Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) won the first stage of the Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour on Tuesday ahead of Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) and Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing).
The 88.9 km stage was a short start to the six-day 2.Pro race and was won from a 17-rider break that formed early in the stage. Although a few of the top riders didn’t make the jump from Spain to Germany after the Vuelta a Burgos wrapped up on Sunday, the field at the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour is still a formidable one. Norsgaard herself has been having a stellar season, as has Kopecky.
Ellen van Dijk and Lizzie Deignan of Trek-Segafredo made their return to racing in Germany after illness sidelined them in the Spring.
Norsgaard won the Festival Elsy Jacobs in the first week of May by winning two of the three stages. The Danish national champion has continued to storm through the 2021 season after a handful of second places in the Spring Classics.
In between Festival Elsy Jacobs and LOTTO Thüringen, Norsgaard went to altitude for a training block with a few of the UAE-Team Emirates riders. The three weeks out of racing clearly boosted Norsgaard’s edge. She will start stage 2 of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour in the leader’s jersey.
Stage two of the race features three intermediate sprints and four categorized mountains, although they are the short, punchy type. The finish is a false-downhill run into Gera and another good stage for Norsgaard. Kopecky, tied with Norsgaard on time in the general classification, would be a good pick for stage 2 of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour. Amy Pieters (SD Worx) also sits fifth in the GC tied for time with Norsgaard.