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Van Dijk wins the Ladies Tour of Qatar

Monia Baccaille (MCipollini-Giordana) showed that she is fully recovered from injury by winning the final stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar in a thrilling sprint finish. It was very much an Italian affair in Doha, as Baccaille beat world champion Giorgia Bronzini into second place. Ellen Van Dijk's (HTC-Highroad) fourth place finish was enough to seal her overall victory in the event.

With a healthy overall lead of 15 seconds on Friday morning, and well supported by the strongest team in the race, Van Dijk's golden jersey was never under any significant threat, and once the break of the day was swept up on the final lap of the finishing circuit in downtown Doha, the stage was set for a fascinating sprint battle that saw the Italian duo come out on top.

Baccaille opened her sprint early and the Italian champion had more than enough in her legs to hold on for victory. Behind, the rainbow jersey of Bronzini was boxed in until the last minute, and she lost vital yards on her fellow countrywoman that she was unable to make up in the closing metres.

"There were a few trains in the sprint, it was going left and right," Baccaille told Cyclingnews afterwards. "But I managed to find space on the right hand side and go at 250m and I was able to hold on."

Baccaille was making her first competitive appearance since breaking her collarbone at the European track championships in November, and admitted that she was surprised to have found form again so quickly after returning to full training less than a month ago. After being active on the front in the previous two days, however, she was able to save herself for the finale of Friday's stage.

"Today I was able to stay in the peloton without expending too much energy given that there were two of my teammates in the main break of the day, Nicole Cooke and Marta Bastianelli," Baccaille said.

Second-placed Bronzini suffered from the chaotic nature of the finale, with no one team able to build a dominant lead-out train, and she rued starting her sprint so late. "In the finale maybe I went too late given my characteristics, but so be it," she told Cyclingnews.

Meanwhile, the overall winner Van Dijk was thrilled with her victory. The young Dutch rider finished fourth on the stage, just behind Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto-Honda), but explained that her priority on the final stage was to secure her golden jersey. With HTC-Highroad marshaling affairs expertly at the head of the peloton, she endured no scares on the road to Doha.

"I think we have the strongest team here in the competition, as is shown by the way that we also won the team classification," Van Dijk said. "I could count on my teammates as we were able to keep it together today.

"I rate this win really highly because it's also my first stage race win. It's a big race and a nice race to win."

How it unfolded

The race began without the unfortunate Lucy Davis (Garmin-Cervélo), who was forced to abandon overnight after falling on stage two. Out on the road, the wind at the peloton's back on the way out of Al Dayeen meant that there was no shortage of willing attackers but with HTC-Highroad controlling matters, nobody was going to be allowed get a substantial gap before the nine laps of the finishing circuit.

On entering the streets of Doha, Megan Guarnier (USA) managed to snap the elastic, in spite of the high pace behind. However, after the convoy went in the wrong direction on reaching the circuit, the race had to be stopped and neutralised, and the sting was taken out of Guarnier's move. To her credit, however, after setting off again with a 10-second advantage, the American managed to spend almost two laps clear of the pack before being caught.

Unsurprisingly, the next attacker was the ever willing Valentina Bastianelli (Vaiano Solaritech), and when she and her breakaway companion Roxanne Knetemann hoovered up the bonus seconds at the first sprint ahead of Iris Slappendel (Garmin-Cervélo), the main threat to Van Dijk's golden jersey, HTC-Highroad were all but guaranteed the overall win.

With six laps to go, the day's main break forced its way clear, with Nicole Cooke and Marta Bastianelli (MCipollini-Giordana) very much to the fore. They were joined by Gloria Presti (Italy), Amanda Spratt (Australia), Patricia Schwager (Nederland Bloeit), Ludivine Henrion (Lotto-Honda), Jacquelyn Crowell (USA), Valentina Scandolara (Gauss) and Alison Testroete (Skil-Koga).

The 10 escapees worked well together and quickly established a lead, but once the gap rose above 30 seconds, the HTC-Highroad team assembled at the front of the peloton to keep them in check. Thereafter, it was a game of cat and mouse, as the breakaway never fully managed to get out of site, in spite of the best efforts of Cooke and Spratt in particular.

Two laps from the finish, the gap was still holding steady at 25 seconds, but when HTC-Highroad pegged back another 10 of those on the next lap, it seemed inevitable that the race would all come back together for the sprint. The break was finally forced to give best in the finale, where Baccaille emerged victorious from the chaos, while HTC-Highroad celebrated a golden jersey for Van Dijk that was very much a team effort.

Full results
1Monia Baccaille (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana2:25:22
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italy
3Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Lotto Honda Team
4Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women
5Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss
6Sarah Düster (Ger) Nederland Bloeit
7Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany
8Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France
9Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech
10Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
11Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands
12Rossella Callovi (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Honda Team
14Shanne Braspennincx (Ned) Netherlands
15Aude Biannic (Fra) France
16Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany
17Sophie Creux (Fra) France
18Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France
19Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
20Adrie Visser (Ned) HTC Highroad Women
21Fanny Riberot (Fra) France
22Alessandra Borchi (Ita) Gauss
23Melanie Woering (Ned) Netherlands
24Eleonora Spaliviero (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
25Kirsty Broun (Aus) Australia
26Emilia Fahlin (Swe) HTC Highroad Women
27Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Garmin - Cervelo
28Kendall Ryan (USA) United States of America
29Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
30Veronica Andreasson (Swe) Lotto Honda Team
31Hannah Welter (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
32Janneke Kanis (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
33Alison Starnes (USA) United States of America
34Alison Testroete (Can) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
35Shi Li Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
36Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany
37Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC Highroad Women
38Laura Fouquet (Ger) Germany
39Verena Jooss (Ger) Germany
40Charlotte Becker (Ger) HTC Highroad Women
41Iris Slappendel (Ned) Garmin - Cervelo
42Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
43Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands
44Christina Becker (Ger) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
45Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
46Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
47Wong Wan Yin Jamie (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
48Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands
49Katarzyna Sosna (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech
50Trine Schmidt (Den) Garmin - Cervelo
51Zhao Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
52Amy Pieters (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
53Luo Xiaoling (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
54Jessie Daams (Bel) Garmin - Cervelo
55Emilie Blanquefort (Fra) France
56Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands
57Gloria Presti (Ita) Italy
58Laure Werner (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
59Simona Martini (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
60Suzanne de Goede (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
61Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy
62Madeleine Sandig (Ger) Germany
63Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Gauss
64Luisa Tamanini (Ita) Gauss
65Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC Highroad Women
66Marta Bastianelli (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
67Patricia Schwager (Swi) Nederland Bloeit
68Megan Guarnier (USA) United States of America
69Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australia
70Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America
71Noemi Cantele (Ita) Garmin - Cervelo
72Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australia
73Carlee Taylor (Aus) Australia
74Nicole Cooke (GBr) SC Mcipollini Giordana
75Lorena Foresi (Ita) Gauss
76Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy
77Meng Lang (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
78Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy
79Ruth Corset (Aus) Australia
80Emma Mackie (Aus) Australia
81Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Italy
82Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
83Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss0:01:46
84Huang Li (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
85Coryn Rivera (USA) United States of America
86Carmen Small (USA) United States of America

Sprint 1 - Doha Corniche, 56km
1Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech3pts
2Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team2
3Iris Slappendel (Ned) Garmin - Cervelo1

Sprint 2 - Doha Corniche, 74km
1Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss3pts
2Nicole Cooke (GBr) SC Mcipollini Giordana2
3Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America1

Sprint3 - Doha Corniche, 92km
1Monia Baccaille (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana15pts
2Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italy12
3Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Lotto Honda Team9
4Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women7
5Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss6
6Sarah Düster (Ger) Nederland Bloeit5
7Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany4
8Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France3
9Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech2
10Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana1

Young rider
1Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women2:25:22
2Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss
3Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France
4Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech
5Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
6Rossella Callovi (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
7Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Honda Team
8Shanne Braspennincx (Ned) Netherlands
9Aude Biannic (Fra) France
10Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany
11Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France
12Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
13Melanie Woering (Ned) Netherlands
14Eleonora Spaliviero (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
15Emilia Fahlin (Swe) HTC Highroad Women
16Kendall Ryan (USA) United States of America
17Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
18Hannah Welter (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
19Shi Li Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
20Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany
21Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC Highroad Women
22Laura Fouquet (Ger) Germany
23Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands
24Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
25Wong Wan Yin Jamie (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
26Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands
27Katarzyna Sosna (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech
28Trine Schmidt (Den) Garmin - Cervelo
29Amy Pieters (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
30Luo Xiaoling (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
31Jessie Daams (Bel) Garmin - Cervelo
32Emilie Blanquefort (Fra) France
33Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands
34Gloria Presti (Ita) Italy
35Simona Martini (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech
36Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy
37Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Gauss
38Marta Bastianelli (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
39Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australia
40Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America
41Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australia
42Carlee Taylor (Aus) Australia
43Lorena Foresi (Ita) Gauss
44Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy
45Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy
46Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Italy
47Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss0:01:46
48Huang Li (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
49Coryn Rivera (USA) United States of America

1Sc Mcipollini Giordana7:16:06
2Lotto Honda Team
5Htc Highroad Women
7Vaiano Solaritech
8Nederland Bloeit
10Skil-Koga Cycling Team
14China Chongming-Giant

Final overall classification
1Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women7:51:04
2Charlotte Becker (Ger) HTC Highroad Women0:00:15
3Iris Slappendel (Ned) Garmin - Cervelo0:00:20
4Adrie Visser (Ned) HTC Highroad Women0:00:24
5Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Garmin - Cervelo0:00:26
6Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit0:00:32
7Trine Schmidt (Den) Garmin - Cervelo
8Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Lotto Honda Team0:02:00
9Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italy0:02:03
10Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC Highroad Women0:02:14
11Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands0:02:17
12Noemi Cantele (Ita) Garmin - Cervelo0:02:18
13Nicole Cooke (GBr) SC Mcipollini Giordana0:02:23
14Suzanne de Goede (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team0:02:26
15Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australia0:02:29
16Sophie Creux (Fra) France0:02:30
17Kirsty Broun (Aus) Australia0:02:31
18Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team0:02:32
19Alison Starnes (USA) United States of America
20Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Italy
21Monia Baccaille (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana0:02:33
22Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech0:02:34
23Sarah Düster (Ger) Nederland Bloeit
24Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany
25Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
26Aude Biannic (Fra) France
27Alessandra Borchi (Ita) Gauss
28Emilia Fahlin (Swe) HTC Highroad Women
29Shi Li Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
30Janneke Kanis (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
31Gloria Presti (Ita) Italy
32Meng Lang (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
33Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
34Emma Mackie (Aus) Australia
35Marta Bastianelli (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
36Madeleine Sandig (Ger) Germany
37Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy
38Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Gauss
39Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Honda Team0:02:43
40Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany
41Veronica Andreasson (Swe) Lotto Honda Team
42Christina Becker (Ger) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
43Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
44Lorena Foresi (Ita) Gauss
45Carlee Taylor (Aus) Australia
46Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss0:02:44
47Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australia0:03:02
48Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss0:04:01
49Eleonora Spaliviero (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:05:14
50Amy Pieters (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
51Rossella Callovi (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana0:09:37
52Ruth Corset (Aus) Australia0:09:43
53Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America0:09:52
54Shanne Braspennincx (Ned) Netherlands0:09:53
55Fanny Riberot (Fra) France
56Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
57Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France
58Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany
59Alison Testroete (Can) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
60Zhao Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
61Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands
62Jessie Daams (Bel) Garmin - Cervelo
63Kendall Ryan (USA) United States of America
64Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy
65Luo Xiaoling (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
66Laure Werner (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
67Patricia Schwager (Swi) Nederland Bloeit
68Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC Highroad Women
69Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy
70Simona Martini (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:10:02
71Katarzyna Sosna (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech0:10:16
72Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France0:12:16
73Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:17:03
74Hannah Welter (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team0:17:06
75Verena Jooss (Ger) Germany
76Emilie Blanquefort (Fra) France
77Luisa Tamanini (Ita) Gauss
78Carmen Small (USA) United States of America0:17:13
79Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands0:17:15
80Wong Wan Yin Jamie (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling0:18:31
81Huang Li (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
82Melanie Woering (Ned) Netherlands0:19:12
83Laura Fouquet (Ger) Germany
84Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands
85Coryn Rivera (USA) United States of America
86Megan Guarnier (USA) United States of America0:19:22

Points classification
1Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women35pts
2Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Lotto Honda Team28
3Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Italy27
4Monia Baccaille (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana15
5Adrie Visser (Ned) HTC Highroad Women13
6Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Garmin - Cervelo12
7Charlotte Becker (Ger) HTC Highroad Women11
8Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC Highroad Women9
9Iris Slappendel (Ned) Garmin - Cervelo7
10Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit6
11Martine Bras (Ned) Netherlands6
12Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss6
13Sarah Düster (Ger) Nederland Bloeit5
14Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss4
15Trine Schmidt (Den) Garmin - Cervelo4
16Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany4
17Rossella Callovi (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana4
18Kirsty Broun (Aus) Australia3
19Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech3
20Noemi Cantele (Ita) Garmin - Cervelo3
21Suzanne de Goede (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team3
22Alison Starnes (USA) United States of America3
23Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France3
24Nicole Cooke (GBr) SC Mcipollini Giordana2
25Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team2
26Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech2
27Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana1
28Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America1

Young rider classification
1Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) HTC Highroad Women7:51:04
2Trine Schmidt (Den) Garmin - Cervelo0:00:32
3Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC Highroad Women0:02:14
4Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australia0:02:29
5Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team0:02:32
6Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Italy
7Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech0:02:34
8Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
9Aude Biannic (Fra) France
10Emilia Fahlin (Swe) HTC Highroad Women
11Shi Li Na (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
12Gloria Presti (Ita) Italy
13Marta Bastianelli (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana
14Elena Cecchini (Ita) Italy
15Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Gauss
16Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Honda Team0:02:43
17Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany
18Lorena Foresi (Ita) Gauss
19Carlee Taylor (Aus) Australia
20Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Gauss0:02:44
21Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australia0:03:02
22Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Gauss0:04:01
23Eleonora Spaliviero (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:05:14
24Amy Pieters (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team
25Rossella Callovi (Ita) SC Mcipollini Giordana0:09:37
26Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) United States of America0:09:52
27Shanne Braspennincx (Ned) Netherlands0:09:53
28Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) Lotto Honda Team
29Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany
30Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France
31Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands
32Jessie Daams (Bel) Garmin - Cervelo
33Kendall Ryan (USA) United States of America
34Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Italy
35Luo Xiaoling (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
36Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy
37Simona Martini (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:10:02
38Katarzyna Sosna (Ltu) Vaiano Solaristech0:10:16
39Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France0:12:16
40Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) Vaiano Solaristech0:17:03
41Hannah Welter (Ned) Skil-Koga Cycling Team0:17:06
42Emilie Blanquefort (Fra) France
43Annelies Visser (Ned) Netherlands0:17:15
44Wong Wan Yin Jamie (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling0:18:31
45Huang Li (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling
46Melanie Woering (Ned) Netherlands0:19:12
47Laura Fouquet (Ger) Germany
48Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands
49Coryn Rivera (USA) United States of America

Teams classification
1HTC Highroad Women23:34:00
3Nederland Bloeit0:04:52
4Sc Mcipollini Giordana0:06:29
8Lotto Honda Team0:06:56
9Skil-Koga Cycling Team
12China Chongming-Giant0:14:13
13Vaiano Solaritech0:16:53


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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.

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