Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) rode the perfect race to win the third stage of the Tour of Scandinavia, outsprinting Liane Lippert (Moivstar) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez) atop the short final ascent in Larvik.
Uttrup’s third place on the day kept her safely in the lead of the general classification ahead of the fourth stage in Denmark. The finish handed Uttrup a few extra seconds over Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) who sits second at 12 seconds behind the Dane. Greta Marturano of Fenix-Deceuninck is a further nine seconds down in third overall.
How it happened
- A lot of teams attempted to put riders up the road but FDJ-Suez and SD Worx worked overtime to keep the peloton all together. Only Austrian Carina Schrempf of Fenix-Deceuninck was able to get away for any significant time. The lone leader was brought back with just over 2 km to go as the peloton prepared for the short kick to the line.
- Into the finale, it was Ashleigh Moolman Pasio who put pressure on the reduced peloton, but the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step rider was followed closely by the group of favorites.
- Wiebes remained comfortably in the bunch and the European champion was able to kick at the perfect time to take her second stage of the week with Lippert finishing a few bike lengths behind.
Brief stage results
GC standings after Stage 3
Quote of the day
Wiebes has been the best sprinter on the road for a few years now, but recently the Dutchwoman has been adapting her explosive power to feature on short climbs like we saw in the third stage. Even under the pressure of Moolman Pasio, a talented climber, Wiebes was impossible to crack, which really says something about her progress as a rider.
It was more of a one minute effort than a sprint today and Ashleigh made it really hard already from the beginning of the climb. It was hard. It’s not like other sprints, it’s just really hard, you have to go full gas, luckily I made it. Today was quite a good day on the climbs, I’m happy with the shape at the moment.Lorena Wiebes at the finish
- Weather impacted what was anticipated to be an aggressive stage. Rain and cold temperatures, plus an early start to the stage, meant there were fewer attacks than we may have seen on a sunny day.
- Wiebes praised her teammate Niamh Fisher-Black for work done throughout the day to set the sprinter up for the win. Fisher-Black was tenth overall at the start of the third stage and tried an attack or two before focusing on yet another SD Worx victory.
- Grace Brown did a lot of work for FDJ-Suez to keep Uttrup in a good position and keep the race controlled, so she will not be going into the ITT with the freshest of legs (she’s still the favourite).
Up next: Stage 4
After the third stage in Norway wraps up the women will make their way via plane over to Denmark for the final two stages of the race.
The GC riders and time trial specialists will be the focus of stage 4. The stage features a 16.5 km long time trial starting and finishing in Herning. There’s nothing really notable about the course, a few twists and turns and some minor rolling roads, it’s a course for the most aero riders. As such it’s hard to look past FDJ-Suez’s Brown.
The Aussie who just finished second at the World Championships ITT in Scotland will be eyeing this stage for herself, and with a lot of the other specialists at home, she is the out-and-out favourite for the stage. Another rider who will be hoping for a good result on the day is Danish time trial national champion Emma Norsgaard, who will have a little something extra in the legs while flying the flag on home soil.
There could be some movement in the general classification with Van Vleuten 12 seconds down on Uttrup. The Dutchwoman is, on paper, the stronger time trialist, but Uttrup’s form at the moment could be the difference she needs to hold the jersey.
You can find live coverage of the fourth stage starting at 16:00 CEST on GCN+.
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