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Continuing their block in Scandinavia, the women’s professional peloton transferred from last weekend’s races in Sweden to the neighbouring country Norway for the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway.
As Norway is also the host of the 2017 UCI Road World Championships next month, the tour served as a good practice and final lead-up to the season finale.
With four different stage winners and the leader’s jersey changing shoulders twice, the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway was a very exciting race – and it was live to watch! Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) took the overall win, never finishing outside the top-five throughout the four-day race.
Scroll down for a race recap and to watch the highlights videos of each stage. Alternatively, you can rewatch the entire live stream videos of stages one to three.
The 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway
The Ladies Tour of Norway forms round 17 of the Women’s WorldTour. The stage race was upgraded to Women’s WorldTour status ahead of 2017, and with the upgrade, a fourth race day was added.
Of the Women’s WorldTour top-five, only Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling) – ranked number two – travelled to Norway, offering an opportunity for her to move up into the lead. Alternatively, new names can jump into the top-five.
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) – 855
2. Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling) – 798
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) – 763
4. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) – 703
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) – 622
Young rider classification
1. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) – 46
2. Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling) – 16
3. Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans) – 14
4. Lisa Klein (Cervélo-Bigla) – 12
5. Anna Christian (Drops Cycling) – 10
1. Boels-Dolmans – 2824
2. Team Sunweb – 1860
3. Wiggle-High5 – 1596
4. Orica-Scott – 1496
5. WM3 Pro Cycling – 1338
WATCH IT LIVE
You can rewatch this year’s live streams of stages one to three right here at Ella CyclingTips.
Note that these videos are blocked in Norway, the United States and Canada as there were live streams provided on local sites in those countries.
A high-tech addition to the race this year were on-board cameras. None other than Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) was fitted with a GoPro camera on her newly designed European Champion Ridley bike. There have been experiments with these cameras in RideLondon as well, but the rainy circumstances, unfortunately, prevented any images from being usable then.
We are awaiting images out of the Ladies Tour of Norway as of yet too.
Three blocks of riders powered through the city centre in today’s Ladies Tour of Norway prologue. The event had 15-minute breaks to allow freight transport to move in and out of the industrial area that was located near the prologue course.
Vos was an early starter in the prologue and set a good time, stopping the clock at 3’45”. She has won the Tour of Norway prologue before in 2014 and was favoured to win.
However, when the European time trial champion powered through the last corner, Vos’ time proved not enough. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) had done an hour-long recon of the course and it paid off, taking a couple of hundreds of seconds on her compatriot.
As all riders in the first block had finished their rides, Van Dijk held the fastest time, at 3’44.92.
In the second block, racing was suspended when Louise Norman Hansen (Team VéloConcept) hit the deck hard. Hansen was unconscious when medics arrived, but came around before she was transferred to a nearby hospital.
Hansen appears to be relatively okay.
— VéloCONCEPT Women (@VConceptWomen) August 17, 2017
As racing continued, no one was able to beat Van Dijk’s time, and she was awarded the first leader’s jersey in the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway. But with 22 riders separated by only 10 seconds, everything is still possible.
Ladies Tour of Norway (2.WWT) Halden → Halden
VAN DIJK Ellen
VAN DIJK Ellen
“The stage of the Five Lakes”
Friday, August 18, 3.20-6.00 p.m. CET
105 kilometres from Halden to Mysen
The first stage will start in Halden, where the prologue was held too, just north of the Norwegian-Swedish border. The country will surely be showing off its beautiful nature in this stage, as the course runs northward towards Mysen alongside several rivers and lakes. There will be some ‘tricky corners, a small section of gravel road and a tough climb to Folkenborg’ on the local 6.2-kilometre lap at the finish, which the riders will do three times.
There will be some ‘tricky corners, a small section of gravel road and a tough climb to Folkenborg’ on the local 6.2-kilometre lap at the finish, which the riders will do three times.
UPDATE: The stage looked like it was perfect for a breakaway to be established in the early parts of the race and maybe even hold it to the line depending on the riders represented in there. Plenty of riders tried, but no-one was able to get away from the peloton, that kept the pace high throughout the stage.
Lots of bonus seconds were up for grabs during the stage and Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) was able to snatch a few at the first intermediate sprint, getting herself into the position of virtual leader.
No attacks would stick, not even on the GPM climb two-thirds into the stage. On the technical closing circuit too, attacks proved fruitless. When the peloton arrived at the finish line altogether, it was Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) who opened up the sprint.
Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) waited in Majerus’ wheel for the perfect time and jumped out of her wheel to take the win in Mysen.
In between the two national champions, Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott) slotted into second place, dubbed a dark horse for this year’s GC win by commentator Owen Rogers.
With her stage win and the bonus seconds awarded at the finish line, D’Hoore now leads the GC with two seconds on Vos in second place, and six seconds on Van Dijk in third.
Ladies Tour of Norway (2.WWT) Halden → Mysen
“The Jubilee stage”
Saturday, August 19, 2.20-6.00 p.m. CET
140.4 kilometres from Sarpsborg to Frederikstad
“The Jubilee Stage” is called like that in honour of its start and finish towns. Sarpsborg celebrated its 1000-year existence in 2016, while Frederikstad is 450 this year. The cities are actually only 13 kilometres apart, but the peloton will take a 127-kilometre detour via the north.
Despite the climbs in the first two-thirds of the stage, the sprinters should be able to survive those and odds are that the stage finishes in a bunch sprint.
UPDATE: The third day and second stage of the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway ended in another mass sprint in Frederikstad. Despite winds, the course offered little opportunity for attacks to stick. The peloton had split into two briefly about one hour into the race with some 40 riders in the first group. Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) was in the lead bunch, once again hunting down bonus seconds at both intermediate sprints, to place herself in the virtual lead.
The two groups merged back together and it looked like the peloton was headed into a mass finish when a four-person breakaway consisting of Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb), Mieke Kröger (Canyon-SRAM), Rosella Ratto (Cylance Pro Cycling) and Kasia Pawlowska (Boels-Dolmans) slipped away. They extended their advantage to 20 seconds as they hit the final 5-kilometre sign, but an open bridge forced them to stop. The peloton caught up and officials decided to not restart the race with their advantage.
So again, the race came down to a bunch sprint. As the peloton arrived in the finish line in Fredrikstad, it was Australian Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) who had the fastest finish, narrowingly outsprinting Vos and Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb).
With the bonus seconds awarded throughout the stage and the second place finish, Vos takes the yellow leader’s jersey from yesterday’s winner Jolien D’Hoore.
Ladies Tour of Norway (2.WWT) Sarpsborg → Fredrikstad
“The Swe-Nor stage”
Sunday, August 20, 11.25 a.m.-3.40 p.m. CET
156.6 kilometres from Svinesund (Sweden) to Halden
The peloton travels back to Halden in the final stage of the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway. It will be the toughest stage of the race, with a chance for a complete overthrow of the GC. Once again the organisation modelled a stage after one from the 2015 edition. The start is located in Svinesund, Sweden, and the peloton will pass country borders three times.
There is a difference though as the peloton heads into Sweden for the second time during the stage: a 7.5-kilometre gravel road has been added to the stage. Looking at the stage profile, it could go any way, with a bunch sprint if the favourites keep each other in check, or a breakaway forming during the stage. Don’t miss it, live from 1.30 p.m. CET!
UPDATE: The last day in the 2017 Ladies Tour of Norway offered plenty of action in a thrilling 156.5-kilometre stage. Strong winds caused the peloton to split several times in the opening parts of the race, but
Two-thirds into the race, a three-rider break finally got clear of the peloton. Lithuanian road champion Daiva Tuslaite (Alé Cipollini) was joined by Ingrid Moe (Norwegian national team) and Lisen Hockings (Australian national team) and they soon reached an advantage of over three minutes.
The peloton was looking at WM3 Pro Cycling to start the chase, and that’s what the Dutch team of GC leader Marianne Vos did. Birthday girl Anouska Koster went to the front of the peloton with teammates Moniek Tenniglo and Jeanne Korevaar.
A mechanical caused Tuslaite to drop out of the lead group and a little later Hockings dropped Moe, as the gap between the break and the peloton started to come down.
Hockings held her advantage until the closing circuit, at which point Rachel Neylan (Orica-Scott) escaped the – by now very reduced – peloton. Neylan reached Hockings in the first of the local laps and dropped her as Hockings couldn’t hold the wheel.
In the penultimate lap, prologue winner Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and third in the GC, launched a strong attack. As she reached Neylan, the duo kept their lead for quite a while. It was Vos herself who closed the gap.
The attacks didn’t stop there. In addition to a very aggressive Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb), who has attacked throughout the four-day stage race, a late-race attack by Linda Villumsen (VéloConcept Women) got neutralised and as Van Dijk, Vos and Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) stormed towards the finish line, it was the American rider who threw her bike across the line first.
Vos secured the overall win and celebrated her first Women’s WorldTour stage race win on the podium in Halden city.
Ladies Tour of Norway (2.WWT) Svinesund → Halden
Ladies Tour of Norway (2.WWT) Svinesund → Halden
Final jersey winners:
Yellow leader’s jersey: Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)
Green points jersey: Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)
Polka dot QOM jersey: Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini)
Best Norwegian rider jersey: Susanne Anderson (Team Hitec)
Best young rider jersey: Lisa Klein (Cervélo-Bigla)
Border jersey NOR-SWE: Daiva Tuslaite (Alé Cipollini)