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Chloe Hosking secures WorldTour stage race victory in the Tour of Chongming Island

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking secured the final overall victory of the Tour of Chongming Island, the first stage race of the 2016 Women’s WorldTour, on the final circuit race stage. Having taken vital bonus seconds at the stage’s intermediate sprint, the Australian needed only to watch her main general classification rival Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) at the finish to secure the win.

The chaotic finish was won by Ting Ying Huang (Chinese Taipei), who had won the opening stage in similar conditions, ahead of Roxane Fournier (Poitou.Charentes-Futuroscope) and Ilona Hoeksma (Parkhotel Valkenberg); Hosking finished safely behind them and, because Kirchmann failed to take any of the finish line bonuses, Hosking was crowned overall winner.

“I’m so proud of our team,” an elated Hosking said afterwards. “The girls really rose to the occasion today and rode like they were protecting the yellow jersey. I kind of felt like the proud mother hen sitting at the back of the peloton and just watching them control everything.

“I picked up two seconds in the first intermediate sprint which took me to five seconds ahead of Leah and 11 seconds ahead of everyone else. After the second intermediate sprint I got the information from Nico, that barring disaster, the only person who could beat me was Leah as everyone else was 11 seconds behind me and you only pick up ten for the stage win.”

With several riders close to Hosking’s general classification position it was necessary for the riders of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling to pay close attention to any attempted breakaways on the nine laps of the 11km circuit. A solo move from Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana) saw the Polish rider gain more than a minute in the middle of the stage but, once the Polish rider was caught, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Anna Christian and Amy Roberts pounced on any rider that attempted to escape.

In the final lap Roberts and Dani King kept the pace high to prevent anybody attempting a surprise move, while Hosking sat safely on Lucy Garner’s wheel. A crash in the final few hundred metres caused widespread disruption to many of the sprint trains, but thankfully no Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling riders were affected.

In the chaos, which was similar to that of stage one, Huang was able to take the victory, which lifted the Chinese Taipei rider up to second place overall. Thanks to her intermediate sprint bonus, however, Hosking held on to win overall by one second.

“My Dad sent me a message after I won saying ‘congrats but please not so close next time,’” Hosking laughed. “I haven’t had a chance to reply to him yet but I had it under control I swear! It gets too complicated if you try to follow every leadout train so in the final sprint I just focussed my attention on Leah, if she went anywhere so did I.

“It was also special to win the tour in front of my Mum on Mother’s Day. I was so glad to be able to share the moment with her.”

With the sprint turning potentially dangerous, Hosking had decided that the safest option was the best and, with Kirchmann also hanging back, was able to cross the line without taking any undue risks.

“The sprint was totally crazy and there were some big crashes so I just kept myself upright when I saw Leah wasn’t in the points,” Hosking explained. “I mean, the yellow jersey wouldn’t look as good on if I had lost all my skin. Also, my boyfriend is waiting to celebrate with me at home and I don’t think the whole no skin look goes with my date night dress.

“This is obviously a big win for the team and myself personally as its a WorldTour race,” she added. “All the girls here can be proud of themselves and how we performed as a team to bring home the yellow jersey.”

Result Stage 3
1. Ting Ying Huang (Chinese Taipei)
2. Roxane Fournier (Poitou.Charentes-Futuroscope)
3. Ilona Hoeksma (Parkhotel Valkenberg)

Final General Classification
1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
2. Ting Ying Huang (Chinese Taipei)
3. Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur)

Photo Credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus


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