Wild sprints to victory in Madinat Al Shamal

Argos-Shimano rider takes the overall race lead

The pendulum swung in Kirsten Wild's favour in the tight battle for overall honours at the Ladies Tour of Qatar as the Argos-Shimano rider claimed stage 3 in Madinat Al Shamal, while a late puncture saw Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products UCK) lose possession of the golden jersey by three scant seconds.

Hosking's ill fortune was all the more galling considering that the Australian had been marked present and correct at each of the stage's crucial moments. At the first intermediate sprint at Al Zubara fort, Hosking limited her losses to Wild to just one bonus second, and immediately afterwards, when the peloton swung right into a testing crosswind section, she had both the positional nous and the physical strength to make the first echelon.

Then, on the finishing circuit, Hosking kept close tabs on Wild, and while she yielded another bonus second at the intermediate sprint, she seemed poised to defend her golden jersey into the final day. A little over a kilometre from the finish, however, much of Hosking's diligent work was unravelled by an untimely puncture and she bade adieu to the front group.

That said, the damage could have been far worse for Hosking – she was awarded the same time as the front group as the punctured occurred inside the final 3 kilometres – but she was unable to contest the sprint for bonus seconds at the finish, and the on-song Wild duly went on the claim the stage win and the associated bonus that now gives her possession of the overall lead.

"That's bike racing: I got a puncture, what can I say," said a disappointed Hosking after rolling in over a minute down on a flat front tyre. "My time will be adjusted but I didn't get to sprint for the bonus seconds."

For her part, Wild was unaware that the golden jersey had punctured out of the leading group, such was her focus on keeping up her end of the bargain by taking out the stage honours. In a chaotic sprint that saw the front group fragment in the finishing straight, her fellow countrywoman Elen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) seized the initiative by opening her effort some 200 metres into the wind, but Wild eased her way past within sight of the line to claim a commanding victory. Van Dijk held off the rapidly-closing Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) for third, while Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giordana) took fourth ahead of Shelley Olds (TIBCO-To the Top).

"It was a bit chaotic and there were still some attacks," Wild said of the frantic finale. "I was just hoping the speed would stay up to prevent any new attacks. When Elen van Dijk started the sprint, I decided to stay behind her so long as nobody else came up on my shoulder. She's so strong and had such a big gear that I didn't know if I could pass her, but in the end I think was a bit too long for her."

Overall, Wild leads Hosking by three seconds, while Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) – again one of the day's principal aggressors – lies third at 16 seconds, just ahead of Elen van Dijk.

Wild's victory was her second in as many days, but while she had been forced to fend for herself in the finale of stage two, on Thursday, she had three Argos-Shimano riders for company in the front group. Charlotte Becker, Marlen Johrend and Elke Gebhardt succeeded in tracking the moves on the finishing circuit and marshalling Wild into position, and it was small wonder that she felt moved to point to her jersey as she crossed the line.

"I was still suffering from yesterday but my teammates were able to control it on the front, which was nice," Wild said. "It's the first race of the season and it's important to win but we can be happy already with the two stages and the fantastic teamwork."

A rapid start

After the start at the tranquil fishing village of Al Thakira, a stiff tailwind puffed the peloton along at a considerable rate of knots and they covered an eye-watering 48 kilometres in the opening hour of racing through Qatar's hauntingly spare interior. At that pace, there was little or no scope for breakaways and the Argos-Shimano duly ensured that the bunch stayed until the sprint at the imposing Al Zubara (60km), where Wild pipped Hosking.

Immediately afterwards, the road swung right and into the crosswind, and right on cue, Orica-AIS and Specialized-lululemon set about wreaking havoc on the front end of the peloton. A combination of their forcing and a crash in the middle of the peloton (Italy's Elena Cecchini was among the fallers) allowed a group of 18 to forge clear, with Hosking, Wild and Orica's Gracie Elvin safely on board.

A strong Wiggle-Honda delegation in the second echelon meant that the leading group swelled to 33 riders within sight of the finishing circuit, with double world champion Giorgia Bronzini now back in contention. 16km out, Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon) and Chantal Blaak (TIBCO-To The Top) slipped away and while they led through the first passage of the finish line, Argos-Shimano duly swept them up inside the final 10 kilometres.

At that point, the stage seemed set for a tense finishing sprint between Wild and Hosking, before fate intervened 1.5 kilometres out and halted the Australian's progress. Her setback sees Wild assume the overall lead, and while the Dutchwoman now appears on course for a third Ladies Tour of Qatar victory, Hosking sounded a determined note as she looked ahead to the final stage to Doha Corniche. "It's still open, so for sure I'll contest the intermediate sprints and the finish," she said. "Maybe we'll go for another stage win."

Full Results
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano2:28:15 
2Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon  
3Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda0:00:02 
4Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
5Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top0:00:04 
6Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink0:00:05 
7Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon  
8Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS  
9Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS  
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS  
11Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
12Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon0:00:12 
13Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon  
14Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
15Noemi Cantele (Ita) BePink0:00:22 
16Giulia Donato (Ita) BePink0:00:24 
17Katie Colclough (GBr) Specialized-lululemon0:00:29 
18Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
19Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Germany  
20Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
21Marion Rousse (Fra) France  
22Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS  
23Marlen Johrend (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
24Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
25Alena Amialiusik (Blr) BePink  
26Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:40 
27Claudia Hausler (Ger) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
28Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
29Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica-AIS0:00:49 
30Charlotte Becker (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
31Chantal Blaak (Ned) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
32Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Hitec Products UCK0:01:33 
33Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK0:00:00 
34Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK0:02:12 
35Janneke Kanis-Busser (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
36Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) MCipollini Giordana0:04:31 
37Shen Fan Li (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:04:46 
38Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
39Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle Honda  
40Lisa Küllmer (Ger) Germany  
41Mélanie Bravard (Fra) France  
42Huang Dongyan (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
43Wong Wan Yiu Jamie (HKg) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
44Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
45Mieke Kröger (Ger) Germany  
46Meng Lang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
47Jessie Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
48Charlotte Lenting (Ned) Netherlands  
49Melodie Lesueur (Fra) France  
50Valentina Carretta (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
51Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
52Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
53Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink0:04:54 
54Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands0:06:11 
55Rebecca Talen (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
56Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized-lululemon  
57Audrey Cordon (Fra) France  
58Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France  
59Kim De Baat (Ned) Netherlands  
60Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy  
61Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
62Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS  
63Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands  
64Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
65Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
66Sarah Scharbach (Ger) Germany0:08:15 
67Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
68Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy  
69Eline De Roover (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
70Doris Schweizer (Swi) BePink  
71Madeleine Ortmüller (Ger) Germany  
72Sara Grifi (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
73Tone Hatteland Lima (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
74Anna Barensfeld (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
75Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
76Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
77Tessa De Moyer (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
78Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
79Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
80Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Italy  
81Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
82Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands  
DNSKelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
DNSRochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
DNSShi Li Na (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
DNFJiang Xiu Jie (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
DNFLiesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
Sprint 1 - Al Zubara, 60km
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano3pts
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK2 
3Charlotte Becker (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano1 
Sprint 2 - Madinat Al Shamal (1st crossing of the finish line), 99km
1Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon3pts
2Chantal Blaak (Ned) Team TIBCO-To The Top2 
3Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano1 
Points - Madinat Al Shamal, 112.5km
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano15pts
2Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon12 
3Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda9 
4Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana7 
5Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top6 
6Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink5 
7Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon4 
8Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS3 
9Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS2 
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS1 
Young riders
1Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda2:28:20 
2Giulia Donato (Ita) BePink0:00:19 
3Katie Colclough (GBr) Specialized-lululemon0:00:24 
4Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
5Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
6Marion Rousse (Fra) France  
7Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:00:35 
8Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK  
9Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK0:02:07 
10Shen Fan Li (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:04:41 
11Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
12Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle Honda  
13Lisa Küllmer (Ger) Germany  
14Huang Dongyan (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
15Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
16Mieke Kröger (Ger) Germany  
17Jessie Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
18Charlotte Lenting (Ned) Netherlands  
19Melodie Lesueur (Fra) France  
20Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
21Rebecca Talen (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:06:06 
22Kim De Baat (Ned) Netherlands  
23Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy  
24Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
25Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands  
26Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
27Sarah Scharbach (Ger) Germany0:08:10 
28Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
29Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy  
30Eline De Roover (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
31Madeleine Ortmüller (Ger) Germany  
32Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
33Tessa De Moyer (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
34Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
35Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
36Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Italy  
37Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
38Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands  
Teams
1Orica-AIS7:25:00 
2Team TIBCO-To The Top0:00:01 
3Specialized-lululemon0:00:02 
4Wiggle Honda0:00:21 
5BePink0:00:36 
6Team Argos-Shimano0:00:54 
7MCipollini Giordana0:00:56 
8Hitec Products UCK0:03:30 
9France0:05:29 
10Germany0:09:46 
11China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:14:03 
12Rabobank Liv/Giant0:15:28 
13Netherlands0:16:53 
14Topsport Vlaanderen-Bioracer0:21:01 
15Italy0:22:26 
General classification after stage 3
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano7:30:43 
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK0:00:03 
3Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS0:00:16 
4Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon0:00:17 
5Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon0:00:26 
6Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS0:00:29 
7Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS0:00:31 
8Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon0:01:52 
9Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:01:58 
10Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:02:02 
11Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS0:02:55 
12Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda0:03:40 
13Chantal Blaak (Ned) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
14Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:03:54 
15Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK0:04:09 
16Claudia Hausler (Ger) Team TIBCO-To The Top0:04:22 
17Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
18Charlotte Becker (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:04:30 
19Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink0:05:01 
20Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO-To The Top0:05:18 
21Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top0:05:20 
22Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Germany0:05:25 
23Katie Colclough (GBr) Specialized-lululemon  
24Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) MCipollini Giordana0:06:39 
25Giulia Donato (Ita) BePink0:07:05 
26Marion Rousse (Fra) France0:07:10 
27Alena Amialiusik (Blr) BePink  
28Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
29Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica-AIS0:07:30 
30Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Hitec Products UCK0:08:14 
31Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:08:28 
32Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS0:08:29 
33Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:08:44 
34Janneke Kanis-Busser (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:08:53 
35Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:08:59 
36Audrey Cordon (Fra) France0:09:33 
37Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy0:09:53 
38Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
39Noemi Cantele (Ita) BePink0:10:26 
40Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:10:33 
41Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle Honda0:11:27 
42Meng Lang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
43Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
44Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
45Charlotte Lenting (Ned) Netherlands  
46Marlen Johrend (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:11:33 
47Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy0:11:57 
48Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant  
49Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands  
50Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
51Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France0:12:52 
52Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
53Kim De Baat (Ned) Netherlands  
54Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands  
55Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized-lululemon  
56Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:14:40 
57Shen Fan Li (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
58Jessie Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
59Huang Dongyan (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
60Valentina Carretta (Ita) MCipollini Giordana  
61Sara Grifi (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:14:56 
62Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Italy  
63Rebecca Talen (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:16:05 
64Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands0:20:14 
65Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink0:21:49 
66Wong Wan Yiu Jamie (HKg) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:22:00 
67Lisa Küllmer (Ger) Germany0:22:02 
68Mélanie Bravard (Fra) France  
69Mieke Kröger (Ger) Germany  
70Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer0:25:35 
71Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy0:25:41 
72Roxane Fournier (Fra) France0:25:47 
73Melodie Lesueur (Fra) France0:29:22 
74Anna Barensfeld (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top0:32:32 
75Madeleine Ortmüller (Ger) Germany  
76Sarah Scharbach (Ger) Germany0:32:51 
77Doris Schweizer (Swi) BePink  
78Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy  
79Tone Hatteland Lima (Nor) Hitec Products UCK0:36:56 
80Eline De Roover (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer0:44:06 
81Tessa De Moyer (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
82Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
Points classification
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano42pts
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK26 
3Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon22 
4Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS19 
5Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon16 
6Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS14 
7Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana14 
8Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon12 
9Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda9 
10Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink9 
11Shelley Olds (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top9 
12Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) MCipollini Giordana8 
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS5 
14Chantal Blaak (Ned) Team TIBCO-To The Top2 
15Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS2 
16Audrey Cordon (Fra) France2 
17Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS1 
18Charlotte Becker (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano1 
Young riders classification
1Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK7:30:46 
2Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:01:59 
3Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK0:04:06 
4Katie Colclough (GBr) Specialized-lululemon0:05:22 
5Giulia Donato (Ita) BePink0:07:02 
6Marion Rousse (Fra) France0:07:07 
7Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
8Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:08:41 
9Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini Giordana0:08:56 
10Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy0:09:50 
11Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle Honda0:11:24 
12Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Team TIBCO-To The Top  
13Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
14Charlotte Lenting (Ned) Netherlands  
15Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy0:11:54 
16Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
17Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands  
18Kim De Baat (Ned) Netherlands0:12:49 
19Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
20Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:14:37 
21Shen Fan Li (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
22Jessie Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
23Huang Dongyan (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
24Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Italy0:14:53 
25Rebecca Talen (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant0:16:02 
26Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands0:20:11 
27Lisa Küllmer (Ger) Germany0:21:59 
28Mieke Kröger (Ger) Germany  
29Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer0:25:32 
30Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy0:25:38 
31Roxane Fournier (Fra) France0:25:44 
32Melodie Lesueur (Fra) France0:29:19 
33Madeleine Ortmüller (Ger) Germany0:32:29 
34Sarah Scharbach (Ger) Germany0:32:48 
35Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy  
36Eline De Roover (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer0:44:03 
37Tessa De Moyer (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
38Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Topsport Vlaaderen-Bioracer  
Teams classification
1Orica-AIS22:33:35 
2Specialized-lululemon0:01:32 
3Team Argos-Shimano0:06:25 
4Wiggle Honda0:06:46 
5MCipollini Giordana0:08:50 
6Team TIBCO-To The Top0:09:35 
7Hitec Products UCK0:11:14 
8BePink0:17:43 
9France0:21:04 
10Rabobank Liv/Giant0:23:28 
11China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:29:38 
12Italy0:32:21 
13Netherlands0:32:46 
14Germany0:48:03 
15Topsport Vlaanderen-Bioracer0:56:58 

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