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Chloe Hosking second in GP Dottignies bunch sprint

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking sprinted to second place in today’s GP Dottignies, less than 30km from yesterday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen finish in Oudenaarde, just over the border into French-speaking Wallonia. The 24-year-old Australian was just beaten to the line by French sprinter Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope) at the end of the 125km race, with Fournier’s compatriot and teammate Pascale Jeuland taking third place.

“I definitely felt yesterday’s 145km,” Hosking said, referring to the part she played in Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Elisa Longo Borghini’s Flanders victory. “We didn’t really go in with the plan – actually we didn’t want a sprint at all today – we wanted to kind of mix it up and give particularly Eileen [Roe] and Mayuko [Hagiwara] some opportunities. Unfortunately the breaks just weren’t sticking, so it ended up coming down to a bunch sprint, which was not ideal because Gio [Bronzini] and I had had to do a bit of work in the race – and obviously yesterday as well.”

Japanese Champion Hagiwara managed to escape in one of the race’s numerous breakaway’s, along with former Netherlands Champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Bigla) and Australian Amy Cure (Lotto-Soudal), but several teams were keen for the race to finish in a sprint.

“Then it also started raining, and it’s a pretty technical finish, so I was a bit like: ‘I don’t want to die!’ But Gio did a really good job guiding me into position,” Hosking explained.

“I don’t know where my head was at though, because I noticed with 100 metres to go that I was on my hoods rather than in my drops,” she admitted. “I think that just the tiredness from Flanders yesterday – we didn’t get a lot of sleep – and it wasn’t an easy race, because everybody’s looking at our team now. I think we’re having to work that little bit harder.

“But I’m happy for Roxane, and it’s nice to pick up another podium and some more UCI points,” Hosking added. “I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get Eileen or Mayuko up for a result, because these are girls who do a lot of work throughout the season and don’t necessarily get to stand on the podium; so hopefully next time!”

Second place marks Hosking’s fifth visit to the podium in UCI races this season. Despite being such a central part of much of the black and orange team’s success so far – and having started 2015 with victory in the Mitchelton Bay Crits series – however, a northern hemisphere victory has just eluded the 24-year-old Australian so far.

“It’s getting annoying!” she joked. “Never being on the top, but just being on the podium.

“I’m so impressed by Wiggle Honda, and the level that the team has stepped up to this year,” she continued. “It’s really nice to be a part of that, and I feel that the morale in the team is so high, not necessarily because we’re getting really great victories, but because we all love racing together.

“I think the reason we’re getting the victories is because we all love racing together, and not the other way around!”

1. Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope)
2. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Pascale Jeuland (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope)

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