Hosking wins in Norway after months away due to COVID-19 positive

Hosking was sidelined for most of the season after contracting COVID-19 in early March.

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When Chloe Hosking lined up for the first stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway it would be her first time starting a race since March 28th of 2021. That’s 136 days in between races for the Australian on Trek-Segafredo.

When Hosking won the final stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway it was after months and months of uncertainty.

“It was all worth it, I guess,” Hosking said after the victory.

Hosking tested positive for COVID-19 just after Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields, and the virus sidelined her for nearly the entire summer. Normally, with so much time off of racing, Hosking would return to Australia. With the mandatory hotel quarantine and travel restrictions to go home, and the possibility that she would race again at any point, flying overseas wasn’t an option. Instead, Hosking waited it out in Europe.

“It was more mentally tough,” Hosking said of her recovery. “Australia is so far away and it’s even further when we can’t get in, and my family can’t come here. So I felt really alone for a lot of the time.”

The season started off with 16th at the National Championships. Once in Europe Hosking landed on the podium of Le Samyn des Dames. She only got in nine race days before her season took an abrupt halt.

“I was never physically super sick, but I was being told I had to take it easy,” Hosking said. And take it easy she did. For all of April, May, June, and July Hosking stayed out of the professional peloton.

After winning the final stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway Hosking was understandably emotional. Her fourth race day back after an entire summer of waiting to compete again. She had not only won a race, but she’d also bested everyone in a stage of a WorldTour stage race.

“I’m just really proud of myself,” Hosking said at the finish. “I am so thankful for the team, the whole process was ‘there’s no pressure Chloe, come back when you’re ready’ so to finish with a win in a WorldTour stage race, wow.”

Hosking’s quick thinking got her to the line first. Going into the final kilometre Lucinda Brand threw down an effort that shot herself and Hosking to the front of the peloton. Once Brand couldn’t keep the pace anymore Hosking slotted seamlessly into the Team DSM train leading the majority of the field.

“I had Lucinda Brand with me, and she’s definitely one of the best bike handlers in the peloton and for a super technical circuit like this, that’s who you need in front of you. But she was on the front early so I knew I had to surf wheels”

For a second it looked like Hosking had made the move too early. She was on the front too far out from the line with the most formidable opponent on her wheel, Coryn Rivera. But instead of slowing down Hosking upped the pace, making it impossible for anyone to come around. When she was finally all-out sprinting it was too late for anyone to try to beat her.

“Coming into the final s-bend I was like ‘screw it’, I’m just going to take all the road and hope no one can come past me,” Hosking said.

Not the first time Hosking had been in the fight for this particular stage, it was the icing on the cake that after such a long break it was the sprint into Halden where she announced to the peloton she was back.

“I could see in my training that it was coming up and coming up, and I was looking at [Tour of] Norway to help me build for the racing coming later in the season,” Hosking said. “I love this race, I love this stage, I’ve finished fourth, fifth, sixth on this stage before, so I think this is my fourth try and I finally got the line right.”

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