CANYON//SRAM Racing had a phenomenal start to Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, finishing third in the opening team time trial stage in Schleiz, Germany. Antonia Niedermaier, in only her first race of this 2023 season, now leads four jersey classifications.
The undulating course over 9.1km, required a solid pacing strategy by CANYON//SRAM Racing, using each of its riders strategically to finish with an impressive average time of over 40.6km/hour. The team crossed the line in third place, just 18 seconds behind stage winner Team SD Worx.
The tour marks a return to racing for Antonia Niedermaier, who underwent knee surgery in February, and Neve Bradbury, who returns to racing following a radial head fracture suffered at Fléche Wallonne Femmes in April. Niedermaier dominated the podium following the stage, leading the classification of the best young rider, mountain leader, best Thüringen rider, and the most active rider. Justyna Czapla and Diane Ingabire from the development team, CANYON//SRAM Generation, have joined Niedermaier, Bradbury and Ricarda Bauernfeind to form a strong roster for the six-day tour.
Niedermaier said, “We are super proud to finish third. We weren’t expecting that! The course was short and very hilly, but not technical. There were two little climbs. We started with Diane for the first two corners to have a good and fast start. Then Justyna did a lot of the first climb at a very high pace. Afterwards, Ricarda, Neve and I tried to keep the pace high at the second climb. Ricarda was doing a lot of work on the final kilometres. I think we worked very well together, using each of our strengths, and we were able to finish with a very good time.”
“We performed better than we thought. We rode hard and can be proud to stand on the podium all together. I felt good in the straight sections and on the climbs, but I know I can improve next time by taking the corners with more confidence. It feels so good to be back racing! We are all very motivated for the next few days.”
Niedermaier is currently seventh on the general classification, at +18, the same time as Ricarda Bauernfeind and Neve Bradbury, who are eighth and ninth, respectively. Today, Niedermaier will wear the green mountain classification jersey, Bradbury will wear the red youth classification jersey, and Bauernfeind will wear the jersey for the most active rider.