Cycling Domestique Eventually has her Day
The final stage of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen turned out to be another good day for the team as Nicole Hanselmann finished third. The 25-year-old is the longest serving member of the team and has always been a loyal supporter of the team leaders.
Nicole was riding in support of General Classification (GC) riders Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Joelle Numainville when she slipped into the breakaway pack just past the halfway point of the 130km kilometre stage.
“Our plan was to have Ashleigh and Joelle there in case a break went after the GPM,” said Nicole. With Nicole being there to support her teammates, they were able to catch Annemiek van Vleuten after she had been out front alone.
“I was in a counter move with four other riders and we got a really nice group of about five different teams and ended up working well together. The gap was always between one or two minutes, making it a really close race,” said Nicole.
Nicole was not a favourite among the sprinters so she attacked a few times before th finish but she was quickly chased down by the stronger sprinters. With 2km to go, Nicole launched another attack but eventually finished the stage in third place.
Coryn Rivera of Team UnitedHealthCare won the stage followed closely by Amy Pieters of Wiggle High5. Nicole crossed in third with Ashleigh retaining her place in the overall standings after a sixth place finish on the stage.