Melissa Hoskins sprints to Tour of Chongming Island opener
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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Melissa Hoskins sprints to Tour of Chongming Island opener

by Ben Atkins at 10:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
GreenEdge-AIS women match their male teammate’s Giro success

melissa hoskinsThe day after her male teammate Matt Goss had sprinted to victory in the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, GreenEdge-AIS’ Melissa Hoskins was matching him with victory in the opening stage of the Tour of Chongming Island. The 21-year-old Australian beat more experienced compatriot Rochelle Gilmore (Faren-Honda) to the line, with two-time Italian champion Monia Baccaille (MCipollini-Giambenini) in third at the end of the 73.4km Chongbei stage.

“The intermediate sprints offered points and time bonuses,” Hoskins explained. “Just as importantly, they gave me a chance to see who was sprinting and get some idea as to where I was for the finish.

“I was a bit rusty at the start. The intermediate sprints reminded my body what quick speed feels like. They were the dress rehearsal for the finish.”

With an entirely flat parcours, a sprint finish was virtually inevitable, but there were a number of attacks from the AA Drink-Leontien.nl and Hitec Products-Mistral Home team, which had to be neutralised by the sprinters’ teams.

“It was very clear that the majority of the teams wanted a bunch kick, and we were confident that was what we would get,” said Hoskins. “The course didn’t present many opportunities for a break. It was too wide.

“The girls positioned me out of the wind,” she explained. “They protected me extremely well. Two kilometres out, they pushed it to front. Judith [Arndt] took the final left-hand turn and then handed things over to Jessie [MacLean]. Judith had taken us to the bottom of a small bridge, and Jessie took us over the bridge.

“Jessie gave a final push on the bridge, and then a MCipollini Giambenini attacked,” Hoskins recalled. “I sat on her wheel for about 250-meters before stepping out of her draft with 150 metres to go. Once I was out front, I was able to hold on for the win.”

Time bonuses for the victory, as well as those for intermediate sprints on the way, put Hoskins into the first yellow jersey of the race.

Result stage 1
1. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS
2. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren-Honda
3. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
4. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
5. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
6. Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl
7. Elena Cecchini (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
8. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home
9. Evgenya Romanyuta (Rus) RusVelo
10. Meng Lang (Chn) China Chongming-Giant Pro Cycling

Standings after stage 1
1. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS
2. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini @ 7s
3. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren-Honda @ 9s
4. Liesbet de Vocht (Bel) Stichting Rabo Women @ 12s
5. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 15s
6. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
7. Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl
8. Elena Cecchini (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
9. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home
10. Evgenya Romanyuta (Rus) RusVelo

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