January 31, 2013 (Madinat Al Shamal, Qatar) – Wind has continued to be a main theme on the second and third stages of the 2013 Ladies Tour of Qatar. Kirtsen Wild (Ned) Argos-Shimano took two consecutive stage wins to finally snatch the leader’s jersey from Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-Lululemon, leading into the final stage.
Stage 2: Camel Race Track – Al KhorCorniche, 96kms
Like a year ago, the 88 riders of the Ladies Tour of Qatar took off in windy conditions from the Camel Race Track just outside Doha for a 96km journey all the way to Al Khor and its corniche. After just 6.5kms, China’s Jiang (GPC) broke away and was rapidly caught by two other eager riders: Jasinska (MCG) and Cordon (FRA). While the pack had to deal with a strong head wind, the gap increased from 2′ at km 20 to a maximum 8’50 at the first intermediate sprint (km 38.5) won by Jiang ahead of Jasinska and Cordon.
As the wind started blowing sideways on the race, nine riders powered away from the pack at km 39 including event leader Chloe Hosking (HPU), as well as former winners of the race Kirsten Wild (SKI) and Ellen Van Dijk (SLU). At km 46, the leading three could still enjoy a 4’40 advantage on the golden jersey group and 5’15 over a bunch including Bronzini, Gilmore (both WHT) and Brennauer (SLU).
The second bonus sprint (km 60) was again claimed by Jiang in front of Jasinska and Cordon, while the favourites’ group moved closer, 1’30 adrift. The escapees were eventually caught at km 63. Twelve competitors continued powering to the finish, enjoying a 1′ lead with 20 kilometres to go.
After Cordon and Jiang dropped out of the front group, nine ladies could start considering the stage win. One after the other, the five Orica-AIS girls tried to break away but were caught on each attack. It would come down to a sprint! Despite being the only member of her team, Kirsten Wild captured the win, her first this year and fourth in Qatar, making her the record holder in terms of stage victories, one better than Bronzini.
Chloe Hosking captured a fine fourth spot on the line, keeping command of the overall standings. The Australian of team Hitec Products UCK however remains under the pressure of Elvin (GEW), 6″ adrift and Wild, only 9″ behind. Hosking also leads the points and best young rider standings.
Stage 3: Al Thakhira – Madinat Al Shamal, 112.5kms
Stage 3 of the Ladies Tour of Qatar was as fast as it was eventful. At an impressive average speed of over 45km/h, Kirsten Wild captured her second consecutive stage win and took command of the overall standings. The Argos-Shimano leader is just a day, and a stage away, from a third success after triumphing in 2009 and 2010. She however only has a slim 3″lead.
The 86 riders remaining in the race took off from the Al Thakhira harbour for the 3rd stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar. It would be another tough day across the peninsula under the influence of strong winds. Despite several attempts, the pack remained bunched all the way to Al Zubara, north-west of Qatar. After having covered close to 48 kilometres during the first hour due to the strong tailwind, Kirsten Wild (SKI) claimed the first intermediate sprint (km 60) and the precious 3 bonus seconds, beating Golden Jersey, Hosking (HPU) and Becker (SKI) to the line.
As the pack headed up north and the wind started blowing sideways, several riders failed to keep up with the pace. While a crash occurred in the peloton, a group of 18 ladies pulled away including race leader Hosking, Wild, Elvin (GEW), Van Dijk (SLU) and Worrack (SLU). The front group enjoyed a 40″ lead at km 83 on a group of 22 including Cromwell (GEW), Gilmour and Bronzini (both WHT).
With 25kms to go, as the riders entered the final circuit, the first two groups bunched up together again. 8 riders gave it a go but where rapidly caught before reaching Madinat Al Shamal for the second bonus sprint won by Brennauer (SLU) ahead of Blaak (TIB), who had both broken away just before crossing the line. Kirtsen Wild powered to third spot ahead of the pack, 5″ adrift.
With 10 kilometres to go, Brennauer and Blaak could still enjoy a 10″ lead. Both were first caught by Fahlin (HPU) and Cantele (BPK) and then by the whole golden jersey group with 5 kilometres to go.
Just under 40 riders moved closer to the finish line. With under 3kms to go, race leader Chloe Hosking suffered a puncture. Despite being eventually given the winner’s time, she could no longer hope for stage victory and extra bonus seconds. Well helped out by her Argos-Shimano team mates, Kirtsen Wild powered to a second consecutive stage win, beating Van Dijk and Bronzini.
The Dutch lady claimed her fifth victory in Qatar and took command of the overall standings. With just one day to go, Wild has a 3″ lead over Gilmour and 16″ over Elvin, while she also leads the points’ standings. Hosking remains best young rider of the event and will carry the White Pearl jersey tomorrow.
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:38:54
2. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
3. Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
6. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS
7. Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) MCipollini Giordana
8. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS
9. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS 0:00:06
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS 0:00:14
39. Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top 0:4:29
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:28:15
2. Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda 0:00:02
4. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana
5. Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top 0:00:04
6. Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink 0:00:05
7. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
9. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS
10. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS
44. Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top 0:04:46
GC after Stage 3
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 7:30:43
2. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK 0:00:03
3. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS 0:00:16
4. Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon 0:00:17
5. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 0:00:26
6. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS 0:00:29
7. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS 0:00:31
8. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 0:01:52
9. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana 0:01:58
10. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda 0:02:02
44. Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top 0:11:27