Alexandra Manly secured a second victory on stage 3 at the Lotto Thuringen Ladies Tour that marked the third stage win in a row for her team BikeExchange-Jayco. A reduced bunch contested the stage on the steep climb to the finish in Dörtendorf where Manly proved strongest and crossing the line first ahead of runner-up Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT) and third placed Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel Valkenburg).
“I’m just stoked to win it for the girls! It’s a strange feeling for me to be in the yellow and to have people always working for me, everyone committing 100%, so I really wanted to finish it off and I’m just so happy that I can. It’s the girls doing a lot of work out there, I’m just finishing it off,” Manly said.
“I was pretty confident in the finish that I might be able to get a few more seconds on her [Markus]. I made sure I was in some of the sprints, but I wasn’t too concerned.”
Manly also won stage 1 where she first took the overall race leader’s jersey. She maintained her lead through stage 2, won by her teammate Georgia Baker, and again after winning stage 3. The race heads into stage 4 in Schleiz on Friday where Manly will start with a 22-second lead over Lach and 24 seconds over Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT).
“I would like to [keep the jersey], but there’s three more stages to go, every day is nice and I’ll just enjoy it while I can,” Manly said.
The third stage at the six-day event saw a 129.2km circuit-style race in Dörtendorf that included a sprint in Wohlsdorf and and climb in Dörtendorf that was 1.1km with an average gradient of 8.4%, which was also the location of the finish line at the top.
A late-race breakaway included Justine Ghekiere (Plantur-Pura) and Greta Marturano (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), however, Marturano was distanced from the move.
Teams BikeExchange-Jayco and Ceratizit-WNT set a fast pace from the peloton behind to set up their riders for the final ascent to the finish. Five riders moved across to Ghekiere that included Manly, Lach, Sanne Cant (Plantur-Pura), Nicole Frain (Roxsolt Liv Sram), and Eva Van Agt (Le Col-Wahoo).
The punishing slopes of the climb, however, saw the most powerful climbers come to the fore with Manly taking the win ahead of Lach and Gerritse, while Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRA Generation) finished fourth, Elizabeth Holden (Le Col-Wahoo) fifth, Cant sixth, Loes Adegeest seventh, Marturano eighth, Fem Van Empel ninth and Confalonieri 10th.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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