Chloe Hosking came to stop outside the Trek-Segafredo team bus unaware of where she had placed in the bunch sprint on stage 4 of The Women’s Tour. The victory had gone to Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) who had raised her arms in victory after crossing the line ahead of the pack along the seafront in Southend on Sea.
When Hosking eventually stopped next to Lizzie Deignan the pair were still uncertain of the results, with Hosking asking her team staff if she was second or third.
Deignan, stripping bloody bandages from her hands due to the ongoing blisters she is still suffering from her Paris-Roubaix exploits, offered up her apologies after guiding Hosking into the finale before the bunch opened up for the sprint.
In the end, the Australian would have to settle for third in a close battle with Chiara Consonni (Valcar-Travel & Service) for the minor placings but Hosking, who finished second on stage 1 and came into the race with two wins under her belt praised her team’s efforts.
The stage was run in brisk fashion, with a bunch sprint always on the cards, but a technical run-in to the small seaside town meant that position would be crucial and despite early numbers Hosking had to fend for herself when it came to the leadout. Coming into the stage and Trek-Segafredo were already down to four riders with Hosking joined by Trixi Worrack, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, and Paris-Roubaix winner Lizzie Deignan.
“It was fast, downhill and really swarmy,” Hosking said after the finish when it was confirmed that she had finished third.
“I don’t like sprints like that so, to be honest, so I had Lizzie, Trixi, and Audrey there with me. Lizzie got me to the front with 3km to go and she stayed on the front for as long as she could.
“I just tried to keep myself at the front, jumping wheels, and then when we came into the final corner I got pretty far out of position and managed to salvage a third. I’m convinced it was second but apparently, it was third but that was a proper bunch sprint. There were women going everywhere and you were having to find gaps where they didn’t exist and then sprint for the line when you could try and get out.”
With two more stages to go, Hosking, who fought back from COVID-19 early this year has two more chances to seal her stage win. A victory would be her first in the event since 2017, when she beat Alice Barnes and Ellen van Dijk to the line in Lemington Spa. For Trek, who came into the race with their tails up after Paris-Roubaix, a stage win would represent a major success given the fact that they are down to four riders.
Deignan is still suffering from the hand blisters she picked up on the way to her Roubaix triumph, while Worrack had to put retirement to one side and was drafted in due to injuries in the team. After starting the race with just five riders the team was reduced to four after they lost Elisa Longo Borghini to fatigue on stage 1 following her long season.
“I’m a bit disappointed but there are a couple more stages to go. We’re doing as much as we can and I definitely still feel supported,” Hosking said before disappearing into a team car with her mind focussed fully on stage 5.
In the overall standings, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) leads the race with Juliette Labous (Team DSM) at 1:09 and Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) a further 10 seconds back.
Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.