Hitec Products' Chloe Hosking won the 31st edition of the EPZ Omloop van Borsele, in ‘s-Heerenhoek, in the Netherlands today to take her first UCI-ranked victory of the 2014 season and the first European victory of the season for her Hitec Products team.
The Australian sprinter was the fastest in the elite 15 rider group which escaped from the peloton in the final lap of the 120km race, comfortably outpacing Kirsten Wild (Giant Shimano) and Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans).
“I’m so happy to win today,” an ecstatic Chloe said.
“This was my first ever race in Europe when I came over in 2009. I finished fourth then and it has been one of my favourite races ever since. I think I’ve been in the top ten three or four times so to finally be on the podium, and on the top step of the podium, feels incredible!” she said.
The race, which was made up of five 24km local laps, was aggressive from the beginning with strong winds and narrow roads creating a nervous peloton. However, while the peloton strung out in the crosswinds it wasn’t until the final lap that the peloton began to splinter and the elite group of 15 finally formed.
Hosking’s teammates Audrey Cordon and Emilie Moberg featured prominently at the front of the race throughout the day with Cordon representing the Hitec Products team in the only other dangerous looking move of the day which escaped with just over 25km to go. However, the group was soon brought back by the peloton who were unhappy with the combination of riders.
With just over 15kms to race van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo/Liv) launched off the front of the depleted peloton chased by two other riders. The Rabo/Liv and Boels-Dolmans teams made the most of the narrow roads immediately blocking the road to try to hinder the chase.
"Audrey and I were right at the front of the peloton, we’d just come off a really windy section of the course and all of the sudden I could see four riders off the front and Rabo/Liv just in a line across the front blocking the road. I saw four girls manage to sneak through and start to chase and I knew I had to go,” Chloe said.
"Next thing I was in the grass sprinting past the Rabo/Liv wall and trying to bridge up to the group ahead as quickly as possible. When I got there I knew I just had to try and conserve as much energy as possible for the sprint,” she said.
"Audrey did a great job coming up to me in the last kilometre and protecting me from the wind. Then I was able to jump on Wild’s wheel and sprint past her with just over 100m to go,”
“We had some bad luck in the team today with Julie Leth getting a puncture at the wrong moment and Loz (Lauren Kitchen) struggling with injury but I was so proud of my girls today. We communicated really well and rode well as a team like we have all spring, it’s just so nice to finally get a win for the team!” Chloe said.
Photo Credit: sportfoto.nl
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse