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First Pro Win for Horizon Fitness RT – Prendas Ciclismo
Krasna Lipa in the Czech Republic was the base for the Horizon Fitness RT squad as they took in their first UCI stage of the season. This race has been planned for a long time, and was a key stepping stone for Hanka Kupfernagel as she looked to build towards the end of the season and her goals in the Time Trial World Championships.
“Hanka’s won this race 5 times and we knew she was in reasonable form coming into the event. So we though a few good results could be expected.” Commented Team Manager Stefan Wyman “Winning however is never easy and in this race with over 160 riders starting on small roads you never quite know what’s going to happen. It was also the first time this group had ridden together so it’s always going to take some time for the riders to blend together”
The first stage wasn’t a target for the team as they felt their way into the event. Hanka rode a strong race, with Helen Wyman sticking close to her for support. The team performed well and avoided any chaos at the finish. The only downside to the day was a small group slipped away over the top of the last climb. “The riders just weren’t in the correct position to react and that set us a little back on GC in terms of time. It was a shame but stage races are long and packed with opportunities so it wasn’t the end of the world for us.” Said Stefan Wyman
The second stage was a bit different as Hanka was feeling strong and managed to find a gap in the sprint to take a top 10 place. It wasn’t a stage without incident as she’d punctured towards the end on the last climb. Fortunately Helen was there to exchange a wheel and Hanka was safely back in the bunch which sat comfortably 10 seconds or so behind a front group.
The 3rd Stage was all about Hanka and her superb TT performance. She showed her class on the TT bike and secured the win by 6 seconds. It was great for the team and the hard team work to help protect Hanka in the previous days was worth it. This was the first professional win for Horizon Fitness RT. Unfortunately Hanka was sick after this stage and was forced to withdraw during the fourth stage. It was disappointing to Hanka but she’d already got the win, and showed her good form for the upcoming race in Thuringen.
Without Hanka in the for the final stage, Helen, Hannah and Penny got the freedom to ride for themselves and Helen used that to her advantage and secured a top 10 place on the final stage. It was a nice reward for a hard working performance over the 4 days.
The team now move onto a 7 day UCI 2.1 ranked race in Thuringen, Germany. With Sarah Storey added to the line up the team looks strong. The stages start with a Team Time Trial, and the race also takes in the ‘Hanka Berg’ so we expect some very hard racing. “We are the only non-UCI team in the race and we feel very lucky to be given the opportunity. So we’ll be making sure we do our best to justify our selection.” Commented Wyman
Notes – Horizon Fitness RT Prendas Ciclismo Rider Roster 2011
Jo Rowsell, Sarah Storey, Dani King, Nancy Arreola, Britt Jochems, Hannah Rich, Penny Rowson, Annie Simpson, Ella Sadler Andrews, Ruby Miller, Claire Thomas, Hanka Kupfernagel
08. August 140
– but the sailors praise the new boats