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by Neal Rogers
July 17, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Mollema solos from breakaway to Stage 15 victory at Tour de France; Brennauer back in Thüringen lead after stage wins for Simmonds, Stephens; Vos wins GC at BeNe Ladies Tour along with two stages; Ferrand-Prévot defends national cross-country title in Plouec; UCI announces junior women category for world cyclocross championships, starting in 2020; Study: Women cyclists more put off by traffic than men; Video: 24 hours with Michael Matthews at the Tour de France; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 15 highlights.
The yellow leader’s jersey in the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour briefly changed shoulders after Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT) soloed to the win in Stage 3, almost a minute ahead of the bunch. The stage win and leader’s jersey were a well-deserved reward for the British team, which has been riding with their heads in the wind throughout the entire race, especially with WNT being an important sponsor for the race.
“I attacked on a cobbled section, hit it really hard,” said Simmonds. “When I glanced behind me, I had a gap on the peloton. I bridged to the break and just attacked it, I put my head down and rode as hard as I could to the top of the climb.” The original break was picked up by the peloton and Simmonds assumed the lead in the GC with an 18-second advantage on former leader Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM).
Stage 4 was an 18.7 kilometre individual time trial, with both Simmonds and former world ITT champion Brennauer skilled time trialists. Lauren Stephens (Team Tibco-SVB) would eventually win the stage, delivering her team the second stage win this week. Her time of 26:50 was enough to beat European ITT champion Ellen van Dijk (Dutch national team) by just one second.
Brennauer set a time of 26:56, slotting into third place. When Simmonds rolled over the finish line, she stopped the clock at 27:40. It meant seventh place for her in the stage, handing the leader’s jersey back to Brennauer.
In the updated GC, Van Dijk moves up to second place, 18 seconds behind Brennauer. Simmonds stays on the GC podium in third place, 26 seconds down. There are two stages remaining: the peloton will face a 108km road race from Greiz to Marienstrasse-Westerhagenplatz on Monday, followed by an 80 kilometre stage with start and finish in Gotha on Tuesday.