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Three victories in one day for Jolien D’hoore and Mayuko Hagiwara!

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s riders scored an incredible three wins in a single day today, as Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore won both stages 2a and 2b in the BeNe Ladies Tour, while Mayuko Hagiwara took the third stage of the Tour de Bretagne in western France. D’hoore, who won stage one yesterday, now has a perfect record in the three-day race on the Belgian/Netherlands border, and holds a commanding overall lead going into the final day tomorrow.

“The time trial was a bit unexpected,” D’hoore smiled. “I didn’t know I could win it, and then the road race this afternoon we did an amazing teamwork. We did a perfect race; controlled the race with only four girls; everybody did an amazing job!”

As race leader, by virtue of her stage win yesterday, D’hoore started the time trial in Sint Lauriens, Belgium, close to the border with the Netherlands, as last rider. The fastest time had been set by Duyck, who covered the 6.3km course in a time of eight minutes and 23 seconds. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Nettie Edmondson was in provisional fourth place, just 10 seconds behind Duyck, but D’hoore was to go even faster, and finished 2 seconds faster.

“The time trial was only six kilometres, and the Belgian Champion Ann-Sophie Duyck had the fastest time, but I could beat her by just two seconds,” D’hoore confirmed. “It wasn’t much, but it was enough!”

The afternoon’s 101.3km road race followed a similar course to the previous day, although it contained far fewer cobblestones. A two-rider break managed to escaped midway through but, as soon as they began to threaten D’hoore’s overall lead, the riders of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling set to work to pull them back.

“We had a cobbled section of 1.1km,” D’hoore explained. “It was not too bad. Yesterday we had more cobbles.

“There were two girls out front, and they had about 50-55 seconds” she continued. “Then Nettie and Chloe [Hosking] started working. We didn’t have much support from the other teams – there was Lotto, but the girls did most of the job. In the finish I just had to follow Chloe, that was all!

“They didn’t try anything today,” D’hoore said of her sprint rivals. “It wasn’t easy, but I expected more from them.”

Her time trial victory, as well as time bonuses at the finish line and at intermediate sprints, mean that D’hoore goes into the third and final day with a lead of 22 seconds over of Mackaij. With six riders within a minute of the Belgian Champion – including her own teammate Edmondson – D’hoore will have to remain vigilant, but remains confident of holding on to her blue jersey.

“I just have to go for the intermediate sprints anyway, and then we will see for the final,” she said. “The whole team is confident.

“We had a big winning day today, and also with Mayuko, so we’re really happy about it!”

Hagiwara is Tour of Bretagne riding as part of a Reva Cycling Ladies mix team, which was to include Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s local rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot had she not fractured her collarbone in the Giro Rosa. The Japanese Champion escaped the peloton with late in the 124km stage, between Plédran and Yffiniac, and managed to hold off the chase all the way to the finish.

“This team is Audrey’s local team, but we missed her from her injury in the Giro,” Hagiwara explained. “It was big loss for us but she came to the race today and gave advice, a lot of information of the race. It is one of the big reasons that I could win today. In stages one and two, I was suffering from fatigue after the Giro, but today I change mind, and remembered Audrey’s advice

“Until the local lap, the bunch was still big,” the Japanese champion continued. “Then, with four laps of the local lap to go, a breakaway happened on the climb. There were eight riders, with three from the Russian team, but I could jump to the group and then I counterattacked.

“Nobody followed me and I just tried to keep going until the finish line.”

The victory is Hagiwara’s second in the space of nine days, following her historic stage win at the Giro Rosa. It is also her second podium in Brittany this season, after her third place in the Grand Prix Plumelec-Morbihan back in May.

“I am really appreciate that my mix team and Audrey,” she said. “I really appreciate that I can ride with them on this race.

“Also in the race I hear Audrey’s cheering on the road,” Hagiwara added. “I rode for her today because if she was there, she would possibly become the winner. I really hope she comes back soon and for sure she will come back stronger.”

Result BeNe Ladies Tour Stage 2a
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Topsport Vlaanderen-ProDuo)
3. Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)

Result BeNe Ladies Tour Stage 2b
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Floortje Mackaij (De Jonge Renner/Liv-Plantur)
3. Sara Mustonen (Sweden)

Result Tour de Bretagne Feminin Stage 3
1. Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Emilie Moberg (Hitec Products)
3. Ilaria Sanguinetti (BePink-La Classica)


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