Van Dijk leads strong Specialized lululemon team in Tour of Qatar
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Van Dijk leads strong Specialized lululemon team in Tour of Qatar

by VeloNation Press at 2:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former HTC Highroad women’s squad wants big start to the year

Ellen Van DijkDefending champion Ellen van Dijk will spearhead a strong Specialized lululemon team in the 2.1-ranked Tour of Qatar, which gets the team’s season underway next Wednesday.

She will be joined by Katie Colclough, Trixi Worrack, Charlotte Becker, Lisa Brennauer and Chloe Hosking and will aim to be on top of the podium once again.

The Dutchwoman won a stage last year and, more importantly, snagged both the overall classification and the young rider competition. The display – which also helped the squad take the team classification - showed the speed she has developed on the track.

Van Dijk is a former world scratch race champion, and is perfectly suited for the flat, fast roads of Qatar.

“The race unfolded perfectly for the team last year and it was great to start the season on such a high,” she said. “But I won't be disappointed if I don't win it all again. Just one jersey would be enough,” she joked.

Directeur sportif Jens Zemke is guiding the women at the race and would like to see them take up where its predecessor, the dominant HTC Highroad, left off. “We want to show that we are ready for a great season with many highlights, like Olympics the World Cups and the new world-championship in team-time-trial,” he said.

The women’s race precedes the men’s event, and takes place over three stages. Wednesday’s opening leg is over 97 kilometres from the Camel race track to Al Khor Corniche, while Thursday and Friday’s stages are 114.5 and 92.5 kilometres respectively, finishing at Madinat Al Shamal and Katara Cultural Village.

The women’s race finishes on Friday February 3rd, three days before the men’s event starts.

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