Melissa Hoskins sprinted her way onto her first European podium of the season at Ronde van Gelderland. One of four ORICA-AIS riders to make the front group, Hoskins enjoyed a strong show of support from her teammates en route to her third place finish. Kirsten Wild (Giant Shimano) took the win ahead of Jolien d’Hoore (Lotto Belisol).
The race was a stressful affair from start to finish with six hills, narrow roads, high winds and the usual assortment of road furniture as obstacles. From the gun the race repeatedly split and regrouped with no breakaway group ever earning clearance to secure a sizeable gap. With all six climbs featuring in the first half of the 138 kilometre race, the Australian outfit planned to race conservatively in the hills before throwing down the gauntlet over flatter roads.
In the final hour of racing, an elite front group took shape. Twenty riders made the selection including Hoskins, Emma Johansson, Gracie Elvin and Loes Gunnewijk. Hoskins saved her legs for the sprint as her teammates chased down the repeated break attempts that underscored an animated finale.
“We’re all really happy with the way we rode as a team. We were always together, always at the front and always communicating. I think a major source of frustration last week during Energiewacht was that we struggled a little bit with positioning and communication. Today was definitely a step in the right direction and the main positive to come out of today.” - Melissa Hoskins