Heartbreak for Hosking
Wiggle Honda's Chloe Hosking was left ruing a missed opportunity on stage 2 at the Ladies Tour of Qatar after hesitating in the finale. The stage was won by Ellen Van Dijk (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) who attacked in the last kilometre. Hosking finished fourth and now sits in the same position in GC, seven seconds down on Van Dijk.
Hosking and her Wiggle teammates rode an aggressive race and placed two rider in the final six.
"I love Qatar and I love the wind, so to finally get that was awesome. We made the selection of 16, and then for two of Wiggle riders to be there in the final six was great. We messed it up a bit in the final but we’ll go and have a team meeting tonight and talk about that,” she told Cyclingnews.
Hosking was joined by teammate Elisa Longo Borghini in the final six move but admitted to Cyclingnews that the Wiggle team failed to react when Van Dijk attacked.
“In the end, was just a miscommunication between Lisa and I but it’s the first race of the season and these things are bound to happen. It was still impressive to have two girls there in a group of six and we can take a lot from that.
“Ellen and Lizzie, are a phenomenal duo and they were always going to be hard to beat. They’re both so explosive and you can only jump on so many things. When Ellen went I thought, should I go with her or not. I should have gone and I didn’t. That was my mistake and I probably won’t sleep well tonight."
Pieters powers on
Last year, Amy Pieters claimed the second stage of the Tour of Qatar with an impressive sprint finish. Twelve months on and it was a different experience for the Dutch rider, who was was left isolated after the initial break formed in the opening 10 kilometres.
Pieters managed to make the 16-rider split but was forced to ride without a teammate. She eventually finished ninth on the stage, losing close to two minutes to the winner. Despite the loss in time, and any realistic chance of winning the overall, Pieters looked upon the positive side of her performance.
“It was a hard day, especially when I was alone with 15 others girls. When the second move went I was too slow to react and that was really stupid. I’m still quite happy with my shape at this time so that’s a positive to take,” she told Cyclingnews.
“When the main break went I still had to work, as there was a lot of wind, and if you don’t work in that situation the other girls will drop you.”
Johansson not giving up
Emma Johansson (Orica AIS) has refused to throw in the towel at the Ladies Tour of Qatar despite conceding time on stage 2 of the race.
Johansson and her team went on the offensive in the opening kilometres of the stage and placed several riders in the key 16-rider break. The Swede then joined stage winner and new race leader Ellen Van Dijk (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) in the stage-winning move.
“That was really hard and to be honest I got a bit excited when we made that last group of six,” she told Cyclingnews at the finish.
“It would have been better if we’d been caught because I was without my teammates. I was outnumbered and they were riding so strong. When Ellen attacked, I knew it was going to happen but I didn’t go straight away, I hesitated. Then I went late and if I could do it again I should have gone straight away or just waited for someone else to chase.”
It was Van Dijk and teammate Lizzie Armitstead who initiated the six-rider move, and despite finishing fifth on the stage and losing time bonuses in the final sprint, Johannson told Cyclingnews that the event is far from over.
“I could see their attack happening any time. I could see Lizzie and Ellen getting together and I managed to go with them straight away. The gutter there was really bad so it was either making it or crashing.”
“I’m always in the hunt. There’s still two more days and you never know. I think tomorrow might have less wind but it’s Qatar and anything can happen. You just need to stay focused all the time. The race is definitely not over. “