With 330 kilometers and three stages in the bag at LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour, Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s Alex Manly controls the race with a 22-second lead over her nearest competition in the general classification. After catching a solo breakaway meters from the finish line during stage one, Manly out-sprinted the reduced bunch to take her first UCI road race victory Tuesday. Though originally playing the role of domestique in support of Ruby Roseman-Gannon, Manly was tapped to go for the win toward the end of the first stage. Roseman-Gannon also finished inside the top 10.
On Wednesday, the team again made an instinctive shift in strategy as the peloton rounded the final corner during a chaotic sprint. Georgia Baker opened up the sprint and found herself strong and still in the lead heading to the line. She fended off charges and held on to take the win. Finishing near the front of the bunch in seventh, Manly held onto the yellow leader’s jersey. Roseman-Gannon also finished at the pointy end on stage two, just off the podium in fourth-place.
Stage three consisted of a 129.2km circuit-style course in Dörtendorf, ending at the top of a 1.1km climb with an 8.4 percent average grade. Once again, Team BikeExchange-Jayco controlled the day, pushing the peloton with a fast pace. With the steep ascent into the finish line that saw pitches of up to 15 percent, the best climbers rose to the top – Manly among them. She launched her final attack just before the line and secured her second win of the race and the season.
“I’m just stoked to win it for the girls,” Manly exclaimed. “It’s a strange feeling for me to be in the yellow and to have people always working for me, everyone committing 100 percent, 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. 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."