Judith Arndt won the all-German battle for overall victory in the ladies Tour of Qatar, holding off a challenge from Trixi Worrack.
Though unseated from the lead yesterday, Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) was quickest in the bunch sprint for victory in Doha's Katara Cultural Village to take her second stage win, ahead of compatriots Ellen Van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon) and Adrie Visser (Skil-1t4i).
The big duel in the desert was between experienced pair Arndt and Worrack, who were separated by two seconds before the race's final stage.
As riders slogged into a horrific headwind early on, Kendell Ryan (USA) escaped alone for 30 kilometres, getting a maximum gap of five minutes before being reeled in.
Arndt makes time bonuses count
It came down to the day's intermediate sprints. Third at the first one, first at the second, world time-trial champion Arndt secured four precious seconds to extend her slender lead over Worrack.
The final result means one race, one win for the GreenEdge-AIS women's team.
"We did a perfect lead out to the finish... it's better than perfect," Arndt said at the finish. "I didn't really feel pressure until today, because today we had something to lose."
One of the most experienced riders in the bunch, Arndt's big goals for the season are the Olympic time-trial and road race in London.
Ladies Tour of Qatar 2012: stage three, Katara Cultural Village, 92.5km
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Netherlands National Team 2-38-36
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-Lululemon
3. Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil-1t4i
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS
5. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-Lululemon
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Diadora-Pasta Zara
7. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
8. Jessie Maclean (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS
9. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-Lululemon
10. Elena Cecchini (ita) MCipollini-Giambenini all same time
42. Katie Colclough (Gbr) Specialized-Lululemon at 18secs
Final general classification
1. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS
2. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-Lulelemon at 6secs
3. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Netherlands National Team at 2-06
4. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-Lululemon at 2-57
5. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-Lululemon at 3-04
6. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) GreenEdge-AIS at 3-12
7. Alexis Rhodes (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS at 3-33
8. Jessie Maclean (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS at 5-26
9. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini all same time
35. Katie Colclough (Gbr) Specialized-Lululemon at 17-20
Related linksWild uses wiles to win Qatar opener
Worrack and Arndt take control
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