Ladies Tour of Qatar 2009
Islamic Museum of Art - Doha Shafallah, 94km
A small break, which went early in the stage, stayed away to give victory in the inaugral Tour of Qatar to Italy's Giorgia Bronzini.
The initial break was chased and swallowed by the dozen or so riders who joined the smaller group before the halfway mark. The parcours was flat, with good roads leading generally north from Doha and then south to return to the outskirts.
The wind was relativley light, but enough to split the race into several groups early on. There was some realignment, with the smaller group joined by others after about 30km covered. The race became 3 groups at this point, with noone able to bridge the gaps, this would be the configuration of the overall peloton through to the finish.
The maximum gap for the break went out to just over 2 minutes, but at the finish, the chasers had pulled the leaders back to around a 1 minute 30 seconds. With the bunch following in 14 minutes behind the winner, the race is between those in the top 30 after the first stage.
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) won the sprint from an elite group. She came from the wheel of Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) with about 50 metres to go. The pair went head to head, Bronzini was clearly fastest and sat up, able to savour her win as she crossed the line.
Bronzini takes the gold, leader's jersey into Stage 2. Ellen van Dijk (Team Columbia) is under 25 leader, whilst winner of the two intermediate sprints, Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team) will wear the sprints jersey.
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