Chloe Hosking has shared all the emotions she felt after making her post-Covid-19 comeback at the Tour of Norway.
The Australian Trek-Segafredo rider hadn’t raced since March after she contracted coronavirus, interrupting her training and taking her out of action for five months.
Hosking, 30, had joined Trek at the start of the season to add to the team’s sprint roster, but after a promising start to the year, her spring was derailed by the diagnosis.
But in the final stage of the Tour of Norway, Hosking took a huge sprint victory to secure her first win for Trek-Segafredo and put a tough period behind her.
Speaking after the victory in Halden, a tearful Hosking said: “It was more mentally tough. Australia is so far away and it feels even further when we can't really get in [due to coronavirus restrictions] and my family can't come here. So I felt alone, really alone, for a lot of the time. I was never physically super sick, but I was being told that I had to take it easy.
“I'm just really proud of myself. And I'm so thankful for the team,
“To get a win in a WorldTour to a stage race, it was all worth it.”
Hosking, winner of 38 races, has always been a consistent sprinter and looked to only improve with the support of a strong squad like Trek.
After a top-20 finish in the Australian National Championships to start her 2021 season, Hosking was out of contention in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, only to come back with a promising third-place in Le Samyn des Dames in early March.
After mixed results over her next five races, Hosking was then diagnosed with Covid-19.
The Tour of Norway marked her first race back after the illness, but she never finished in the top 50 on the opening three stages.
Then on the final sprint opportunity, Hosking found herself in a strong position to fight for the victory.
She said: “I had Lucinda Brand there with me and she's definitely one of the best bike handlers in the peloton and for a super technical circuit like this, that's who you need in front of you, but she was on the front early so I knew I had to surf wheels.
"I sensed people kept coming and I just kept upping my pace, and then coming into the final s-bend I was like 'you know what, screw it I'm just gonna go' and just take up all the road and then no-one can come past me.”
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