The women’s pro road season kicked off Thursday in Australia with the first stage of the Tour Down Under. Chloe Hosking won her first race for new outfit Rally, coming around Trek’s Lotta Hentalla (née Lepisto) for the victory in Macclesfield, South Australia. Leah Kirchmann, one of three Canadians in the race, worked hard to be in top-3 of all three intermediate sprints.
From one ochre jersey to another! Congratulations @chloe_hosking and @Rally_Cycling! 💥@SantosLtd #tourdownunder #adelaide #southaustralia #UCIWWT #cycling #eventssouthaustralia pic.twitter.com/1TR4yZJGJP
— Santos Tour Down Under 🚴🚴♀️ (@tourdownunder) January 16, 2020
The first intermediate sprint was 7-km into the 116-km route, and Kirchmann was second to the line. After some early attacks were hauled in, Kirchmann was fastest at the second sprint. Finally, with only Brodie Chapman (FDJ) up the road, Kirchmann placed third in the last intermediate sprint.
Chapman was caught within 2-km to the finish. Hosking worked herself into fine position in the final left hand corner and then latched onto Hentalla, coming around the Finn to take the win, first race lead and points jersey.
Kirchmann’s sprint heroics on the course meant that she is in third place on GC after placing sixth on the day.
Stage 2 runs 115 km from Murray Bridge to Birdwood.
2020 Santos Tour Down Under GC
1) Chloe Hosking (Australia/Rally) 3:16:51
2) Lotta Hentalla (Finland/Trek-Segafredo) +0:04
3) Leah Kirchmann (Canada/Sunweb) +0:06