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Lukas Knöfler

Tour of Scandinavia: Wiebes sprints to stage 3 victory

Lorena Wiebes wins stage 3 of the Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
Carina Schrempf on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
The peloton on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
Elise Chabbey wears the mountains jersey on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig wears the leader's jersey on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
Lorena Wiebes wins on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)
Eglantine Rayer wears the best young rider jersey on stage 3 at Tour of Scandinavia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) has won stage 3 of the Tour of Scandinavia, beating Liane Lippert (Movistar Team) and yellow jersey Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-SUEZ) in an uphill sprint in Larvik.

The rolling stage saw several breakaways, and on the final 30 km, Carina Schrempf (Fenix-Deceuninck) went on a solo break but was caught at the two-kilometre mark.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step) set the pace for much of the 1400-metre rise to the finish, but the South African could not follow Wiebes when the Dutchwoman launched her sprint with 200 metres to go, winning the stage by almost two bike lengths.

Due to the time bonifications for finishing third, Uttrup Ludwig now leads the GC by 12 seconds on Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team).

“It was more of a one-minute effort than a sprint today," Wiebes said. "Ashleigh made it really hard from the beginning of the climb, then it slowed down a little bit. But they started the sprint already with 300 metres to go, so I also had to start almost from 300, and it was a hard one. 

"The team did a good job to bring the lone leader back, Niamh [Fisher-Black] did well in chasing, and I had still Christine to position me well, so everything under control."

How it unfolded

The stage from Kongsberg to Larvik, the port for the ferry to Denmark that the race would take after the finish, included two classified climbs and numerous other small ascents. However, the day’s intermediate sprint was cancelled due to roadworks in the town of Porsgrunn.

The first breakaway consisted of Marita Jensen (Danish national team) and Zoe Bäckstedt (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), but they were caught again soon. On the first-category Vindfjell climb, Élise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) took a one-point lead on Uttrup Ludwig in the mountain classification, later adding another two points to that and now wearing the peacock jersey outright with a three-point lead on the race leader.

Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek), Julia Borgström (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step), Ingvild Gåskjenn (Team Jayco AlUla), and Becky Storrie (Team DSM-Firmenich) were next to get away, but they were reeled in when Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) made a move on one of the unclassified climbs.

Not long after, Maud Oudeman (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Valerie Demey (Liv Racing TeqFind) attacked with 50 km to go, and they were quickly joined by Nina Kessler (Team Jayco AlUla) and Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Human Powered Health), building an advantage of up to 31 seconds.

However, when Van Vleuten and Lippert increased the pace on a succession of small hills with 34 km to go, the break was quickly brought back. The peloton split into smaller groups, but since Wiebes stayed in the first group, the race settled down again with 30km to go.

Schrempf took this opportunity to attack, and the Austrian champion slowly built a gap of almost a minute, topping out at 56 seconds with 21km to go. Since she was only 1:18 minutes down in GC going into the stage, FDJ-SUEZ worked hard to bring Schrempf back, and eventually, Team SD Worx joined in the chase, putting Fisher-Black to work at the front of the peloton.

Although her teammates tried to disrupt the chase, Schrempf’s advantage had shrunk to 21 seconds with eight kilometres to go, and she was finally caught at the two-kilometre mark. Moolman-Pasio pushed hard on the first part of the finishing climb that had a gradient of up to ten percent, and a gap appeared behind a group of eight riders that also included Esmée Peperkamp (Team DSM-Firmenich), Chabbey, Wiebes, Lippert, Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek), Letizia Borghesi (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), and Uttrup Ludwig, but notably not Van Vleuten.

Van Vleuten and several other riders, a.o. Olivia Baril (UAE Team ADQ) and Grace Brown (FDJ-SUEZ) came back when the road flattened out, though, and Brown immediately launched an attack at the 500-metre mark. A touch of wheels with Wiebes caused Balsamo to crash, also taking down Borghesi and causing a mechanical for Baril while Brown was now leading out the group for the sprint.

Moolman-Pasio was first to launch her sprint, 300 metres from the line, but Wiebes reacted immediately and came past the South African to win the stage.


Results powered by FirstCycling

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