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Amy Pieters takes third place in windswept Tour of Qatar stage two

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Amy Pieters took third place at the end of an eventful second stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar, between the Sheikh Faisal Museum and the Al Khor Corniche, after aggressive riding in the desert crosswinds saw the peloton blown to pieces. The Dutch rider was part of a four-rider group that broke clear inside the final ten kilometres, but was just unable to react to a late attack from Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS).

Garfoot took the stage alone and Pieters was narrowly beaten in the race for second place by Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM), 13 seconds behind the Australian time trial champion.

“It was a hard day, but also a good day with the team,” Pieters said. “We were with three in a group of ten in the final, so that’s really good. At the end we were with 4 in a breakaway and carfoot she won solo. She went away in the last km. We tried to catch her back but she is really strong on the moment. So I sprinted to the third place

The early part of the 120km stage saw a two-rider breakaway as the peloton raced into the teeth of a stiff headwind. As the course turned across the wind, however, the breakaway was quickly caught as a group of 27 riders forged ahead, with race leader Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) notable in her absence as the Dutch sprinter suffered with technical problems.

Present in the lead group were three riders from Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling, in Pieters, Chloe Hosking and Elisa Longo Borghini; Longo Borghini then escaped with Garfoot with just over 20km to go, and the resulting counterattack saw the group reduced to ten riders, with all three black and orange athletes still present.

With five kilometres left the group of four pulled away and built a lead of almost a minute before Garfoot made her decisive move inside the final kilometre.

Hosking won the sprint for fifth place, while Longo Borghini finished eighth to give Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling the lead in the Teams Classification. Pieters now also sits in third place overall, just 19 seconds behind Garfoot, whose stage victory also saw her take the gold jersey.

“We will have a meeting later, and then we will discuss the plan for the upcoming days,” Pieters confirmed.

1. Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS)
2. Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM)
3. Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
5. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

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