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Linda Villumsen closing in on the podium after Thüringen Rundfahrt stage five

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen is just one place off the overall race podium of the Thüringen-Rundfahrt after taking sixth place in the fifth stage, in Altenberg, Germany.  The New Zealander was part of a 17-rider breakaway that escaped the peloton at the end of the first of the stage’s four 25km circuits, and opened up a lead of several minutes.


Villumsen’s Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Charlotte Becker also managed to get herself into the group, and was able to work for her leader on the run in to the finish.

“Linda went away early in a group, which didn’t contain Tatiana Guderzo [MCipollini-Giordana] or Lisa Brennauer [Specialized-lululemon],” explained Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “So we thought ‘that’s good,’ and then Charlotte came across with both of them, but obviously she wasn’t working. Then they jumped Guderzo, and they got on to the break, but Guderzo didn’t.

“Charlotte led Linda in for the last few K, and kept the pace high to stop anyone attacking,” Cope continued. “She slipped back a little bit in the last K, which was a bit tricky, but other than that it was all good. A good result.”


Race leader Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) won the stage in a three-rider sprint against Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) and Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini-Giordana). Villumsen finished in sixth place, just five seconds behind as the group broke up on the final cobbled climb to the finish.

A three-second time bonus taken at the second intermediate sprint of the day, as the break completed the second lap, mean that Villumsen is now in fourth place overall, on equal time with Brennauer and Anna van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) with two stages to go.

“She’s equal third, effectively,” said Cope. “So it’s all looking pretty good actually. Tomorrow’s another day, so we’ll see what happens. The next couple of days will be really hard.


“We’re very pleased with the result,” he concluded. “The goal here was to get on the podium, so that’s one step closer. We’ll see how the next two days pan out.”


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