By Gregor Brown in Al Shahaniyah, Qatar
Germany's Eva Lutz went from an eBay bike purchase to a win in front of cycling's stars at the Ladies' Tour of Qatar. The Team Nürnberger Versicherung rider escaped with Veronica Andreasson in the final 12 kilometres of Monday's stage to Al Shahaniyah.
"I started cycling after I bought a bike on eBay. I discovered that cycling was enjoyable and others noted I was good and steered me towards racing," Lutz told Cyclingnews.
She was a rower until the age of 24, but quit because the results were not materialising.
Lutz prefers mountain stages, but this flat 110-kilometre stage allowed her to take her biggest win to date. The race held together until the final intermediate sprint at kilometre 78, at which point Lutz made the front group with around 50 other riders. After the second intermediate sprint in Al Otouriyah, she escaped with Sweden's Andreasson at 12km from the finish.
"I just wanted to get into the feeling again here at the Tour of Qatar - I was not prepared to be fast. However, I was able to win my first point-one [2.1] race."
The 29-year-old has been with her team since 2004. In 2005 she won stage one and held the leader's jersey for two stages in the Tour de Feminin - Krasna Lipa, and last year, she won Germany's Herford and Rund um den Elm.
"I knew Judith Arndt from the television and from the Olympics," said Lutz. "I remember in my first big races I was next to her and I could not believe it. Two years ago, I was able to help her in the worlds and that was a good feeling."
The Ladies' Tour of Qatar continues tomorrow with the third and final stage. The riders will cover 109 kilometres from Al Shahaniyah to Al Khor.