When second can feel like winning

Chloe Hosking savors a second place in Tour of Scandinavia Stage 4

Chloe Hosking does not pull any punches when she talks about her season. Despite her extensive palmares, the highly-decorated sprinter is yet to score a win this season. So when she joined a late move in Stage 4 of the Tour of Scandinavia and sprinted to second place, there wasn’t the usual disappointment from those who almost win. Chloe was second, a result worth savoring for many reasons.


“My feeling is actually super-shit on the bike,” Hosking said. “I have had a pretty tough season, struggling with injury in the beginning and then just lack of motivation, confidence, and not feeling super happy. So to come here and struggle to get on the bike and then have to race… I am really happy to get in the winning move today and then fight for the win. I am going to savor the second place since I haven’t had much of anything to savor this year.”

Non-stop attacks characterized Stage 4, but it took 116 kilometers before a breakaway succeeded. Six riders forged ahead in the last few kilometers, and Chloe Hosking did not miss the opportunity. There is only one way to beat the red-hot Marianne Vos – and that is to not sprint against her. This was a big chance, and Chloe knew it.


“I actually said to the team that I don’t have the legs to sprint, so keep attacking. The four of us were all attacking from halfway through the race. I was throwing in some attacks too,” explained Hosking.


“With four kilometers to go, I was right at the back of the peloton, and I just managed to follow a move on the right-hand side up this small incline with about 3kms to go, and a small group of us got away.


“There was a bit of a hesitation in the group, but I was like, I am going to keep trying for this and kept pushing. We rolled through pretty well. The Jumbo rider didn’t ride, and Alex (Manly) sat on for the last bit, but I knew that with Vos behind us, it was the best chance for us to get a result. So I rode it. I was pulling turns right until the end.”

I know all the hard-core bike racers would say you should have closed the barriers, but I want to win fair.

The six leaders had a handful of seconds over a fast-charging peloton coming into the last 800 meters. It was going to be close!

The leading group started their sprint. And so did Vos, leaping out of the bunch. But Vos had too much ground to make up. In the front, the battle for the win was between Hosking and Manly.

Hosking explained: “I could feel Alex coming on the left, and it was really close at the line. I knew that I could shut the barriers, and she wouldn’t be able to come, but I also knew that would not be fair, so I just tried to run at the line as best as possible.

“It was super close in the end. And I know all the hard-core bike racers would say you should have closed the barriers, but I want to win fair.

“I threw my bike and had to settle for second but to get a WorldTour podium after what has been a tough time… I am going to take second as a victory today. I know racing for a team like Trek, they want wins, but sometimes you need to savor moments like this, and that is what I am going to choose today.”