Italian rider Giorgia Bronzini is now the overall race leader in the Women’s Tour of Qatar after taking the win in the second stage of the event. She previously finished second in the first stage.
Bronzini, the current world points race champion, had to contend with a bunch of sprinters plus a very windy race day on the second stage of the tour. Windy conditions on the Tour of Qatar were commonplace, but this time the gusts were so strong that race officials had to shorten the stage from 107km down to only 86km.
The strong winds also kept the riders from making any real headway until the first intermediate sprint at Al Ghuwairiya. Team Cervelo’s Kirsten Wild, the defending champion, managed to sprint ahead from Monique Van De Ree of Netherlands and teammate Sarah Düster, but the actual breakaways did not start until after 50km into the race.
Latoya Brulle of RedSun Cycling made the first move and sprinted ahead of the pack, but was chased down by Liz Hatch of the Lotto Ladies Team. It didn’t last though, as the winds forced the American rider back to the main group. At this point, Cervelo and the Netherlands National Team were leading the peloton.
At the second intermediate sprint, Kirsten Wild again got off to a good start to get the points and seconds, just ahead of HTC-Columbia’s Adrie Visser and Kirsty Brown of the Australian National Team.
Things got more exciting as the peloton neared the final kilometer of the race, where the bunch sprint got moving. Bronzini managed to make the winning sprint as she got away from Rochelle Gilmore (lotto) and Martine Bras (Netherlands).