Ruth Edwards has surged into the lead of the Thüringen Ladies Tour following a commanding performance in today’s individual time trial in Altenburg, Germany. The 30-year-old rider from Human Powered Health executed a flawless 31.5km race against the clock, averaging an impressive 43 km/h and finishing just 24 seconds off the stage winner, Mischa Bredewold of Team SD Worx – Protime.

“It feels amazing to be back in a race lead at a bike race but it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Edwards said after the finish. “I had a few things I wanted to do with my return to cycling and riding for a team that has fully backed me since there was ever an inkling of a return feels special. I’m motivated and I hope I can deliver the win tomorrow.”

Edwards, who maintained a 2-minute and 6-second lead from her time in the breakaway during stage one, was grateful for her team’s support in her endeavour to maintain the yellow jersey during the final leg.

“The team has been excellent this week,” she said. “Unfortunately we lost Katia [Ragusa] and she plays a vital role but Romy, Barbara, Krista, and Alice have all been super awesome so I know they’ll give me their all tomorrow.”

Team Director Clark Sheehan acknowledged Edwards’ significant performances in time trials throughout the season, including today’s effort and the US Pro Road National Championships.

“We planned to take the yellow jersey today and Ruth executed it flawlessly,” he said. “This is a performance with countless hours of work, training, dedication, and a support team on the ground behind it.”

The day’s stage concluded in Altenburg, Germany, on a hilly route, with a majority of the climbs occurring earlier in the stage. Mischa Bredewold claimed victory in the time trial, finishing ahead of Brodie Chapman by 11 seconds and Christina Schweinberger by 22 seconds.

Bredewold, who now trails Edwards by 2 minutes and 6 seconds in the overall classification, expressed determination to challenge for the yellow jersey.

“In the first stage we lost a lot of time,” she said. “I’m now second in the general classification. It will be hard to get that time back, but we will make a plan for tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Mireia Benito of AG Insurance – Soudal Team delivered a notable performance, finishing fifth in the time trial. With an average speed of 43.48 km/h, she completed the course in 43 minutes and 28 seconds.

“Today, the first part of the course was very fast, which is why aerodynamics were so important,” Benito explained. “The second part was more technical, so I tried to save my legs a bit towards the end because of the cobblestones, which made it really tough. I could do this thanks to all my teammates who helped me yesterday, allowing me to save some energy. So, today’s success is largely thanks to them.”

Benito’s performance elevated her to fifth place in the overall classification, showcasing the competitive depth of this year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour.

As the race heads towards its climax in Schmalkalden, the contenders are preparing for a thrilling finale, with Edwards and Bredewold poised to battle for the coveted yellow jersey.

2024 Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 5 result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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