One week ago, Alexandra Manly had never won a professional road race.
Now, in the blink of an eye, the South Australian has five UCI victories to her name after winning four stages and the overall at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.
The Australian Cycling Team athlete put an exclamation mark on her week by winning the technical sprint finish in Altenburg yesterday.
Manly also collected the points classification, while a fifth stage win for BikeExchange-Jayco by Georgia Baker completed the Australian squad’s domination of the six-day German race.
“My team-mates were incredible today, and every day of this week, and I’m just so grateful to them,” Manly said.
“The girls rode on the front all day, they controlled the race, and I just got to sit and be patient and go for it on the final climb and into the finish. I didn’t do much, they just controlled the race for me and I’m so thankful.”
Alex Manly hails from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. She moved to Adelaide, where she took up track and road cycling. In 2019, she won two track cycling world championships in the points race and team pursuit.
After representing Australia in track cycling at the Tokyo Olympic Games, 26-year-old Manly returned to the road with Team BikeExchange-Jayco this season.
Manly’s teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon finished fifth on the final stage as she continues to improve in her neo-pro season.
Also racing at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour was Australia’s road race national champion Nicole Frain (Roxolt Liv SRAM), who finished ninth overall.
The success of Australia’s female cyclists at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour surely bodes well for the upcoming Giro d’Italia Donne and inaugural Tour de France Femmes in July – and looking further ahead, to Australia’s chances at a home World Championships in Wollongong .
Feature photo: Arne Mill / T.RF GmbH via Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour