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Tour of Scandinavia report: Brown wins stage, Van Vleuten moves into overall lead

Annemiek van Vleuten finished third on the day, moving into the overall lead ahead of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.

Grace Brown during the fourth stage ITT at the Tour of Scandinavia, 2023.

Abby Mickey
by Abby Mickey 26.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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After her silver medal at the World Championship individual time trial, Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez) would have been feeling the pressure on her shoulders ahead of the fourth stage of the Tour of Scandinavia, and the Australian delivered by winning the stage by 19 seconds over Amber Kraak (Jumbo-Visma) and 23 seconds over former ITT world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).

Van Vleuten’s third on the day catapulted her into the overall lead by 17 seconds, after Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez) finished 52 seconds down on Brown in 17th. Kraak moved herself into third overall, just 33 seconds behind the Dutchwoman.

Annemiek going into the final corner of the fourth stage ITT.

How it happened

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig riding towards the finish.

Brief stage results

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GC standings after Stage 4

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Quote of the day

Ellen van Dijk, Linda Villumsen, Chloe Dygert. All the best time trialists look smooth when in their aero positions; whenever there’s a TTer riding all over their bike you can tell they’re on a bad day. Brown is up there with the best, and her fluid form made it look easy out there on the roads of Denmark.

“The aim is to make it look easy because then you’re probably doing a smooth ride, but in the legs it never feels easy…” Brown said post-stage. “It adds a little bit of pressure when, on paper, you’re pinpointed as the most likely to win on course, then you feel like you know you have something to lose rather than being a dark horse and having everything to win, but it also gives me motivation so I went out there and used the pressure to push harder.”

Grace Brown looking smooth on her TT machine.

Up next: Stage 5

The final stage of the Tour of Scandinavia takes place in Denmark. A 144 km-long stage starting in Middelfart. The finish comes after three laps of a 7.5 km circuit in Haderslev.

Compared to the rest of the parcours, the final stage is pretty flat. There are not a lot of opportunities for Uttrup to gain time back on Van Vleuten, especially if SD Worx is keen for a third stage victory with Lorena Wiebes. Rest assured, FDJ-Suez is going to throw everything they have at the final stage of this race.

Live coverage of the stage 5 starts at 13:30 CEST on GCN+.

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