Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) took the reins from her teammate Ellen Van Dijk in the Ladies Tour of Qatar on Thursday, winning stage 3, and slipping into the overall race lead. Van Dijk started Thursday in the GC lead after winning Wednesday’s stage.
The Briton, 26, claimed her first win of the season in a field sprint to Al Khor Corniche, after a 93.5km day that began in Souq Waqif. Second place went to American Shelly Olds (Bigla); Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv) rounded out the podium in third.
The final sprint was contested by 34 riders. The peloton split after the first intermediate sprint at 44.5km, thanks in part to the efforts of the Boels-Dolmans team.
Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-Honda) won both intermediate sprints in stage 3 to climb the overall standings, but it was not enough to overtake Armitstead or her teammate, Van Dijk.
Early in the stage, a few riders, including Alison Tetrik (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) tried solo attacks, but all were brought back.
With the time bonuses won at intermediate sprints and the finish, Armitstead now wears the golden GC leader’s jersey, eight seconds ahead of Van Dijk and nine seconds ahead of Hosking.
The final stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar races from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche, 101.5km, on Friday.