Leleivyte powers to Ladies' Tour of Qatar win
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Leleivyte powers to Ladies' Tour of Qatar win

by VeloNation Press at 12:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Qatar
 

The opening stage of the Ladies' Tour of Qatar saw Safi Pasta rider Rasa Leleivyte power her way to the finish and win the 103.5 kilometer stage from the Museum of Islamic Art to Al Khor Corniche. The Lithuanian beat the Italian team's Giorgia Bronzini and HTC-Columbia's Chloe Hoskins to the line.

For her efforts, along with the stage Leleivyte earned the overall leader's golden jersey and also leads the points and best young rider classifications.

The start of the race saw 89 riders and 15 teams take part, with the unfortunate non-start by Kuota Speed Kueens rider Amber Rais due to fractured hip during a training ride on the eve of the race.

The first break of the day went at kilometer 34, with South African Robyn De Groot (Team MTN) only able to gain 20" on the peloton on her windy 5 kilometer attempt. The wind took its toll eventually splitting the bunch into several groups, with last year's winner Kirsten Wild making the front split of 22. Her Cervelo TestTeam delivered her perfectly for the first intermediate sprint.

During the second half of the race the lead group swelled to 60, with Lotto Ladies Team's Veronica Andreasson and Team MTN's Trine Schmidt putting in the only attack of significance. The pair managed to gain 40 seconds on the peloton, but the harsh Qatari winds helped to bring the escapees back into the fold at the 82 kilometer mark. Wild's TestTeam again proved the strongest, bringing her into the second intermediate sprint perfectly.

By the time the race reached the finishing city of Al Khor, the wind-swept peloton had been whittled down to just 30 riders. This time Wild couldn't take the sprint after a puncture 500 meters from the line opened the door for Leleivyte's victory, putting her in control of the race with a 4 second advantage over Bronzini and Wild.

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