Stage two of the Ladies Tour of Qatar, competed in the same very windy conditions as on the previous day, saw two German riders triumph. While stage victory went to Specialized-Lululemon rider Trixi Worrack, the golden jersey changed shoulders with Judith Arndt taking command of the overall classification.
Different stage, same conditions. Although this time coming from the north, strong winds were again present for day 2 of the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar. Gathered at the start by the splendid Al Zubarah Fort, the 88 remaining riders (one non-starter: Brennauer (SLU)) knew that they would face another demanding stage.
Indeed, straight from the start, just after noon, the pack broke up into several groups as soon as the first kilometres. Like on the previous day, a group of 11 and then 9 riders managed to power away. At km 28, the group including Van Dijk, white jersey Hosking, Worrack (all SLU), Golden jersey WIld (NED), Duster (RBW), Guderzo (MCG), Arndt, Gunnewijk (all GEW) and Bruins (SKI) could enjoy a 28" lead over a first slim bunch of chasers.
The first bonus sprint (km 23.5) was claimed by race leader Kirsten WIld ahead of Van Dijk and Arndt, while their advantage grew to 45". That gap grew to a maximum 1’20 at km 44 as the riders had to struggle against a strong head-wind.
Eventually, as the riders entered the final circuit around Madinat Al Shamal, the leaders lost ground with the wind blowing sideways. At the second intermediate sprint (first passage on the line, km 78), won by Arndt ahead of Wild and Van Dijk, the gap had dropped down to 20".
The leaders were finally caught at km 85 and over 40 riders were bunched together again. Despite several attempts, the pack remained together until the second passage on the line. At km 89, Worrack, Arndt, Wild and Visser managed to take off. Two kilometres later, the first two insisted and the gaps grew: 20" over Wild and Visser and 50" over the peloton.
With just four kilometres left, Worrack and Arndt could enjoy a 1’15 advantage over the first two chasers and 1’35 over the pack. Victory finally went to Trixi Worrack outsprinting her day’s rival and claiming her first success in Qatar while Judith Arndt captured the overall leader’s Golden jersey. Wild and Visser made it to the line with a 2’20 deficit while the main pack finished close to 3’ adrift.
After day two of the event and before the final 92.5km stage, Arndt leads the overall with a tiny 2" lead over Worrack. Kirsten Wild keeps command of the points’ standings and Chloé Hosking (SLU) remains the best young rider of the Tour of Qatar.