Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) takes confidence from her form at the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
The British champion finished a narrow second to Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) on stage three.
After marking a number of dangerous moves inside the final 10km of another windswept sortie into the desert, the 25 year-old couldn’t quite overhaul the dominant Dutch sprinter on the headwind dash to the line.
“It was like a points race final,” she said. “It was attack, attack, attack.”
“There were about 50 sprints in the final and, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was going with instinct and I was shutting down every attack straight away, getting onto the wheel because of the wind.”
After finishing fifth on the opening stage of this year’s Ladies Tour of Qatar, Armitstead then lost over ten minutes in the hunt for the overall classification after missing the crucial split on stage two.
The Olympic silver medallist took no chances as the race splintered for a third stage in succession, making sure she was part of the decisive move of 12 riders that broke clear with around 30km to race.
Wild has again hit top form and proved unbeatable as the queen of the Qatar sprints, however Armitstead, who is using the race as part of her training for the Tour of Flanders on April 6, was delighted with her ride.
“I just stuck in her [Wild’s] wheel, I didn’t even try to come round,” she said. “I was happy just that it came down to who was the strongest in the final rather than who was the fastest, and it played to my advantage.”