Fresh from claiming a Bronze medal in the omnium at the Olympics in Rio, Jolien D’hoore took the win at the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta today.
It seemed that the Wiggle-High5 rider intended to lead out her sprinter team mate, Chloe Hosking – but instead stayed out front, with Hosking coming second and Ale-Cipollini’s Marta Bastianelli third.
The race also formed the final round of the inaugural UCI Women’s World Tour, and of course saw Boels-Dolmans rider Megan Guarnier take the overall win – an honour she would have claimed regardless what happened in the Spanish race on the final day of the men’s Vuelta grand tour.
The race covered 87km – and was comprised of 15 laps of a near 6km course. Aside from the first and final laps, there were intermediate sprints every single time the riders passed the start/finish line – making for aggressive racing and a multitude of attempted breakaways.
With only 20km to go, two riders - Claudia Lichtenberg (Lotto-Soudal) and Simona Frapporti (Hitec Products) – successfully built up a lead of over half a minute. However, the sprinters teams were setting up their lead out trains and the duo were caught with just a few kilometres to go.
Coming in to the final turns, Boels-Dolmans were at the head of the peloton, but as the finish approached Wiggle-High5 had come to the fore. A last minute crash, as according to ORICA-AIS Loren Rowney clipped another rider’s wheel, resulted in a domino effect that caused problems for a number of riders. However, D’hoore was already over the line, with Hosking just behind her.
In the end, the top five riders from the bunch sprint were:
1. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle-High5, in 2-01-01
2. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle-High5
3. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé-Cipollini
4. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
5. Maria Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld Zannata
We had TWC writer Hanah Troop on the ground in Madrid, and will be bringing you some in-depth interviews as the inaugural WWT draws to a close soon. In the mean time, here's a gallery to give you a glimpse into today's race from women's cycling paparazzi - Velofocus.