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Chloe Hosking sprints into the lead on Chongming Island Stage Two

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking won the second stage of the Tour of Chongming Island, on Chongming’s more technical western side, and catapulted herself into the overall race lead. The Australian opened her sprint early, but was able to kick again to hold off the challenge from Canadian Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) by half a length at the finish line. Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg) finished third at the end of a complicated stage that saw the peloton split several times.

“Today was a very different day from yesterday,” Hosking said. “It was windy and the course was a lot more technical which was a lot a better for our team so we wanted to take full advantage of that. We had highlighted a point about 15km from the finish line where we knew there would be crosswinds but as it turned out Liv-Plantur hit it about 20km earlier and totally shattered the peloton catching out a lot of the main General Classification riders. Dani [King] and I were there and rolled with them but it all came back together which was a bummer but I do think it took a bit of sting out of the peloton’s legs.

“It sounds stupid but as soon as the race started I just had a good feeling in my legs so I went for both intermediate sprints and picked up 5 of the maximum 6 bonus seconds on offer. That was a big confidence boost.”

With a more technical course than the previous day’s wide, straight boulevards, the stronger teams in the race were able to put more pressure on the peloton to split up the race.

“The girls were really present at the front of the peloton all day,” Hosking explained. “Anna [Christian] made big improvements from yesterday just making sure she was at the front to cover anything if it went, and Lucy [Garner] was jumping in moves which put a lot of pressure on other teams because she’s fast! Dani, Amy [Roberts] and Mayuko [Hagiwara] were also really good just putting pressure on other teams and making sure we never got put on the back foot and forced to chase like yesterday.

“Mayuko crashed as Liv put in the gutter and was forced to abandon the race which is a big blow for the team,” Hosking explained. “She’s a big asset to have to cover breaks and chase if we’re ever in that situation so she will be missed tomorrow. She hit her head so were just going to manage that and hope it’s not too serious.

“In the final I was sort of just surfing trains between Alé-Cipollini and Liv and just went at the right moment. With the down hill sprint I knew that I could start my sprint a bit earlier and it paid off.

“I’m so pleased to get the win today for the team but there’s still one more day to go.”

For Hosking the victory was all the sweeter for personal reasons too. Just as Lucy Garner had been able to race to the podium in front of her parents in the Tour de Yorkshire the previous week, the Australian had a special fan of her own in the crowd this time.

“Mum is here watching so it’s fantastic to win with her here,” she said. “I mean, Australia’s just a short 13-hour flight away, so how could she miss it?”

1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur)
3. Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg)

Photo Credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus

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