Katie Hall Makes it Two-in-a-Row for Team USA at Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt
Katie Hall took a huge win from a breakaway of two riders on the Queen Stage of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt on Wednesday. Following Coryn Rivera’s stage five sprint victory, the women of Team USA and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling teammates have shown they are in superb form leading up to La Course in Paris this weekend.
The central German race saved the Queen Stage for the penultimate day of racing, and Team USA used the confidence from the previous day’s win to come out swinging. The Americans launched an early attack with just 10 km of racing behind them, and the day proceeded with a series of moves that ultimately came back to the peloton. The 129.2-km stage was accurately billed as the most difficult of the week, with a succession of short, sharp climbs that made even staying in the pack difficult. With little flat ground to rest on, the team knew they had to go on the offensive from the beginning.
Orica-GreenEdge also rode aggressively from the beginning, and was marked closely by Team USA. After 100 km of racing, Hall was well poised at the front of the pack, and didn’t hesitate to go with the ferocious and ultimately victorious move, “With 25 km to go in a tough stage, Amanda Spratt of Orica-GreenEdge attacked and I was able to go with her. She was really motivated to get as big a gap as possible, as she was in a high GC position. We worked well together to establish our lead.”
With Alexis Ryan of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and Team USA in the group behind, Hall could stay in the breakaway without worrying about doing too much work, “It was great to know Alexis was in the group behind me and could go for the sprint. In the end, it didn’t come back together and I was really happy to be able to sprint for the win!” said Hall.
Utilizing experience gained in her fantastic performances at the Tour of San Louis in Argentina, and the Amgen Tour of California, Hall was confident that the move had potential, but admitted there’s always doubts when racing at such a high level, “I didn’t realize the break would stick until it did! Coryn and I were in a break in Britain that was caught inside 300 meters. I wasn’t sure I could beat Amanda and I knew Alexis Ryan was in the group behind me so I was careful with my effort. I knew if it came back together, Alexis could win the sprint out of that group. It didn’t come back together and I was able to get to the line first!” said Hall.
The tactical prowess and teamwork shown at Thüringen will set Team UnitedHealthcare up well for the important La Course race in Paris on Sunday. Hall continued, “The mood is good in the UnitedHealthcare camp! 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.”