Williams Takes Third On Stage One Bunch Sprint In QatarWed 3 Feb 2016
The Ladies Tour Of Qatar got underway today with a fast paced 97km first stage from Katara Cultural Village to Qatar University. Finishing on the circuit of the 2016 World Road Race Championships Lizzie Williams of ORICA-AIS took third place in the bunch sprint behind Kirsten Wild (Hi-Tec) and Annalisa Cucinotta (Ale-Cipollini) after some excellent work by the team on the wide approach to the finish.
Sports director Martin Barras was happy with the result and the encouraging signs from the team.
” The race went reasonably well from our point of view, not having a designated sprinter in the team meant it was great to see Lizzie Williams stepping up to the mark to take third place in the sprint.”
”We have been working hard on our lead-out train within the team and knew this race would provide a good test to see where we stand as a sprinting team. With this in mind the signs are really encouraging, setting the team up with a good foundation for the rest of the tour”
How it Happened:
A beautifully clear and sunny morning welcomed the riders to the start line for the eighth edition of the race which began with a surprising absence of strong winds.
After around 20km ORICA-AIS moved to the front of the peloton to raise the pace and stretch their legs. As the pace continued to rise towards the first intermediate sprint a few riders were noticeably beginning to struggle and were dropped by the group.
With the team working towards objectives both in the general classification and individual stage results they remained visible at the front of the peloton for most of the 97km stage. At around 20km to go and approaching the second intermediate sprint Chloe McConvile valiantly broke free of the group but was caught not far from the points line.
The realtively unique conditions and parcours of this race will, more often than not lend itself to the sprint teams. So as the peloton hit the final circuit with a strong tailwind the speed increased dramatically almost guaranteeing the bunch sprint that followed.
Katrin Garfoot also arrived in the top ten placing ninth and after stage one ORICA-AIS are leading the team classifcation.
With tomorrows second stage standing at a longer distance at 120km from the Sheikh Faisal Museum to the coastal Al Khor Corniche the team will be looking to build on a positive start to this years race.
Ladies Tour Of Qatar - Stage 1 Results:
1. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) 2:19:04
2. Annalisa Cucinotta (Ale’ Cipollini)
3. Lizzie Williams (ORICA-AIS)
Ladies Tour Of Qatar – GC after Stage 1:
1. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) 2:18.51
2. Annalisa Cucinotta (Ale' Cipollini) 0:00:07
3. Lizzie Williams (ORICA-AIS) 0:00:09