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Chloe Hosking Closes Drenthe Weekend With Second Place In Novilon Eurocup

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking closed a near-perfect weekend in the Drenthe region of the Netherlands with a close second place in the Novilon Eurocup behind Dutch super-sprinter Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products). The 24-year-old Australian has spent the last eight days working tirelessly for her teammates – providing Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore with a  perfect lead out in yesterday’s Ronde van Drenthe – but this time was to be the protected rider herself. She finished less than a wheel behind Wild at the end of the 134km race, with Luxembourg Champion Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) just behind them in third.

“The girls said they were seeing black and couldn’t ride in a straight line anymore,” Hosking joked about the work done by teammates D’hoore, Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Elisa Longo Borghini. “Jolien dropped me onto Wild’s wheel with about one kilometre to go and I only just missed getting her on the line.”

The race, like the other Drenthe races – the Drentse 8 and Ronde van Drenthe – was characterised by the sharp bumpy cobbles that are typical of the region, and the wind that had been missing for the first two races made its presence felt.

“The race split to pieces within a few kilometres,” Hosking explained. “Rabobank started hitting it in the crosswinds and it was just a scrambling act to try and get in the echelon. Jolien and I managed to slot in and we were rolling with the group of about fifteen for the next 80km.

“Unfortunately Audrey got caught in a crash and Elisa was waiting so those girls missed the front split. But it all came back together with 40km to go anyway.”

Several attacks followed and, with 20km to go, Dutch Champion Iris Slappendel (Bigla) and Tayler Wiles (Velocio-SRAM) managed to escape. They were later joined by Lucinda Brand (Rabobank) and the three riders looked to have the race sewn up between them. A powerful chase from Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling saw them caught before the finish, however.

“Yeah three girls escaped on the finish and it was sort of a ‘do we or don’t we’ situation,” Hosking explained. “It was clear the other teams were waiting for us, so with 10km to go the girls all jumped on the front and did an incredible job to close the gap. We only caught the lead three with about one kilometre to go.”

The Novilon Eurocup was Hosking’s fifth race in just eight days, with the Australian’s tireless teamwork contributing to Longo Borghini’s third place in the Strade Bianche, and the victories of Giorgia Bronzini in the Drentse 8, and D’hoore in the Omloop van Het Hageland and the Ronde van Drenthe.

This time Hosking’s teammates would be working for her, and the Australian only narrowly missed out on Wiggle Honda’s fourth victory in a week.

“It was so awesome for the girls to back me one hundred percent today,” she said. “In the other races we’ve gone in and said we’ll talk in the race to see who feels the best but in the camper today they said: ‘we go for Chloe.’

“It’s disappointing not to have finished off their hard work, but second isn’t terrible at the end of the day.”

1. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products)
2. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans)

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