Lorena Wiebes posts up after winning stage 1 of the 2023 Tour of Scandinavia.

Tour of Scandinavia report: Wiebes nabs stage 1

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig tried her best to take the stage with a solo move but the peloton was too close for her to out-power Wiebes.

Lorena Wiebes sprints to victory ahead of Elisa Balsamo and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in the first stage of the Tour of Scandinavia.

Abby Mickey
by Abby Mickey 23.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Defending champion Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig almost started the Tour of Scandinavia as she left it in 2022, but the FDJ-Suez rider was caught on the line by a reduced peloton led by Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) and Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek). Wiebes kept her winning ways going to take the first stage and lead the overall, her 69th career victory with Balsamo close behind for second on the day.

How it happened

A GIF of the pack chasing Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in the final kilometers of stage 1 of the Tour of Scandivia. The helicopter shot shows the fast-closing pack through a roundabout and right-hand turn as Uttrup Ludwig is less than 50 meters ahead.

Brief stage results (doubles as GC)

Uttrup Ludwig is caught almost on the line by Wiebes. She looks back and tucks her head in disappointment as Wiebes sweeps by, Elisa Balsamo on her wheel.

Quote of the day

When asked if she was confident that the reduced group would catch the solo leader Wiebes illustrated why her win rate is so high at only 24 years of age.

“Not really, but I always go for the sprint anyway and then I will see how the result is,” Wiebes said with a small laugh. “I am happy to be back sprinting after a period of sickness so for me it was also a question of how the legs will be, but they are good.”

Brief Analysis

Up next: stage 2

The 150.5 km second stage is the first real GC test of the race, with the finish in Norefjell after a 9 km-long ascent. In 2022 the same finish was won by Uttrup Ludwig and the effort secured the Dane the overall victory. It is also the longest stage of the race for the women so it will definitely test the peloton, and the current leader Wiebes, who will find it hard to hold onto the jersey on the final climb.

The profile for stage 2 of the 2023 Tour of Scandinavia. It's mostly flat, but has a nine-kilometer climb before the finish.

Live coverage for the stage can be found on GCN+ at 16:00 CEST.

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