Hoskins 12th on stage two of Boels Rental Ladies TourWed 3 Sep 2014
West Australian Melissa Hoskins has finished 12th on stage two of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour this afternoon.
Swedish champion Emma Johansson was close behind in 14th to sit seventh overall, 35seconds behind race leader Ellen Van Dijk.
Hoskins was set up for the final sprint by her ORICA-AIS teammates after the day’s main breakaway of four riders was caught with less than a kilometre to ride.
The 23-year-old finished in a reduced group, two seconds behind stage winner Lisa Brennauer (SLU).
“The girls wanted to support Mel today for the sprint,” sport director Gene Bates said.
“To her credit she did the best she could. I think she got caught up a little bit coming into the finish with a couple of hundred metres to go but she was able to manage 12th.
“She will be a little bit disappointed with that result but it is what it is and we will have another crack tomorrow.”
Expecting the famous Holland winds to play a major part in proceedings, the ORICA-AIS outfit planned to break up the field mid-race.
Surprisingly, the wind didn’t arrive and the team’s efforts went unrewarded.
Later a group of four riders consisting of Willeke Knol (GIA), Michela Pavin (ALE), Carmen Small (SLU) and Anouska Koster (Futurumshop.nl Zannata) managed to create distance but had their hearts broken, caught in the final stages of the race.
“The wind is always a factor in Holland and there was a few good opportunities we had identified before the stage,” Bates said.
“We put a plan together to put it in the gutter, to try and reduce the field down to a smaller group. In the end it wasn’t really that windy and where we chose to do our effort didn’t end up being the best spot to do it.
“Then the winning move of four riders went away. It didn’t have any Rabobank or Boels girls so it was really up to these teams to bring it back.
“They did either a really good job or they were really lucky in that they brought that group back with less than a kilometre to go today.”
Tomorrow’s 129.2km stage three from Heeze to Leende is expected to produce similar racing conditions to today, the ORICA-AIS team keen to get amongst the action with an aggressive ride.
“All the girls will back themselves in a small sprint so we will look to be aggressive,” Bates said.
“As always in Holland there are lots of turns and lots of narrow roads so there is plenty of opportunities to break away again on the circuit tomorrow.”