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Linda Villumsen most aggressive rider in first stage of Thüringen Rundfahrt

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen was awarded the blue jersey for Most Aggressive Rider at the end of the opening stage of the Thüringen-Rundfahrt, in Schleusingen, eastern Germany, after a solo attack that was only closed down in the final kilometre.  The New Zealand time trial champion managed to escape just before the second climb of the day, with around 15km of the short 64.3km stage left, and was able to get 35 seconds clear.


She was unable to hold off the charging peloton on the downhill run to the finish, however, and was caught with just 500 metres to go.

“Yeah, well, I had to give it a go,” said Villumsen. “It went well, and I did a proper TT, but the thing was, that it was a downhill. The last five-K was only downhill, and with the bunch behind, they were way faster than me all the time, so they quickly closed the gap in the last few Ks.

“I got caught with less than one-K to go,” she added.

Villumsen’s first attack came after less than ten kilometres, when she got away on the first climb as part of a group of five. With no consensus in the group, however, it was pulled back soon afterwards and the peloton stayed together until the New Zealander escaped for the second time. Although she just missed out on the stage victory, her two attacks were enough to earn Villumsen the blue jersey of most aggressive rider.


“Yep. I’ve got the jersey for tomorrow. It’s a kind of tough jersey to keep,” she laughed. “Our plan is to make things tough for the other teams, so one of us at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling could get this, for sure.”

The stage was won by Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), ahead of British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv-Giant), with Charlotte Becker the best finisher for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in sixth place. Villumsen won the Thüringen-Rundfahrt in 2009 but, after a tough Giro d’Italia, the New Zealander is wary of making too many predictions about this year’s race.

“I’m taking the race one day at a time,” she confirmed.

1. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
2. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv-Giant)

6. Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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