2016 World Championship Women’s Road Race Race Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2016 World Championship Women’s Road Race Race Preview

By David Hunter

Doha – Doha 134.5km


The women follow a similar course to the under 23 men, but they first of all have to negotiate their way through the streets of Doha, before joining the lap circuit in The Pearl. Each lap should see the pace rise, with constant attacks from the bunch. Make no mistake, this is a difficult race to control.


All depends on the quality of your sprinter. Teams with a fast finisher will try and keep the race together, but those lacking a quick, will try and break up the bunch. Classic criterium racing! The big teams are Australia, Belgium, France, GB, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Poland and the USA. In the closing laps we will see a constant battle to get riders from these nations in the move. The Dutch, in particular, have a outstanding squad. With so many options, they really should be the dominant team in this race.


Hot, with wind picking up to 20km/h, coming from the north. I don’t think the wind will have an impact on the race.


Jolien D’Hoore – the 26 year old Belgian is fast. Riding for Wiggle High5, she won La Vuelta, a big marker for this race. That wasn’t her only success this season, she won the BeNe Ladies Tour, a stage in Tour de Feminine and the Flanders Diamond Tour. Her difficulty is the strength of her team, Belgium only have six riders, so aren’t the strongest. In her favour is the strength of teammate Lotte Kopecky. At just 20 years old, her strength is jaw dropping. She will be riding as last women and is capable of putting D’Hoore into a great position.

Chloe Hosking – the Aussies come with a squad fully behind their sprinter. Hosking has enjoyed a good season, winning Bruno Beghelli, a stage in La Route de France, La Course, a stage in the Giro, the GC in Tour of Chongming and a stage in Qatar. The Aussies have spent the last week on a training camp, focused on getting their sprint train spot on. They will enter the final kilometres with Elvin, Roy and Kitchen. The last women for Hosking will be Tiff Cromwell. That is a very strong sprint train.

Kirsten Wild – the experienced Dutch sprinter starts the race as one of the big favourites. She is riding for the strongest country, they really are ridiculously talented. With Wild, Vos, Blaak, Pieters, Van Der Bergen, Van Dijk and Van Vleuten they have seven riders capable of winning this race! That might be a problem for them. The Aussies are focused on delivering Chloe Hosking, will some of the Dutch riders chase personal glory over team glory?

Lotta Lepisto – the Finns only have four riders, but Lepisto is a fast sprinter. Her win in the final stage of the Aviva Tour was impressive but lacking teammates is not ideal in a finish like this.

Marta Bastianelli – the world champion from 2007 has a real chance of once again winning the rainbow jersey. Italy have a very talented squad and have multiple options for the sprint, but I like the form of Bastianelli. She won two stages of Trophee d’Or Feminin, before winning the bunch sprint for second in the final stage of the Belgium Tour. This was followed up with third place in La Vuelta.

Marianne Vos – the three time world champion has looked like her old self this year. She might not be climbing as well as she used to, but that isn’t an issue in Qatar! She oozes class and consistency. Her record in 2016 is quite something, she has raced in 39 races, finishing in the top 10 on 36 occasions. That is simply stunning. The team management will have to decide between her and Wild, but one thing is for certain, she will finish in the top 10!

Emma Johansson – another consistent rider. The Swede does lack a sprint, so needs to hope that a small group goes clear. What she lacks in speed, she makes up for with brains. Johansson is one of the most intelligent riders around. If she senses that a break isn’t going to stick, expect her to work for Emilia Fahlin instead.

Megan Guarnier – winner of the World Tour, the American arrives full of confidence. She has a very fast finish from a small group, but is another rider that needs the race to be really hard.

Lizzie Deignan – in the exact same position as Guarnier. The British team is large, 8 riders, so they will be able to use up riders by sending them on attacks. Do not expect to see Team GB riding for a bunch sprint. They are another squad that needs to split the race up.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma – eight wins this season, for the talented Polish rider. Yet another rider that prefers to arrive in a small group, her teammate, Eugenia Bujak, is a faster sprinter. Expect to see Niewiadoma on the attack in the last couple of laps.

The Finale


The closing kilometre is great for a strong sprint train. Get through the last corner with 3 people in front of you and the race is in your hands. Hugging the right hand side is important, making the other teams try to come from the left. The final 150m does rise, so it’s important to launch your sprint a little later than usual.

Prediction Time

The women’s race does offer something a little different. The biggest stars of the sport are here, but the circuit doesn’t necessarily suit them. In order for the “big stars” to win, the pace has to be incredibly high. GB, Netherlands, USA Poland and Italy will all benefit from such a race, but will we get it?

I think we will. The women’s peloton is full of super talented riders, but not many of these are sprinters. The names that dominate the sport are Deignan, Guarnier, Vos, Van Der Breggen and Longo Borghini. The Aussies will want a sprint, but I don’t see the other teams just rolling around the course waiting for the final 5km.

I think we’ll see a small group of riders get away and never come back. For that to happen, it has to include most of the names mentioned above. The final sprint will be close, thanks to the little hill at the very end. Guarnier, Deignan and Vos are all good on a finish like this and I think we’ll see Marianne Vos taking her fourth rainbow jersey.

David Hunter

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