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Fourth and Fifth for Hosking and D’hoore at Le Samyn des Dames

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking and Jolien D’hoore finished fourth and fifth respectively in Le Samyn des Dames, a 112km race close to Mons, Belgium, in the French-speaking Walloon province. The race finished in a bunch sprint, won by Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans), ahead of Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), but only after a six-rider group that included Hosking was chased down inside the final kilometres.

“It was a good race for the team,” Belgian Champion D’hoore explained. “We were very aggressive; we we’re always riding at the front of the bunch, and there was always someone in the breakaways. So it was a pretty good team effort.

“In the end – on the last local lap – Chloe was in a breakaway of six, so that was perfect for us. We played the team tactics, and I could stay in the first group, but in the last kilometre everything came back together. Everything was a bit hectic and we didn’t have the time to communicate for the sprint, so we just did our own thing and it ended up with fourth and fifth. So not bad.”

After a 62.6km opening loop around the Walloon countryside, the race finished with two laps of a 24.7km circuit, featuring three sections of cobblestones and the climb of the Rue du Calvaire. Despite splitting several on several occasions, but reforming each time, the peloton was still together as it started the final lap; but this was when the group containing Hosking got away.

With the Australian were Johansson, Van Der Breggen, Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Bigla). The six riders managed to build a lead of more than a minute but, with Boels-Dolmans deciding that they wanted more than just Guarnier in front, the Dutch team chased it down.

Despite the best efforts of the six riders in front, the break was caught with less than two kilometres to go.

“Boels had Guarnier in the breakaway, but she was not the right person for them as she’s not so fast in the finish,” D’hoore said. “So they kept attacking – one by one – but they couldn’t get away. So Ellen van Dijk decided that she’d close the gap on her own, and that’s what she did.”

As the best Belgian finisher D’hoore takes the yellow jersey as the leader in the Lotto Belgian Cup, but the Belgian Champion is not sure that the season-long competition will be one of her targets this year.

“It’s not a real objective,” she said. “It’s really nice that I have the yellow jersey right now, but if you want to keep it you have to ride every race of the Lotto Cup and I think that’s not possible. We will see how far I can go, but this is already a good start.

“It was a really big difference with [the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on] Saturday,” she added. “On Saturday I didn’t feel that good, but today was a real difference. I still felt strong at the finish, so that’s a good sign.

“I think I need maybe one or two more races and then I’ll be on my top.”

1. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv)
3. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
4. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
5. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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