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Chloe Hosking beats Vos to take first 2015 win at the Marianne Vos Classic

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking has taken her long-awaited first UCI victory of the 2015 season at the Marianne Vos Classic, in Aalburg, Netherlands. The 24-year-old Australian outsprinted former World Champion Vos (Rabo-Liv) herself at the end of the  tough, attritional 121km race, ahead of Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS). Hosking’s Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Elisa Longo Borghini took fourth place, three seconds behind, as an elite leading group began to split in the final kilometres.

“It’s so nice to put my hands up in the air, rather than watch Jolien [D’hoore], Gio [Bronzini] or Elisa do it,” Hosking laughed. “It’s been so fantastic this year, the team’s had so many wins, and I’ve been there for a lot of them but it has’t been me! It’s really, really nice to be on the top step.”

Following a fast start, which saw several riders lose contact at the rear of the peloton, a group of 13 riders got away after 23km, containing many of the race’s big names. Hosking and Longo Borghini also had Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Eileen Roe for company, but Vos also had Roxane Knetemann and Moniek Tenniglo, Pieters had Julia Soek, Johansson had Chloe McConville, and there were three riders from Parkhotel-Valkenburg in Janneke Ensing, Chanella Stougje and Natalie van Gogh.

By the time it crossed the finish line for the first time, after 35km, the group was more than a minute and a half ahead of the next group on the road. On the flat, windy parcours McConville, and then Stougje, lost contact with the others, however, leaving 11 up front. The gap continued to grow, to almost three and a half minutes as the leaders began the first of three 11.3km finishing circuits, which meant that the winner was almost certain to come from this group.

“It was really, really windy so it was always going to split up, so we had to make sure we were ready for it to happen,” Hosking explained. “We knew that we had to be at the front, but we were only four so we couldn’t really afford to be the ones that started the echelon. When it did split we had three there, which was really fantastic, and I think we rode quite smart. We all conserved our energies, but we didn’t miss turns, so we didn’t annoy anybody.

“In the last 30km the games started to get played,” said Hosking. “Rabo was the dominant team, and we knew they wanted to win; it’s the Marianne Vos Classic, so of course they wanted to win! I spoke to the girls, and we said that we’d follow a Rabo girl each, because they had three as well.”

Knetemann began to attack the group, then Vos – who has won five of the last seven editions of the race named after her – put in a big move as the group began the second lap, but the former World Champion was quickly chased down. Tenniglo and van Gogh briefly got clear midway through the final lap, followed by a another move from Knetemann, but everything was chased down and the splintering group entered the final kilometre heading for a sprint.

“Roxane Knetemann was really active: I covered a couple of her attacks, Eileen covered a couple and Elisa covered some too!” Hosking exclaimed.

“In the end I think I timed the sprint perfectly, I jumped on Amy Pieters’ wheel with probably 300 to go. I thought maybe I was a little bit boxed on – Vos came on my outside – so I went back, then went forward, and I felt really, really good in the sprint!

“I’m really happy to get the victory today, especially after we rode so well as a team. It was so nice to see both Elisa and Eileen in the front group with me. I was so proud of them, especially Eileen, she said to me that it was so good to be part of the race, and she really was! She had a huge impact on the win today, and that was fantastic!”

1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv)
3. Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur)
4. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

10. Eileen Roe (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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