Dutch sprinter takes race lead as crosswinds take their toll


Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) won the first stage of the 2014 Ladies Tour of Qatar in dominant fashion after crosswinds wreaked havoc with the bunch.

Wild beat Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) and Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products-UCK) in a flat sprint to the line after a lead echelon of 20 riders formed with around 50km of the stage to race.

A late solo attack from Chantal Blaak (Specialized-lululemon) couldn’t upset the inevitable outcome on a tailwind finishing straight and Wild, who is the outright record holder for stage wins at the race and took her overall tally to seven, duly delivered.

“I had a heart rate of I think 190bpm [when the echelons formed],” Wild said. “But you have to pretend that it’s easy and stay calm.

“I’m happy with this stage and what happens in the next days, we’ll see. I look at it day by day but I think tomorrow will be more or less like today, maybe a big bunch sprint or maybe a smaller group.

Lizzie Armitstead finished in fifth place after making the lead group, as did last year’s runner up Hosking.

“I was fighting for Wild’s wheel and she jumped first,” Hosking explained.  “With a tailwind finish you’re not going to come around her. I made a bit of a mistake there, but I can learn from it.”

The four day race continues tomorrow with a 112.5km stage from Al Zubara to Madinat Al Shamal.

Results

2014 Ladies Tour of Qatar, stage one: Museum of Islamic Art to Mesaieed, 97km

1. Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano)
2. Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini)
3. Chloe Hosking (Hitec-Products)
4. Jolien D’Hoore (Lotto-Belisol)
5. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
6. Pascale Jeuland (France)
7. Barbara Guarischi (Ale-Cipollini)
8. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS)
9. Iris Slappendel (Rabo-Liv Women)
10. Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon) all at s.t.

Overal after stage one

1. Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) in 2-09-40
2. Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) 2-09-48.08
3. Chloe Hosking (Hitec-Products) 2-09-51.11
4. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) 2-09-54.14
5. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) 2-09-55.15
6. Jolien D’Hoore (Lotto-Belisol) 2-09-56.16
7. Pascale Jeuland (France)
8. Barbara Guarischi (Ale-Cipollini)
9. Iris Slappendel (Rabo-Liv Women)
10. Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon) rest at s.t.