Tour of Qatar: Pieters wins stage 2

Pieters moves into race lead

Another day, another crosswind and another Giant-Shimano victory. Just like her teammate Kirsten Wild the previous afternoon, Amy Pieters claimed the win on stage 2 of Ladies Tour of Qatar and moved into the gold jersey to boot, as the Dutch squad's mastery of the desert conditions once again proved total.

Pieters was one of four Giant-Shimano riders in the day's decisive 21-woman echelon, which formed after just three kilometres of racing. While her primary task was to help Wild in the event of a group finish, Pieters sensed the danger when her fellow countryman Anna van der Breggen sparked the winning move on the final lap of the finishing circuit, with 11 kilometres to go.

Pieters was adroit in policing a break that also included Charlotte Becker (Wiggle-Honda) and Inga Cilvinaite (Rusvelo). With Wild sitting comfortably in the group behind, Pieters held something of a trump card, and she played her hand wisely, working just enough to ensure the break's cohesion, but not so much as to damage her or her team's chances.

"I was in the last wheel because I had Kirsten in the group behind me, so I was waiting for the sprint," Pieters said afterwards. "If the group came back, then that was also ok because I had Kirsten in the yellow jersey behind me."

The finale took place over four laps of an exposed 14-kilometre circuit, and it had appeared that the wind would discourage any solo attacks, but Van der Breggen - whose contribution was so crucial to Marianne Vos' world championship victory in Florence in September - timed her effort well by jumping clear with the wind at her back, and found willing reinforcements in Becker, Cilvinaite and Pieters shortly afterwards.

The quartet soon built up a lead of 40 seconds, and given the lack of a bona fide sprinter in the Orica-AIS ranks, the Australian squad was understandably reluctant to take up the reins of the chase behind, lest they tow Wild, Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) to the line.

The cross-headwind meant that the finishing straight seemed an interminable one, but Pieters clearly had the freshest legs of the lead group, and she ground out a gap that she would never relent. Indeed, such was the level of fatigue at the end of a tough day that Pieters crossed the line all of three seconds ahead of Van der Breggen, while Becker took third.

Wild pipped the redoubtable Hosking to the sprint for fifth, 27 seconds down, but thanks to the time bonus for stage victory, Pieters had done enough to claim the overall lead. She now leads her teammate Wild by seven seconds, with Hosking a further 11 seconds back in third, and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) fourth at 28 seconds.

"It's good for the team because we have first and second in the general classification," said Pieters. Wild's sprint and pedigree in Qatar means that she remains the favourite for overall honours, though Pieters was coy about how Giant-Shimano would play its cards over the next two days. "I don't know, I think we're both really good. I just hope the jersey stays in the team."

Split

There was already a sense of foreboding in the peloton as it gathered for the start in the shadow of Al Zubara Fort. A relatively benign breeze had wreaked havoc on the opening day, and here on Qatar's northern coast, the gusts were considerably stiffer. Indeed, it only took three kilometres for day's decisive split to take shape. In a mirror of stage 1, the Orica-AIS team was again to the fore in forcing the issue in the crosswind. When the dust had settled, a 21-rider echelon had opened a 30-second lead, with the rest of the peloton scattered across the road.

"I expected it to break up early because there was the sidewind," Wild said. "I just think we were just lucky that there were four in the front. We didn't do the job, it was GreenEdge who started it but we directly went in it."

With riders of the quality of Pieters, Wild, Hosking, Johansson, Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS), Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-Lululemon) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) in the front group, it was clear, even at this early point, that this was the race-winning move.

The grand absentees from the front echelon were Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) - who lay second overall as the day began - and Lizzie Armitstead (Boel-Dolmans) - who had looked comfortable at the head of the race on Tuesday. "I expected her in the front as she's normally very strong in these kind of races," Wild said of Olds.

A moment's inattentiveness in the desert can prove very costly, however, and by the 30 kilometre mark, Olds, Armitstead and the chasers were already 2:45 down. That gap extended to 3:55 by the 50-kilometre mark, and then over five minutes by the time the 21 leaders hit the finishing circuit for the first time.

Wild beat Hosking to the full complement of bonus seconds at the first sprint, and gained another second on the Australian when they contested the second sprint as they took the bell for the final lap. At that point, given the conditions, another group finish seemed inevitable. Things would not pan out quite like that, but neither Wild nor her Giant-Shimano team will be upset with the late change to the script.

 

Full Results
1Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano2:53:33 
2Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:03 
3Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda  
4Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) RusVelo0:00:06 
5Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano0:00:27 
6Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products  
7Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS  
8Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo  
9Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:00:31 
10Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS  
11Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AIS0:00:37 
12Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
13Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
14Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
15Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized - lululemon  
16Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
17Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products  
18Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized - lululemon0:00:48 
19Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:00:59 
20Julia Soek (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano  
21Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Giant - Shimano0:01:28 
22Anastasia Chulkova (Rus) RusVelo0:10:50 
23Aizan Zhaparova (Rus) RusVelo0:10:52 
24Hong Yu Liang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
25Audrey Cordon (Fra) Hitec Products0:11:57 
26Sarah Roy (Aus) Australia  
27Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
28Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized - lululemon  
29Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo  
30Elena Kuchinskaia (Rus) RusVelo  
31Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
32Dong Yan Huang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
33Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australia  
34Celine Van Severen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
35Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica - AIS  
36Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
37Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) France  
38Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
39Xiaoling Luo (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
40Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France  
41Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini  
42Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
43Michela Pavin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
44Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France  
45Aude Biannic (Fra) France  
46Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy  
47Alice Algisi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
48Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
49Simona Frapporti (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
50Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
51Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS  
52Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
53Fanny Riberot (Fra) France  
54Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Team Giant - Shimano  
55Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
56Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
57Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
58Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (HKg) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
59Ni Man Song (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
60Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
61Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
62Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
63Chantal Blaak (Ned) Specialized - lululemon  
64Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle Honda  
65Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
66Elena Berlato (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
67Marijn De Vries (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano  
68Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
69Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized - lululemon  
70Louisa Lobigs (Aus) Australia  
71Zita Stricker (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
72Yuan Yuan Tian (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
73Chloe McConville (Aus) Australia  
74Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AIS  
75Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
76Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Ale Cipollini  
77Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
78Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
79Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
80Maeia Covrig (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
81Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
82Emily Roper (Aus) Australia  
83Marion Rousse (Fra) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
84Tone Hatteland Lima (Nor) Hitec Products  
85Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy0:12:06 
DNFKatarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
DNFIsabelle Soderberg (Swe) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
Sprint 1 - Madinat AL Shamal (2nd crossing)
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano3pts
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products2 
3Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies1 
Sprint 2 - Madinat Al Shamal (4th crossing)
1Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products3pts
2Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano2 
3Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies1 
Points - Madinat Al Shamal
1Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano15pts
2Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team12 
3Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda9 
4Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) RusVelo7 
5Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano6 
6Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products5 
7Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS4 
8Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo3 
9Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies2 
10Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS1 
Young riders
1Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano2:53:33 
2Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:31 
3Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy0:00:37 
4Roxane Fournier (Fra) France0:11:57 
5Dong Yan Huang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
6Celine Van Severen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
7Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
8Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
9Michela Pavin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
10Aude Biannic (Fra) France  
11Alice Algisi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
12Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
13Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
14Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
15Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
16Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
17Zita Stricker (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
18Yuan Yuan Tian (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
19Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
20Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
21Maeia Covrig (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
22Emily Roper (Aus) Australia  
23Marion Rousse (Fra) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
24Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy0:12:06 
Teams
1Team Giant - Shimano8:42:05 
2Orica - AIS0:00:09 
3RusVelo0:09:57 
4Wiggle Honda0:11:11 
5Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
6Hitec Products0:11:35 
7Specialized - lululemon0:11:56 
8Lotto Belisol Ladies0:12:01 
9Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:23:05 
10Italy  
11China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:33:20 
12France0:34:25 
13Australia  
14Ale Cipollini  
15Astana Bepink Womens Team  
General classification after stage 2
1Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano5:03:28 
2Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano0:00:07 
3Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products0:00:18 
4Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS0:00:28 
5Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:00:30 
6Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:31 
7Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:38 
8Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AIS  
9Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
10Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized - lululemon  
11Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized - lululemon0:00:49 
12Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:51 
13Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda0:00:53 
14Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) RusVelo0:00:56 
15Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo0:01:21 
16Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products0:01:31 
17Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
18Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
19Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:01:53 
20Julia Soek (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano  
21Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Giant - Shimano0:02:22 
22Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini0:11:50 
23Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:11:56 
24Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France0:11:58 
25Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy  
26Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
27Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
28Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
29Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS0:12:02 
30Chantal Blaak (Ned) Specialized - lululemon  
31Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized - lululemon0:12:51 
32Sarah Roy (Aus) Australia  
33Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australia  
34Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
35Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica - AIS  
36Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France  
37Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) France  
38Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
39Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Team Giant - Shimano  
40Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
41Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
42Marijn De Vries (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano  
43Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AIS  
44Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
45Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
46Anastasia Chulkova (Rus) RusVelo0:15:21 
47Aizan Zhaparova (Rus) RusVelo0:15:23 
48Hong Yu Liang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
49Elena Kuchinskaia (Rus) RusVelo0:16:28 
50Dong Yan Huang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
51Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo  
52Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
53Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
54Michela Pavin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
55Xiaoling Luo (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
56Audrey Cordon (Fra) Hitec Products  
57Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (HKg) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
58Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
59Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
60Alice Algisi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
61Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
62Celine Van Severen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
63Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
64Fanny Riberot (Fra) France  
65Aude Biannic (Fra) France  
66Simona Frapporti (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
67Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
68Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle Honda  
69Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized - lululemon  
70Ni Man Song (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling  
71Marion Rousse (Fra) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
72Chloe McConville (Aus) Australia  
73Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Ale Cipollini  
74Louisa Lobigs (Aus) Australia  
75Zita Stricker (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
76Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
77Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
78Emily Roper (Aus) Australia  
79Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
80Maeia Covrig (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
81Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy0:17:41 
82Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy0:17:50 
83Yuan Yuan Tian (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:18:24 
84Tone Hatteland Lima (Nor) Hitec Products0:18:32 
85Elena Berlato (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:23:11 
Points classification
1Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano32pts
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products20 
3Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano15 
4Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini14 
5Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team12 
6Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies11 
7Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda9 
8Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team8 
9Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) RusVelo7 
10Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS5 
11Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France5 
12Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS4 
13Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Ale Cipollini4 
14Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusVelo3 
15Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team2 
16Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized - lululemon1 
Young rider classification
1Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant - Shimano5:03:28 
2Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:31 
3Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy0:01:31 
4Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team0:11:58 
5Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:12:51 
6Dong Yan Huang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:16:28 
7Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
8Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
9Michela Pavin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
10Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy  
11Alice Algisi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
12Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
13Béatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
14Celine Van Severen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
15Aude Biannic (Fra) France  
16Marion Rousse (Fra) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
17Zita Stricker (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
18Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
19Chiara Vannucci (Ita) Italy  
20Emily Roper (Aus) Australia  
21Maeia Covrig (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
22Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy0:17:41 
23Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Italy0:17:50 
24Yuan Yuan Tian (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:18:24 
Teams classification
1Orica - AIS15:12:02 
2Team Giant - Shimano0:00:53 
3Specialized - lululemon0:11:51 
4Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:12:48 
5Wiggle Honda0:13:41 
6RusVelo0:16:00 
7Hitec Products0:16:49 
8Lotto Belisol Ladies0:17:15 
9Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:22:56 
10Italy0:28:19 
11Ale Cipollini0:35:09 
12France0:36:02 
13Australia0:40:32 
14Astana Bepink Womens Team0:43:16 
15China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling0:46:41 

 

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