Well that’s cycling for you. Kirsten Wild of Hitec had a complete mare today during the second stage of the Tour of Qatar. First she found herself caught outside of the leading group when crosswinds broke up the peloton, then she was caught up in an accident that led to her eventually finishing almost 4 minutes down on eventual winner Katrin Garfoot of Orica AIS. Hitec posted on their Facebook:
“After 48km in the headwind the peloton got shattered as they turned in to the strong crosswind. When our girls and Kirsten in the leader’s jersey did not make the front selection, the riders who made the front group saw the opportunity and worked together to keep the split. As the Hitec girls worked to catch up to the front, Kirsten’s back wheel was hit by another rider and the impact broke her derailleur. A bike change resulted in more lost time for Kirsten who, after getting back to the leftovers of the peloton, got caught in a crash. After this it was all about limiting the damage and get to the finish.“
The leading group took full advantage of this unexpected turn, and worked together in a very large breakaway for much of the race. Towards the last few kms a small group attacked, containing Garfoot, Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM), Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5) and Romy Kasper (Boels Dolman). During the last 5kms they stopped working together and Garfoot took the opportunity to attack once more and win with a margin of 13seconds over Worrack in second place and Pieters in third. You can see a video of the last 4kms here, a race report here, and the full results here.
Garfoot leads by 17seconds in the GC, with Orica AIS, Canyon SRAM, Wiggle High5 and Boels Dolman all with a rider within reach of the leaders jersey. UHC and RaboLiv have been strangely anonymous so far, time is fast running out to get into the top 10. Shelley Olds of Cylance,Marta Tagliaferro of Ale Cipolinni and Monique van de Ree of Lares Waowdeals are the highest placed of those outside the big 7 teams. On social media there was a lot of talk about bad timing, missed opportunities by those who felt caught out by the racing today. Stage 3 is 112kms from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal (route here). Hitec will be out to salvage the points jersey for Wild, and Orica AIS will have a vulnerable GC lead to defend. If Wiggle High5 decide to ride for Pieters then I think she will be difficult for Garfoot to beat, but if there is a breakaway I’ll stick with Ale Cipollini to get a stage win for one of their team.
The Aviva Womens Tour of Britain has announce their route for 2016, and it is a big departure from previous editions:
Stage 1: Southwold to Norwich
Stage 2: Atherstone to Stratford upon Avon
Stage 3: Ashbourne to Chesterfield
Stage 4: Nottingham to Stoke on Trent
Stage 5: Northampton to Kettering
It starts on the 15th June and has noticeably more climbs than previous years. Tour website can be found here. It will probably be shown on ITV4 live again, which will be confirmed nearer to the time.
VeloUK have an interview with Ellie Dickinson of Drops Cycling, who will start her season at Zwevezele Ladies Classic on the 19th of March. You can read it here.
larutadelescarabajo.com have an article on filming races that is quite interesting, which can be found here.