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Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) rode her way into the overall race lead at the Ladies Tour of Qatar on Wednesday, claiming stage 2 a mere three seconds ahead of a six-rider breakaway. The former world time trial champion and 2011 Ladies Tour of Qatar winner made the winning move within the final kilometer of racing
Trixi Worrack (Velocio-SRAM) was second, and Van Dijk’s teammate, Lizzie Armitstead finished third. Stage 2 was the tour’s longest stage, 112km from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.
“In the beginning Ellen and Lizzie were in a 16-rider break, but it became perfect when six riders remained in front and they were both there,” said Boels-Dolmans director Danny Stam. “Then we could play the game. Ellen would try to get away and Lizzie was waiting for the sprint. At 700 meters, Ellen tried for a last time and she succeeded. A great day and a great starting point before the start of stage 3. But there are still two days ahead of us, with a battle for the seconds. We are not there yet.”
Van Dijk won last year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen and the 2013 Boels Ladies Tour. She now leads the Ladies Tour of Qatar by four seconds over Armitstead. Worrack sits third, seven seconds in arrears. The day’s leader, Annalisa Cucinotta (Alé-Cipollini) was dropped early, as the crosswinds began to split the field as early as kilometer 7.
Worrack now holds the silver points leader’s jersey, and Italian Beatrice Bartelloni (Alé-Cipollini) now leads the best young rider competition.
Thursday’s stage starts in Souq Waqif and rides 93.5km to Al Khor Corniche.