Cucinotta wins Ladies Tour of Qatar opener

Italian takes out sprint at Dukhan Beach

“Regardez le vent,” Jean-François says he casts his eyes to the Qatari skies minutes before the opening stage. A driver at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Jean-François Rodriguez, to give him his fuller title, knows a few things about riding on the front in difficult conditions. The 57-year-old was a domestique for Hinault and Fignon at Renault and Système U in the 1980s and was a directeur for Bbox Bouygues Telecom up until a few years ago. As the women’s field lined up with the Museum of Islamic Art behind them Jean-François repeated his words, ‘watch for the wind.”

The Frenchman’s advice looked vital as the women’s field rolled out through the neutralized zone and towards the finish at Dukhan Beach, 98 kilometres away. A breeze blew across the wide expansive roads and threatened to kick the race into life as soon as the flag was dropped.

However, as the race wound its way east and further inland the winds dropped, and any chance of formal hostilities were squared away for another day.

There was, of course, still the matter of a stage to win, the final honours going to Annalisa Cucinotta (Ale-Cipollini) after a scrappy, and at times dangerous sprint, as well as two vital intermediate sprints to determine who would come away from the first day with their overall aspirations boosted. But with the winds easing and the threat of cross-winds dissipating, the opening stage turned into a phoney war, where avoiding crashes and survival were key.

It took almost roughly an hour of racing before the first notable attack arrived. Xiu Jie Jiang and her China Chongming-Liv-Champion System teammates were the first to arrive at the start, and the first to check and double check their bikes at the start of the race and their intentions paid off with Jiang’s move.

She attacked after Shelley Olds had beaten Chloe Hosking and Lizzie Armistead at the first intermediate sprint after 28 kilometres, and the Chinese rider’s insistence on ploughing on alone helped her establish a lead approaching 90 seconds as she broke through the 55 kilometre barrier.

Qatar’s landscape, with its long gleaming stretches of motorway, meant that Jiang was never far out of sight, and a patchwork of teams carefully monitored proceedings at the front.

In the convoy, Jean-Francois, who now drives Hinault at major races, would listen intently as the race radio crackled through with information. Bar the odd crash, Hosking, Tiffany Cromwell, and Sharon Laws, were among those that hit the deck, there was little to report.

The wind remained subdued, the landscape desolate and even the towering skyscrapers that litter the centre of Doha seemed to just reflect their own empty existences off each other.

A dot on the horizon, Jiang, legs like pistons, kept her advantage intact, even gobbling up the three seconds on offer at the second sprint at 68 kilometres. Once again Olds had the better of Armitstead, while Hosking’s crash meant that Girorgia Bronzini would be elevated to Wiggle’s lead sprinter come the finale.

With Jiang eventually caught, just after the sprint in fact, all eyes turned to the flat final run-in to the beach.

Wiggle, Ale-Cipollini, Bigla, Velocio-SRAM, and Rabo-Liv Women all launched their lead-outs but through a sprint that was rather more staccato than legato, it was Ale-Cipollini who shone through, with Cucinotta and Tagliaferro sandwiching Bronzini in second.

"We are very satisfied" said Ale-Cipollini director Fortunato Lacquaniti. "We are happy not only for the first and third position, but also for all the work we have done. We have been protagonist during the race. Annalisa made a wonderful sprint, also thanks to the work done by the whole team. This is the victory of the whole team."

As for Jean-Francois, his advice to watch for the winds will surely pay off in the coming days.

 

 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini2:28:36 
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
3Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
4Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
5Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
6Trixi Worrack (Ger) Velocio-SRAM  
7Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
8Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda  
9Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio-SRAM  
11Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
12Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
13Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS  
14Lucy Garner (GBr) Team Liv-Plantur  
15Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
16Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
17Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
18Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
19Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
20Eugénie Duval (Fra) France  
21Brianna Walle (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
22Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products UCK  
23Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Liv-Plantur  
24Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AIS  
25Soline Lamboley (Fra) France  
26Fanny Riberot (Fra) France  
27Julia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
28Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
29Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
30Xi Sha Zhao (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
31Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Velocio-SRAM  
32Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
33Wan Tong Wang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
34Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
35Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
36Yue Bai (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
37Shara Gillow (Aus) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
38Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
39Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
40Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France  
41Georgia Baker (Aus) Australia  
42Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM  
43Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products UCK  
44Kimberley Wells (Aus) Australia  
45Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
46Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
47Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products UCK  
48Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
49Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
50Martina Alzini (Ita) Italy0:00:06 
51Anouska Helena Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
52Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio-SRAM  
53Doris Schweizer (Sui) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
54Steffy Van Den Haute (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo0:00:08 
55Rossella Ratto (Ita) Italy  
56Gilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
57Jiaqi Li (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
58Coralie Demay (Fra) France  
59Loren Rowney (Aus) Velocio-SRAM  
60Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
61Kaat Hannes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
62Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS  
63Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
64Alison Tetrick Starnes (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
65Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS  
66Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Italy  
67Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AIS  
68Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Australia  
69Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Italy  
70Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
71Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
72Xiu Jie Jiang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
73Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
74Miriam Bjornsrud (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
75Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
76Willeke Knol (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
77Alexandria Nicholls (Aus) Australia  
78Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia  
79Tone Hatteland (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
80Sharon Laws (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
81Beatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
82Elena Berlato (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
83Joëlle Numainville (Can) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
84Ya Nan Liu (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
85Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle Honda  
86Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle Honda  
DNFMaura Kinsella (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNSAnnie Ewart (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team3 pts
2Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda2 
3Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team1 
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Xiu Jie Jiang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling3 pts
2Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team2 
3Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team1 
Finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini15 pts
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda12 
3Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini9 
4Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team7 
5Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team6 
6Trixi Worrack (Ger) Velocio-SRAM5 
7Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini4 
8Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda3 
9Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo2 
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio-SRAM1 
Young rider
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini2:28:36 
2Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
3Lucy Garner (GBr) Team Liv-Plantur  
4Eugénie Duval (Fra) France  
5Soline Lamboley (Fra) France  
6Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
7Xi Sha Zhao (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
8Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
9Wan Tong Wang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
10Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
11Yue Bai (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
12Georgia Baker (Aus) Australia  
13Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products UCK  
14Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
15Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
16Martina Alzini (Ita) Italy0:00:06 
17Anouska Helena Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
18Steffy Van Den Haute (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo0:00:08 
19Rossella Ratto (Ita) Italy  
20Gilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
21Jiaqi Li (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
22Coralie Demay (Fra) France  
23Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
24Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Italy  
25Miriam Bjornsrud (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
26Alexandria Nicholls (Aus) Australia  
27Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia  
28Beatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
29Ya Nan Liu (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ale Cipollini7:25:48 
2Velocio - Sram  
3Wiggle Honda  
4Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
5France  
6Team Liv - Plantur  
7Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
8Hitec Products  
9China Chongming-Liv-Champion System  
10Australie  
11Bigla Cycling Team0:00:06 
12Italy  
13Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo0:00:08 
14Orica - AIS  
15Optum p/b Kelly Benefit  
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini2:28:26 
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda0:00:04 
3Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:00:05 
4Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:00:06 
5Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:08 
6Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
7Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:10 
8Trixi Worrack (Ger) Velocio-SRAM  
9Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
10Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda  
11Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
12Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio-SRAM  
13Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
14Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS  
15Lucy Garner (GBr) Team Liv-Plantur  
16Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
17Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
18Roxane Fournier (Fra) France  
19Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
20Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
21Eugénie Duval (Fra) France  
22Brianna Walle (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
23Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products UCK  
24Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Liv-Plantur  
25Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AIS  
26Soline Lamboley (Fra) France  
27Fanny Riberot (Fra) France  
28Julia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
29Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
30Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
31Xi Sha Zhao (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
32Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Velocio-SRAM  
33Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
34Wan Tong Wang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
35Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
36Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
37Yue Bai (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
38Shara Gillow (Aus) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
39Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
40Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
41Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France  
42Georgia Baker (Aus) Australia  
43Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM  
44Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products UCK  
45Kimberley Wells (Aus) Australia  
46Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
47Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products UCK  
48Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
49Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
50Xiu Jie Jiang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling0:00:15 
51Martina Alzini (Ita) Italy0:00:16 
52Anouska Helena Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
53Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio-SRAM  
54Doris Schweizer (Sui) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
55Steffy Van Den Haute (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo0:00:18 
56Rossella Ratto (Ita) Italy  
57Gilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
58Jiaqi Li (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
59Coralie Demay (Fra) France  
60Loren Rowney (Aus) Velocio-SRAM  
61Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
62Kaat Hannes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
63Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS  
64Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
65Alison Tetrick Starnes (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
66Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS  
67Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Italy  
68Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AIS  
69Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Australia  
70Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Italy  
71Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
72Nel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
73Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
74Miriam Bjornsrud (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
75Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
76Willeke Knol (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
77Alexandria Nicholls (Aus) Australia  
78Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia  
79Tone Hatteland (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
80Sharon Laws (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
81Beatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
82Elena Berlato (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
83Joëlle Numainville (Can) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
84Ya Nan Liu (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
85Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle Honda  
86Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle Honda  
Point classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini15 pts
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda12 
3Shelley Olds - Evans (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team11 
4Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini9 
5Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team7 
6Trixi Worrack (Ger) Velocio-SRAM5 
7Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini4 
8Xiu Jie Jiang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling3 
9Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda3 
10Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team2 
11Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda2 
12Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo2 
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio-SRAM1 
Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini2:28:36 
2Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy  
3Lucy Garner (GBr) Team Liv-Plantur  
4Eugénie Duval (Fra) France  
5Soline Lamboley (Fra) France  
6Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
7Xi Sha Zhao (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
8Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
9Wan Tong Wang (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
10Claudia Cretti (Ita) Italy  
11Yue Bai (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
12Georgia Baker (Aus) Australia  
13Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products UCK  
14Jessica Mundy (Aus) Australia  
15Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
16Martina Alzini (Ita) Italy0:00:06 
17Anouska Helena Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
18Steffy Van Den Haute (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo0:00:08 
19Rossella Ratto (Ita) Italy  
20Gilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro-Duo  
21Jiaqi Li (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
22Coralie Demay (Fra) France  
23Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
24Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Italy  
25Miriam Bjornsrud (Nor) Hitec Products UCK  
26Alexandria Nicholls (Aus) Australia  
27Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia  
28Beatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
29Ya Nan Liu (Chn) China Chongming-Liv-Champion System Pro Cycling  
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ale Cipollini7:25:48 
2Velocio - Sram  
3Wiggle Honda  
4Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
5France  
6Team Liv - Plantur  
7Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
8Hitec Products  
9China Chongming-Liv-Champion System  
10Australie  
11Bigla Cycling Team0:00:06 
12Italy  
13Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo0:00:08 
14Orica - AIS  
15Optum p/b Kelly Benefit  

 

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