Martina Fidanza of Ceratizit-WNT emerged victorious in a thrilling bunch sprint to clinch stage 3 of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. The Italian rider outpaced Barbara Guarischi and Maggie Coles-Lyster in Erfurt.

The 144.6km stage around Erfurt featured two intermediate climbs at 54km and 117km, before a flat finish. Despite the challenging terrain, the peloton remained tightly packed for much of the race. In the early stages, Christine Majerus and Lizzie Deignan managed to open a small gap, but were soon reeled in by the main group with 75km remaining.

Lisa Kromm launched a solo breakaway, establishing a nearly two-minute lead. However, the peloton, led by UAE Team ADQ and EF Education-Cannondale, quickly reduced the gap. Justyna Czapla bridged the gap to join Kromm, but their lead was short-lived as SD Worx-Protime ramped up the pace to close the breakaway with 35km to go. Mieke Kröger made a subsequent solo attempt, but she too was caught with 20km remaining.

A crash with 19km to go involving Lizzie Deignan, Karoline Goldschmidt, and Lena Reißner caused a brief moment of chaos. While the teams have not released medical updates, the incident did not create significant splits in the peloton.

SD Worx-Protime, Ceratizit-WNT, and Fenix-Deceuninck controlled the pace in the final kilometres. Fidanza, who had remained inconspicuous until the final stretch, sprinted to victory in the last 50 metres.

Reflecting on her win, Fidanza said, “I feel great. Today was the flattest stage of the tour, and we aimed for the stage win. The upcoming stages are not my forte, but I look forward to another chance on Sunday.”

Margot Vanpachtenbeke maintained her overall lead, having had a calm day within the peloton. She looks poised to defend her position in the upcoming 111km race in Mühlhausen.

Barbara Guarischi once again secured second place, followed by Maggie Coles-Lyster in third. Margot Vanpachtenbeke’s attentive riding at the front of the peloton ensured her leader’s jersey remained secure.

Fidanza’s teammate Franziska Brauße commented, “The last 20 kilometres after we caught Mieke Kröger, were tough. We rode at the front for Martina, and our plan worked perfectly.”

Lisa Kromm, reflecting on her breakaway, said, “The jersey is a nice reward for me and the whole team. I’m very satisfied that our tactic with the escape attempt worked out.”

2024 Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 3 result

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