In a sprint finish, Martina Fidanza powered her way to victory in stage 2 of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. The Italian rider from Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team outpaced compatriots Barbara Guarischi and Maria Giulia Confalonieri in a dramatic finale.

The race, spanning 119.2 km with both start and finish in Gera, saw an intense battle unfold on the roads. Margot Vanpachtenbeke, fresh from her stage 1 victory, managed to stay in the main pack and finished 12th, ensuring she retained the leader’s yellow jersey for another day.

The race began with a relatively calm pace, as temperatures soared past 30 degrees, causing many riders to struggle with the heat. Kasia Niewiadoma claimed the first mountain classification at the ‘Hanka-Berg’ after former winner Hanka Kupfernagel.

As the race progressed, a group of 17 riders including Lucinda Brand and Romy Kasper managed to break away, creating a 30-second gap. However, their efforts were neutralised by the peloton with just 11 km to go. A last-minute escape by a group led by European champion Mischa Bredewold also failed, setting the stage for the sprint finish won by Fidanza.

Margot Vanpachtenbeke retained her yellow jersey

Reflecting on her victory, Fidanza shared, “I have been feeling unwell just two days ago and even considered withdrawing from the race. But my team motivated me to push through. I’m very happy now, but it was a really tough day with those two climbs. I’m a sprinter, after all.”

Linda Riedmann of the German national team, who finished 8th, remarked on the challenging conditions: “It was another tough day. The pace was high early on, even before the ‘Hanka-Berg’. But I managed to get to the final in good shape. I feel I get better with each stage.”

Margot Vanpachtenbeke’s consistent performance keeps her in the overall lead, despite the continuous challenges from her rivals. With four stages remaining, her team, VolkerWessels, will need to remain vigilant, especially with a challenging individual time trial on the horizon.

The third stage promises another day for the sprinters as the race moves to Erfurt, covering 144.6 km. The course, although relatively flat with two climbs, might offer another chance for a sprint finish.

(l-r) Barbara Guarischi, Martina Fidanza, Maria Giulia Confalonieri

2024 Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 2 result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

All photo credits: Arne Mill / T.RF Sportmarketing GmbH