By Gregor Brown in Doha, Qatar
Swede Emilia Fahlin draws inspiration from men's Columbia-Highroad teammate Mark Cavendish for the Ladies' Tour of Qatar, February 8 to 10. The Briton won two stages of the men's stage race last week.
"We are at the same training camps. To watch the TV and see them winning gives us motivation and because we don't want to go worse than them," Fahlin said to Cyclingnews.
The men's race concluded its eighth edition on Friday. Tom Boonen took the race overall for a record third time, but Cavendish got the better of his Belgian rival in two sprint finishes.
The wind left its mark on the men's race. Already after stage one of the women's race, won by Italian Giorgia Bronzini, it is evident the wind is in Qatar to stay.
"If the wind is the same it will be very decisive. It will then suit some of those crosswind type of riders and those who are already on form for the upcoming Classics," Fahlin said.
Fahlin remained in the main group today as her in-form teammate Ellen van Dijk fought for the win – she finished third and is now the best young rider.
Fahlin's objectives will come later in the season. Her next races are in California, USA.
The three-stage race continues Monday. The riders will cover 110 kilometres from Doha to Al Shahaniyah.