Ally is turning heads at the 2011 NZCT Women’s Tour of NZ, both within the peloton and her new HTC team. Judith Arndt won the jersey the first stage through great teamwork and the team was set to protect it over the next 3 days of racing.
From the HTC website coverage:
After Stage 2:
“Chloe Hosking and Ally Stacher did a great job protecting Judith, covering the breaks controlling the group,” says Sports Director Ronny Lauke. “Ina, Amber [Neben] and Amanda [Miller] took over toward the end and sent Judith into the break with plenty of strength left for the last 20km.”
“For me it wasn’t that hard until the last 20km,” says Judith, “The team did all the work for me, and I had a really nice time in the group.
“Ally and Chloe spent close to the entire stage riding in the front, keeping me in a good position.”
After Stage 3:
“It feels good to win my first race,” said Teutenberg. “It’s always tricky to know if you’re fast enough at the beginning of the season.”
Most of the day was controlled by Arndt and Teutenberg’s teammates Ally Stacher, Amber Neben and Amanda Miller as they worked to defend Arndt’s overall lead.
“There weren’t any big climbs,” explained Teutenberg, “Mostly rolling hills, ups and downs, but the wind came right at the end and made it a bit tricky.”
“The girls kept it under control again. There was a small break for about half the race but they were able to keep it all together. Then Judith and Chloe did a great job of the leadout, especially into the strong headwind.”
After the final Stage:
February 25, 2011
Team HTC-Highroad was able to defend the lead of Judith Arndt throughout a challenging final stage of Tour of New Zealand and claim the overall race victory for their second tour victory this season.
“Today was quite hard for my teammates,” said Arndt. “With so many attacks and breakaways it was difficult to keep control.”
“They worked hard to bring back breaks and keep other breaks down to within a minute. It was a tough job today because we weren’t getting a lot of time gaps.”
The course was the same as two days prior but in the opposite direction, beginning with a big climb followed by rolling hills to the finish.
“The race started with several attacks from our main GC competitors as expected,” said sport director Ronny Lauke, “but the girls did a good job countering and we sent Amber in a three rider break which gained up to a minute. The Kiwis were forced to chase and finally brought it back.”
“Several more attacks followed and we were always present until we finally let a group of non-GC riders get up to one minute to assure that the bonuses would be taken away at the finish.”
“The girls kept everything under control and managed to celebrate a well deserved overall win. It was a display of true teamwork as each of the girls contributed to the victory.”
A quick scan of the stage photos on CyclingNews and you’ll see a motivated Ally all over the front of the peloton. Read the race coverage from Day 1 and you’ll read about the teamwork that set Judith up and Ally recalling the stage as the only rider quoted in the story.
She is also rambling on her personal website now and offers an “Ally” perspective from inside the peloton.
This is a long way from Kings Valley…