Two former winners returned to the Ladies Tour of Qatar this year. Ellen van Dijk took the GC in 2014, Kirsten Wild already has four wins of the Ladies Tour of Qatar to her name. Both Dutchwomen are looking for a chance at a World Championships title later this year and came to the desert for an early dress rehearsal. Wild also targets the Olympics in Rio on track, but added Qatar to her schedule to start in the race she loves so much.
When Wild took stage 1 in a bunch sprint, her 10th (!) stage win in Qatar in total, it looked like she would be completely dominating the race this year again. Everything got turned around though, when crosswinds made it possible for echelons to form in stage 2 and Wild both crashed and suffered a mechanical, losing the leader’s position by minutes.
Ellen van Dijk didn’t really have chances for a second overall win either, but both riders did come back from Qatar with a stage win, since Ellen van Dijk won stage 3 – the carbon copy of stage 2 last year, which she had won as well. Both women were able to add something to the single stage win: Ellen van Dijk moved up to third place in the GC after her stage win and was able to consolidate that position, Wild took home the silver points jersey.
Chloe Hosking provided us with a rider diary each day and it was hard to read her mood getting lower after each stage: missing out on the win in stage 1, dropping in the GC in stage 2 and losing hope of the GC podium for the entire Wiggle High5 team after the third. We were very happy that in her diary of stage 4, she was able to tell us about her win!
Relive the race through all four of Chloe’s rider diary’s and through the lens of Balint Hamvas and Sean Robinson of Vélofocus.
Stage 1 – Kirsten Wild takes her tenth stage win in the Ladies Tour of Qatar
Stage 2 – a solo win brings Katrin Garfoot the golden leader’s jersey
Stage 3 – Ellen van Dijk wins the exact same stage she won last year
Stage 4 – Chloe outsprints everyone in the stage; Trixi Worrack wins the GC