Ladies Tour of Qatar announces fifteen teams for next week’s race
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ladies Tour of Qatar announces fifteen teams for next week’s race

by Ben Atkins at 11:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
 
Nine trade teams and six national teams for women’s season opener in the desert

giorgia bronziniFifteen teams of six riders will contest this year’s Ladies’ Tour of Qatar, the race organiser ASO announced today. The race, won by Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild in both of its previous editions, starts on Wednesday in the middle eastern peninsular with three stages over a total of 291.5km.

Just like in the men’s race, which follows two days later, the three stages are run over the entirely flat roads that cross the country’s desert areas. Because there are virtually no contours in the landscape, and so no hills to climb, all stages are virtually certain to end in bunch sprints. Both of Wild’s victories have been as a result of time bonuses, which are 3, 2 and 1 seconds at intermediate sprints, and 10, 6 and 4 seconds on the finish line.

The first stage will begin at the Camel Race Track, in the centre of the country, finishing on the west coast in Dukhan. The other two tages will be concentrated on the east coast and the capital Doha, with stage two running between the Museum of Islamic Art and Lusail, and stage three between Al Dayeen and the Doha Corniche.

Wild is currently concentrating on racing on the track and so will be not be present at the race and go for a hat-trick of victories. Her AA Drink-Leontien.nl is not one of those attending anyway, although she could ride as a member of the Netherlands national team.

The favourite for this year’s race will be World champion Giorgia Bronzini, who will lead the Italian national team once more. The 27-year-old has finished as runner-up to Wild in both previous races, winning three stages (two in 2009, one last year) on the way. In the absence of Wild, and the retired Eva Lutz, Bronzini may be the only previous stage winner present, although last year’s stage 1 winner Rasa Leleivyte may ride for her new team Vaiano Solaristech.

The race will see the competitive debut of the new MCipollini-Giordana team, with two of its three former World champions in the race. With the race a little flat for 2009 champion Tatiana Guderzo, the team may well be putting its energy behind the pace of 2008 champion Nicole Cooke.

Other sprinters likely to feature include 2009 third place Kirsty Broun, who leads the Australian team, and Commonwealth champion Rochelle Gilmore, whose Honda-Lotto team also includes Liz Hatch. Martine Bras will lead the Netherlands national team.

For many other riders, just as their male counterparts, the race will provide the opportunity for some warm weather training before the European season starts with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 26th.

Third Ladies Tour of Qatar, February 2nd to 4th
Stage 1 – Camel Race Track to Dukhan, 104.5km
Stage 2 – Museum of Islamic Art to Lusail, 94.5km
Stage 3 – Al Dayeen to Doha Corniche, 92km

Trade teams for 3rd Ladies Tour of Qatar (with notable riders):
China Chongming-Giant (GPC): Gu Hui Li
Garmin-Cervelo (CWT): Noemi Cantele
Gauss (GAU): Alessandra Borchi
HTC Highroad Women (TCW): Ellen Van Dijk
Lotto Honda Team (LHT): Rochelle Gilmore, Liz Hatch
Nederland Bloeit (NLB): Loes Gunnewijk
SC MCipollini Giodana (MCG): Nicole Cooke, Tatiana Guderzo
Skil-Koga Cycling Team: Suzanne De Goede, Roxane Knetemann
Vaiano Solaritech (VAI): Valentina Bastianelli

National teams for 3rd Ladies Tour of Qatar (with notable riders):
Australian national team (AUS): Kirsty Broun
French national team (FRA): Pascale Jeuland
German national team (GER): Lisa Brennauer
Italian national team (ITA): Giorgia Bronzini
Netherlands national team (NED): Martine Bras
United States national team (USA): Jacquelyn Crowell

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