Montreal-native Lex Albrecht of Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank won Stage 2 of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour in Germany on Friday, July 14. The race featured four laps of a hilly circuit around the town of Dortendorf with a final climb nicknamed “Hanka Burg” after German rider Hanka Kupfernagel who was 2007 world time trial champion and won two stages of the Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen.
Albrecht infiltrated a breakaway of 11 riders that went half-way into the 105 kilometre stage. The breaks lead was at one minutes with eight kilometres to go and the riders knew at that point they would have a chance to contest the stage win. Albrecht attacked on the last one-kilometre hill crossing the line several bike lengths ahead of Marta Lach of Poland and Romy Kasper of Germany. Katarzyna Pawlowska (Boels-Dolmans) lead the peloton across the finish line 28-seconds later.
“It has been my dream to stand on the top step in Europe and hear my national anthem get played.” an ecstatic Albrecht said after the podium ceremony during which the Canadian national anthem was played. “Today we had a plan to stay together at the front and the girls did an awesome job. Our sports director really helped me keep it all together in the latter stages on the radio and I got into the right place before the climb and then held back until I knew I could sprint to the line. Coming across the line solo was fantastic.”
It was 30-year-old Albrecht’s first European victory as a professional. As a strong climber the punchy finished suited her skillset.
“Today’s route was a really tough circuit” said Tobco sports director Ed Beamon, “The climb was only a kilometer but it had some very steep pitches to it. Lex did a great job today, making the break and then holding it together.”