Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) of the Netherlands took her third women’s Tour of Qatar title today after triumphing on the final stage of the fifth edition.
The 2009 and 2010 winner of the event powered to a third consecutive stage win on the Doha Corniche beating Lucinda Brand (Rabobank Liv/Giant) and Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giordana) in the final bunch sprint.
In the overall standings, Wild finished ahead of Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products UCK) and Elen Van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon).
At the start 86.5km stage from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche, Kirsten Wild’s overall lead was just three seconds on Chloe Hosking. Time bonuses or a stage win might yet give Hosking the victory.
Facing the wind, the pack remained bunched until the first intermediate sprint in Al Wakra after 38.5km, which was won by Wild ahead of Hosking and Van Dijk. That gave the Dutch leader an extra bonus second on her main rival.
Just after the sprint, nine women managed to break away: Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica-AIS), Carmen Small and Loren Rowney (both Specialized-lululemon), Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana), Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant), Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK), Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink), Audrey Cordon (Fra) France), and Shelley Olds and Jasmin Glaesser (both Team TIBCO-To The Top). Their lead grew to 1:10 after 55m before dropping down once they reached the final circuits.
The second bonus sprint at the second crossing of the line after 62.5km was claimed by Glaesser ahead of Cordon and Olds, with the chasing pack 48 seconds behind. The flead groups was eventually caught with just over two laps to go. The peloton remained bunched all the way to the finish where a splendid sprint was to take place between the strongest riders.
As on the two previous stages, Kirsten Wild powered to victory, out-sprinting Lucinda Brand (Rabobank Liv/Giant) and Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giordana). It was Wild’s sixth Tour of Qatar stage win and cemented her third overall title.
As well as the leader’s Golden Jersey, Wild also won the points classification Silver Jersey and, like last year, Chloe Hosking finishes best young rider.
1 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:09:38 2 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant 3 Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana @0:02 4 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda 5 Simona Frapporti (Ita) BePink 6 Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Italy 7 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 8 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK 9 Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy 10 Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France Overall standings 1 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 9:40:08 2 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products UCK @0:14 3 Elen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon @0:29 4 Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS 5 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @0:39 6 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS @0:42 7 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS @0:44 8 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @2:05 9 Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana @2:07 10 Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda @2:15