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For the second day in a row, the start line of the Ladies Tour of Qatar was greeted by the resilient desert winds, which once again forced a very early selection. A group of 11 women split off the front of the peloton, and later slimmed down to nine containing stage one’s winner and GC leader, Kirsten Wild (NED), second in the GC Judith Arndt (GEW), Trixi Worrack (SLU), and white jersey holder Chloe Hosking (SLU).
At the first intermediate sprint, Wild took the maximum time bonus and points ahead of Van Dijk (SLU) and Arndt. The group’s advantage over the chase group grew to its maximum advantage of 1:20, with 58km to go in the strong headwinds. When the leaders entered the finishing circuits in Madinat Al Shamal the nine lost ground in the heavy crosswinds. The leaders managed to hold on till the second intermediate sprint, with Arndt taking the max points ahead of Wild and Van Dijk. The leaders were then caught by a chase group of about 30, seven kilometers later.
At the start of the final, 13km lap, a group of four attacked off the front with Worrack, Arndt, Wild, and Adrie Visser (SKI). Two kilometers later Worrack and Arndt pressed the pace, eventually opening up a gap of 2:20 over Wild and Visser. Worrack took the sprint win over Arndt. Visser held on for third over her countrywomen and rival Wild. Shelley Olds (USA) won the bunch sprint over the charging peloton who ended up 2:51 down on Worrack.
The leader’s gold jersey changed to Arndt who has a slim two-second lead over Worrack. While Wild maintains her lead in the point’s competition and Hosking (SLU) remains in the best young rider white jersey. Tomorrow is the third and final stage with a 92.5km race around the Katara Cultural Village.