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Jolien D’hoore wins Aviva Women’s Tour stage two with a powerful uphill sprint

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore won the second stage of the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour, between Braintree and Clacton, on the Essex coast, with a powerful uphill sprint. The Belgian Champion launched herself around the final corner, with more than 250 metres to go, with the intention of leading out her teammate Giorgia Bronzini; as the Italian lost contact in the melee behind D’hoore, the Belgian held on to take the victory herself. German Champion and race leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) took second place, just under a length behind D’hoore, with Luxembourg Champion Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) third.

“The sprint was really hard,” D’hoore said after the stage. “My idea was to go from the last corner full gas. In my mind Giorgia was on my wheel, so I just went full gas from the corner. But it was still 300 metres to go, so it was pretty long; and it was headwind and uphill, so it was hard.

“It was pretty close in the end,” she continued. “I hoped Giorgia Bronzini was in my wheel, so I could do the lead out, but she wasn’t there. She told me to go from the corner, and she would see if she was in my wheel or not. So I just gave everything to the finish.”

A ten-second time bonus on the line – as well as one second picked up at an intermediate sprint – means that D’hoore is just one second behind Brennauer in the general classification, as the German took six seconds for her second place. The Belgian Champion is looking to support her teammates in the race for the yellow jersey in the three stages to come, however.

“I think the GC is more for Elisa Longo Borghini, or Giorgia,” she said. “I just wanted to go for a stage win, and I have it now. So I can stay relaxed and I will see how I go in the next stages.”

The 138km stage was dominated by a two-rider escape from young German Corinna Lechner (German National Team) and experienced Dutchwoman Vera Koedooder (Bigla), who got away just before the 50km point. The duo was able to open up a lead of almost four minutes before the peloton began to pull them back; Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling once again joined some of the other sprinters’ teams in the chase and the gap began to close steadily.

Inside the final 20km the two leaders had less than a minute of their advantage left, and Koedooder decided to leave Lechner behind. With the peloton anxious not to catch the Dutch breakaway specialist too soon, she was able to able to hold off the chase for several more kilometres, but was eventually swept up with just under four to go.

From that point the race became a high-speed dash to the Clacton seafront, where D’hoore proved herself to be the fastest on the uphill sprint.

“There was a lot of pressure on the team before the stage race,” D’hoore said. “We did a lot of work yesterday – maybe too much – so I’m happy that I could take the win today for the team.

“I’m just happy we could take a stage win,” she added. “Now we can stay relaxed, and see how it goes in the next days. We still have Giorgia for the stage win, and maybe GC, and Elisa for GC, so we will see.

“This is a boost for the whole team. We did a lot of work today as well, so I’m happy for me and the team, and maybe we can show something in the next days.”

1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM)
3. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans)


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