PRESS: Hosking Restores Team Morale With Final Tour Of Qatar Stage Victory
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking ended what has been a mixed Ladies Tour of Qatar for the black and orange squad on a massive high note with victory in the final stage. The Australian sprinter managed to outpace ten-time Qatar stage winner Kirsten Wild on the Doha Corniche finish, at the end of the short, fast, 73km stage, with Monique van de Ree (Lares-Waowdeals) in third.
I think it was a sprint that I really actually thought about, leading into it,” Hosking said. “I definitely used what I’ve learned, riding with Egon [van Kessel] and Jolien [D’hoore] and obviously it worked out!
“We were doing circuits. There was a bit of wind, but it didn’t really have that much of an impact on the race. It sort of strung it out a bit, but it didn’t split it.”
Despite the flat course, which began at Doha’s Aspire Zone, there were a number of attempts to escape the peloton, including one from Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Olympic Champion Dani King. With so many sprinters in the peloton, however, a bunch finish was almost inevitable.
“There were three girls riding ahead – individually – but they never got together, so they were all riding time trials!” Hosking explained. “Coryn [Rivera, UnitedHealthcare] got around a minute, and then Dani went up the road with about four laps to go – and she got about 30 seconds. In the end though – this circuit is so fast – it all got back together and we came up with the goods!
“The girls were really great in the last two laps. We got together as a team and they pulled me up and put me in a perfect position!”
Hosking’s victory comes as a welcome morale-boost for Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling after poor results in stage three were described by Directeur Sportif Egon van Kessel as “the biggest disaster” since he has been with the black and orange team. Hosking’s lead out riders controlled the final kilometres perfectly, and placed their sprinter in the perfect place to launch herself to victory.
“That’s something that Egon has said to us,” Hosking explained. “He’s really proud that we raced yesterday, even though we screwed up, and then how we bounced back today. He said to us that we can really take a lot from that as a team.
“It was a really, really disappointing day for us yesterday, and it’s not an easy thing to just switch your mindset around,” she added. “Cycling is physical, but it’s also mental, so I think we did a great job in keeping the team spirit; then just saying ‘screw it’ and going out today and coming up with the goods.”
Thanks to her third place from the stage two breakaway, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Amy Pieters finished her first race with the team in sixth place overall, just 53 seconds behind winner Trixi Worrack of Canyon-SRAM, while Hosking’s consistent finishing saw her placed ninth.