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Jolien D’hoore wraps up BeNe Tour overall as Chloe Hosking third on final stage

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore wrapped up her overall victory in the 2015 BeNe Ladies Tour, as Chloe Hosking took third place on the final stage, in Zelzate, Belgium. Victory in the first three stages had given the Belgian Champion a commanding lead in the general classification and, with Alison Tetrick (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) taking the third stage in a solo break, D’hoore led out her teammate Hosking for the sprint for second place. The Australian was narrowly beaten to the line by British sprinter Lucy Garner, riding for the De Jonge Renner/Liv-Plantur mix team.

“Today was pretty hectic because everybody was looking at us, so it was hard to control the race,” D’hoore said. “There was a breakaway halfway through the race, and we had Nettie [Edmondson] in front, so for us that was perfect and the other teams had to chase. Lotto had to pull.

“Then the breakaway was caught, and there were some attacks, and in the end it was Alison Tetrick who was solo in front. Everybody again was looking at us, and Nettie did a lot of work, together with Amy [Roberts], and me and Chloe could save ourselves a bit for the final sprint.”

Tetrick, who started the day 1’07” behind D’hoore in the general classification, managed to get almost a minute clear, which might have given her the overall victory with the time bonus on the line. The Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rides refused to panic, however, and – working with the Lotto-Soudal team – were able to close her down to a more manageable margin on the approach to the finish.

In the end, Tetrick’s margin of victory was just 12 seconds, which meant that the American was no threat to D’hoore’s overall victory.

“In the end we couldn’t close the gap because we couldn’t do it alone, but it wasn’t necessary because if we kept the gap at 25 seconds, 30 seconds, we were safe; so that’s what we tried,” D’hoore explained. “She had 55 seconds, but [Directeur Sportif Egon van Kessel] told us not to panic, and to wait for the last ten kilometres to close the gap, because otherwise there could be other attacks if we catch her too early.

“We did what we were told to, and in the end I did the lead out for Chloe,” she added. “In the end we won the race, and we had third place with Chloe, so it was all good!”

D’hoore’s overall victory extends her near-perfect record in the new race, which skirts the Belgium-Netherlands border, after her two stage victories and second place overall in last year’s inaugural edition. 2014 saw the Belgian Champion narrowly lose to Emma Johansson, thanks to the Swedish Champion time trial victory, despite D’hoore winning both road stages.

“Last year I lost it by two seconds,” D’hoore confirmed. “This year was a lot better; I feel a lot stronger, and also with the support of my team it makes a big difference.”

This year was to be different, however, with D’hoore finishing the race 23 seconds ahead of Floortje Mackaij (De Jonge Renner/Liv-Plantur), and 46 seconds ahead of Italian Champion Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) in third.

“I’ve been second a few times, like the Women’s Tour, but I don’t think I’ve won a stage race before,” D’hoore smiled.

1. Alison Tetrick (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2. Lucy Garner (De Jonge Renner/Liv-Plantur)
3. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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

2. Floortje Mackaij (De Jonge Renner/Liv-Plantur)
3. Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal)


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