Women’s Tour of Qatar sees sprinters kick off 2012 UCI season
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Women’s Tour of Qatar sees sprinters kick off 2012 UCI season

by Ben Atkins at 6:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
The strong winds promise to be the main obstacle as usual in desert race

giorgia bronziniThe “Ladies Tour of Qatar” will kick off the International Cycling Union (UCI) elite women’s season on Wednesday, with sprinters expected to dominate the three-day desert race as usual. In the three editions of the race so far, only two stages have ever been taken by breakaway riders, although the crosswind-shattered peloton often makes the results appear otherwise. The Netherlands has taken the overall victory every time, through super-sprinter Kirsten Wild in 2009 and 2010, and rouleur Ellen van Dijk – the winner of one of those two breakaway stages – taking the gold jersey in last year’s edition.

With all of the top teams building their teams around sprinters, the race promises to run as usual, with the pan-flat terrain offering little to prospective escapees.

Van Dijk will wear number one in the race, but will likely find herself in the service of Specialized-lululemon’s Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking.

Wild returns to the race, after sitting out the 2011 edition, at the head of the Netherlands national team, and will doubtless be hunting a third title. The 29-year-old from the Overijssel province in the east of the Netherlands won only one stage in her two-year domination of the race though – winning the race through time bonuses at intermediate sprints – and will come under pressure from those who beat her to the line once more.

The record stage-winner in Qatar is double World champion Giorgia Bronzini, who returns at the head of her new Diadora-Pasta Zara team. The canny 28-year-old is preparing for the track World championships in April and travels to the Middle East in good form.

I know the Tour of Qatar well,” said the World champion. “I came second in the standings in 2009 and 2010. There are three intense, harsh stages, with temperatures of around 20 degrees, where the number one problem is the strong wind, which can also affect the performance of a stage.

“What do I expect?” she asked. “To win a sprint; I ride with a team where we have everything we need to do well.”

The proximity to the weekend’s cyclocross World championships means that World number one Marianne Vos will not be part of the Stichting Rabo team – although it has not stopped Skil-1t4i’s Linda van Rijen and Italy’s Valentina Scandolara from being named in their teams – but the team will be at almost full strength with several powerful rouleurs behind sprinter Roxane Knetemann.

The other former stage winner to return to the race is two-time Italian champion Monia Baccaille (MCipollini-Giambenini), who won the last of last year’s race. The USA team will be led by Wild’s new AA Drink-Leontien.nl teammate Shelley Olds; while the race sees the first appearance outside Australia for the new GreenEDGE-AIS team, which boasts World time trial champion Judith Arndt, and newly crowned Australian champion Amanda Spratt.

“We see from previous years with the wind, and the way the weather conditions can really play a part,” said Spratt in a GreenEDGE video interview. “Whether you have a sprinter, or not, it’s about positioning.”

Stage 1: Wednesday 1st February – Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche (97km)
Stage 2: Thursday 2nd February – Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal (114.5km)
Stage 3: Friday 3rd February – Katara Cultural Village to Katara Cultural Village (92.5km)

Start List (According to Cicloweb.it)

1. Ellen Van Dijk
2. Charlotte Becker
3. Lisa Brennauer
4. Katie Colclough
5. Chloe Hosking
6. Trixi Worrack

Diadora-Pasta Zara
11. Giorgia Bronzini
12. Alona Andruk
13. Polona Batagelj
14. Inga Cilvinaite
15. Giulia Donato
16. Edita Janeliunaite

Netherlands National Team
21. Kirsten Wild
22. Martine Bras
23. Birgit Lavrijssen
24. Winanda Spoor
25. Anna Van der Breggen
26. Laura Van Der Kamp

Stichting Rabo Women Team
31. Iris Slappendel
32. Liesbet De Vocht
33. Sarah Düster
34. Lauren Kitchen
35. Roxane Knetemann
36. Rebecca Talen

United States National Team
41. Jacquelyn Crowell
42. Shelley Olds
43. Coryn Rivera
44. Kendall Ryan
45. Samantha Schneider
46. Tayler Wiles

51. Monia Baccaille
52. Marta Bastianelli
53. Alessandra Borchi
54. Elena Cecchini
55. Tatiana Guderzo
56. Marta Tagliaferro

German National Team
61. Janine Bubner
62. Elke Gebhardt
63. Romy Kasper
64. Stephanie Pohl
65. Madeleine Sandig
66. Anna-Bianca Schnitzmeier

71. Judith Arndt
72. Loes Gunnewijk
73. Tiffany Cromwell
74. Jessie MacLean
75. Alexis Rhodes
76. Amanda Spratt

Italian National Team
81. Noemi Cantele
82. Beatrice Bartelloni
83. Maria Giulia Confalonieri
84. Eleonora Patuzzo
85. Valentina Scandolara
86. Chiara Vannucci

91. Ludivine Henrion
92. Ann Sophie Duyck
93. Kaat Hannes
94. Kim Schoonbaert
95. Cherise Taylor
96. Katrien Van Looy

France National Team
101. Aude Biannic
102. Audrey Cordon
103. Pascale Jeuland
104. Nathalie Jeuland
105. Mélodie Lesueur
106. Aurore Verhoeven

Hitec Products-Mistral Home
111. Johanna Bergseth
112. Tone Hatteland
113. Elisa Longo Borghini
114. Sara Mustonen
115. Lise Nöstvold
116. Froydis Waerstad

121. Regina Bruins
122. Janneke Kanis
123. Amy Pieters
124. Esra Tromp
125. Linda Van Rijen
126. Adrie Visser

China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling
131. Li Chen
132. Dong Yan Huang
133. Xin Liu
134. Xiao Ling Luo
135. Yunyun Yuan

Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012
141. Ine Beyen
142. Latoya Brulee
143. Gilke Croket
144. Maaike Polspoel
145. Edith Vanden Brande
146. Anisha Vekemans


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