Ladies’ Tour of Qatar: Arndt secures overall as Wild takes a second stage
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Ladies’ Tour of Qatar: Arndt secures overall as Wild takes a second stage

by Ben Atkins at 9:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Qatar
Strong teams rip the race apart in the wind again after long solo break from Kendall Ryan

judith arndtKirsten Wild (Netherlands) continued her happy association with the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar with a second victory in this year’s race. The Dutch powerhouse was fastest again in the 92.5km out and back course, to and from the Katara Cultural Village in the north of the country’s capital, Doha, beating compatriots Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) and Adrie Visser (Skil-1t4i) in the dash for the line.

In fourth place was race leader Judith Arndt, who secured overall victory in the fourth edition of the desert race.

“With the team just starting out, this kind of success is terrific,” said GreenEDGE-AIS directeur sportif Rod McGee. “They rode really well over the three days. They showed us they were in great condition and really motivated with their wins in January. This win is definitely at a higher level with a bigger field and stronger teams.”

As a two time winner of the race, Wild had to be satisfied with third place overall after the stage two breakaway; she was satisfied with her race though, having taken two of the three stages.

“I came here for one victory and I’ve taken two,” said the Dutchwoman. “This gives me confidence for the rest of the season.”

After 14km the break of the day got clear as Kendall Ryan (United States) attacked into the strong headwind; sitting, as she was, in 44th place at the start of the day, some 27’27” behind race leader Arndt, she was allowed to get away and was soon building a healthy lead.

As the peloton slowed to allow riders to take natural breaks, Ryan’s lead was allowed to grow to 3'25" at the 20km mark; although this had reduced to just two minutes as she took the first intermediate sprint at Umm Garn after 27km. Wild, now chasing the points jersey with the overall out of reach, took second over the line, with Arndt third.

As the peloton hit the crosswinds of the exposed desert roads however, the 19-year-old American found her lead dropping fast as she battled the conditions alone. The strong teams ripped the bunch into pieces again and, in the 15km between the two sprints, managed to shut down Ryan completely and spit her out the back.

Arndt took the maximum points, and bonus seconds, ahead of Wild and Arndt's GreenEDGE-AIS teammate Loes Gunnewijk.

Just as it was in the first two stages, the front of the race was dominated by the Specialized-lululemon and GreenEDGE-AIS teams, with Ellen van Dijk, Charlotte Becker, Chloe Hosking and Trixi Worrack from the former, and Arndt, Gunnewijk, Jessie MacLean, Amanda Spratt and Alex Rhodes from the latter. Along with them were Liesbet De Vocht and Sarah Düster of Stichting Rabo, Visser, Wild, and two riders from MCipollini-Giambenini.

With the race now pushed along by a cross-tail wind however, the 30-second gap that the group managed to open was steadily closed down by most of the rest of the peloton. With 35km to go it was all together again, and apparently heading towards a sprint.

As she had been on stage one, Wild was the strongest finisher and took her second stage of the race.

Four bonus seconds, taken at the intermediate sprints, meant that Arndt extended her overall lead over stage two winner Worrack, and so the German veteran takes the overall prize by a slim six-second margin. Wild’s two stages secured the silver points jersey for the Dutch powerhouse, while Australian sprinter Hosking was the best young rider.

With three riders inside the top five, Specialized-lululemon took the team title.

Result stage 3
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Netherlands National Team
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon
3. Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil-1t4i
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEDGE-AIS
5. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-lululemon
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Diadora-Pasta Zara
7. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
8. Jessie MacLean (Aus) GreenEDGE-AIS
9. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini

Final overall standings
1. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEDGE-AIS
2. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 6s
3. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Netherlands National Team @ 2’06”
4. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon @ 2’57”
5. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-lululemon @ 3’04”
6. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) GreenEDGE-AIS @ 3’12”
7. Alex Rhodes (Aus) GReenEDGE-AIS @ 3’33”
8. Jessie MacLean (Aus) GreenEDGE-AIS @ 5’26”
9. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini


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