Coryn Rivera, riding for the U.S. national team, sprinted to victory on Tuesday at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen. Rivera beat out a select group of 11 riders that escaped early in the stage.
“The move went 20km in, and it was a good opportunity day to get in a break,” Rivera, a former criterium national champion, said after the race. “This move went, and so I just followed, then pushed it over the climb, and we had time!
“Then it was just a long day with 11 others, rotating through. We do a small loop at the finish so I was able to see what the run-in was like.”
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 cobbled finish did not faze Rivera. She had a plan and executed it. “I knew where I had to be in the final corner — top three. And I went into it third and launched my sprint. Boom!”
The win should boost Rivera’s confidence, as she has not won since taking stage 3 of the Joe Martin Stage Race back in April. Though, she did finish second at the U.S. national road championships behind Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) on a course that did not play to her strengths.
On Sunday, she’ll take to the Champs-Élysées at La Course by Le Tour de France. Rivera looks to be in top form and should be a podium contender. She finished sixth last year in the inaugural edition.
“With La Course just around the corner, Thüringen has served as a great opportunity to get some hard, European racing in my legs before I reunite with my UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling teammates in France next week. I’m happy to take the win for Team USA and my teammates back home, and look forward to what the rest of the week has in store for us.”
Emma Johannson (Orica-AIS) led the peloton home, 19 seconds behind Rivera’s group, and Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) retained her lead in the general classification with two stages remaining. Another American, Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) is third, 29 seconds behind.