After working hard throughout the three day Tour of Chongming Island Hitec Products fell an agonizing one-second short of claiming the overall title, however the team’s sprinter Chloe Hosking claimed the race’s Green points classification.
Heading into the final stage of the Tour Chloe Hosking held a six-second lead on Orica-AIS’s Annette Edmondson.
The Hitec Products team worked well throughout the stage to help Chloe secure wins in both intermediate sprints helping her gain another six bonus seconds and increasing her lead to nine-seconds over Orica’s young sprinter Edmondson.
In the sprint for stage honors however, the Hitec Products team worse case scenario played out.
“We started the final lap with the only worry that if Edmondson should take the stage, Chloe needed to finish 3rd or better to win the Tour, anyone else winning the stage and Chloe's result didn’t even matter anymore,” team director Steven Sergeant explained.
“Unfortunately a switch from one of the girls in the bunch in the last kilometer disturbed our lead out train and Chloe got stuck in a lost position. We were to close to the finish to rectify the situation and on top of that our worst case scenario unfolded right in front of us,”
“Losing the tour by one-second is obviously very painful and some motivational talk was needed but in my opinion, the team rode beautifully,” Steven said.
Despite the disappointment Chloe still finished second overall in the tour and claimed the tour’s Green jersey for the overall points classification wrapping up what could still be considered a successful three days of racing for the small Norwegian team.
“Holding on to the green jersey was for Chloe and the team a small plaster on the wound, although on its own, this is a great achievement. The disappointment of losing yellow was quickly washed away by our pocket rocket because her focus now goes out to Sunday's race were she get's the opportunity to snatch a World Cup victory,” Steven said.Chloe openly expressed her disappointment but was quick to look at the bigger picture.
“I’m of course very disappointed. My team worked really hard for me throughout the whole tour and to lose by one-second in the final sprint is devastating but Orica rode really strong and were the strongest today so you have to be gracious in defeat,” Chloe said. “It would be easy to dwell on it but there is still one more race to go and it’s a big one so the girls and I will just have to go back to the drawing board, figure out what went wrong and hopefully come out on top at the World Cup on Sunday,” Chloe said.
“To round up our tour, we can send out our appreciation to the organizers from this beautiful Chongming Tour and will come back next year. The only thing we will change is to make sure that we then leave with a yellow jersey in the suitcase. The team also sends out great appreciation's to our team soigneur Didier Gijsels and team mechanic Juan Verpaelst,” Steven said.