These girls are on fire, and there’s no doubt about it. Katie Hall and Coryn Rivera both sealed victories for Team USA in the 2015 Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt this week. Rivera’s victory came in stage 5 and Hall followed her in stage 6 to give the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team two victories in a row.
The fifth stage of the race started and finished in Gera, Germany. The 118.5km stage was a big circuit with a single, small finishing circuit. The stage seemed straightforward, but the organizers threw in a twist- putting the finish line on a narrow, cobbled street. The rough surface and fast racing caused an early break to go clear of the pack, and Rivera found herself in the move with a selection of 11 riders.
The cobbled finish did not faze 22-year-old Rivera. Coming into the finishing circuit for the first time, Rivera took the opportunity to scope out the final turns into the sprint, and was well prepared when it mattered the most. “I knew where I had to be in the final corner — top three. And I went into it third and launched my sprint. Boom!” Rivera sprinted her way to the victory in stage 5.
The sixth stage of Thüringen Rundfahrt, a 129.5km circuit around Schleiz, was the queen stage of this year’s race.
Around 60km into the stage, the peloton was whittled down, as the riders faced the major climb of the day. Only 42 of 83 riders finished with the lead group behind the breakaway duo of Hall and teammate Amanda Spratt.
“It got really aggressive with about 30km to go,” Hall said. “Coryn Rivera, Allie Dragoo, and Alexis Ryan all put in attacks before Emma Johansson attacked as we caught the remnants of the break, and her teammate Amanda Spratt countered her attack.”
Hall quickly jumped onto Spratt’s wheel, and the duo worked well together to establish a gap. “[Spratt] was really motivated to get as big a gap as possible, as she was in a high GC position,” Hall said.
The duo would outlast the peloton and finish 40 seconds in front of the reduced bunch.
The Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt is the perfect build up for the UHC riders in preparing for the La Course by Tour de France this Sunday. This is a one-day race, and one of the biggest stages for women’s cycling. In 2014, Rivera earned the”Best Young Rider” title.
“The mood is good in the UnitedHealthcare camp!” said Katie Hall. “We have some really strong sprinters and a strong team behind them for La Course. Getting more experience in Europe with the National Team is super helpful to us going into La Course.”
Keep up with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team in their next journey to the La Course on their Facebook!