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Ellen van Dijk Wins Women's Tour of Qatar

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Tour of Qatar Ellen van Dijk of HTC-Highroad has won the overall at the Tour of Qatar. She secured the lead yesterday after she joined an early break that survived to the finish. Van Dijk out-sprinted Australian National Champion Alex Rhodes of Garmin-Cervélo. Today, HTC-Highroad controlled the stage in defense of van Dijk's race lead, and the Dutch woman did not contest the final sprint. Monia Baccaille of MCipollini-Giordana took the stage victory ahead of Giorgia Bronzini and Rochelle Gilmore of Lotto-Honda.

From the HTC-Highroad team press release: "It's the first time I've won a stage race in my career and this is a great one to be the first" Van Dijk said. "It was wonderful how the whole team worked for me and kept the race under control. There was a bunch sprint on this last stage, but I was so focussed on the overall I didn't go for it at all." The HTC-Highroad rider also won the Points and Young Riders' classification. Van Dijk dedicated both her stage and overall victories to the memory of Carla Swart. The victory in Qatar lays a nice foundation for van Dijk's next main goal, the Track World Championships in March.

Want more? Scroll through the Women's Tour of Qatar full results. CyclingNews has also been posting video highlights of each day's stage in Qatar. So, go watch them! Here is the viddy for stage 2. The men's edition of the Tour of Qatar starts Sunday with a 2 kilometer prologue.

(I can't believe I just told you to go give CyclingNews page views. But I did. I really really did. Page views mean more women's cycling coverage. So yes! Do it! Clicky clicky!)