00:09|
|3||Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar Team Women||0:00:18|
|4||Liane Lippert (Ger) Team DSM||0:00:40|
|5||Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope||0:00:42|
|6||Amy Pieters (Ned) Team SD Worx||0:00:50|
|7||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing||0:01:03|
|8||Christine Majerus (Lux) Team SD Worx||0:01:19|
|9||Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo||0:01:26|
|10||Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing||0:01:28|
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