After narrowly missing out on Wednesday, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez) kept her incredible form going to win the second stage of the Tour of Scandinavia. The Dane won out of a group of four that got away on the main climb of the day, with Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Kim Cadzow (Jumbo-Visma) taking second and third on the line.
A group of chasers finished 31 seconds behind, with Van Vleuten’s teammate Liane Lippert hovering between the winning move and the chasers. Ahead of the third stage Uttrup Ludwig holds onto the overall lead by eight seconds over Van Vleuten, 17 seconds over Greta Marturano and 37 seconds over Elise Chabbey.
How it happened
- The peloton saved the bulk of the action for the final 15 km, at which point Movistar started to set the pace for Van Vleuten ahead of the big climb of the day. Within a kilometre, the peloton had fractured, and with 12 km to go it was only the strongest climbers present left.
- Niamh Fisher-Black was the first GC favourite to attack, but the SD Worx-Protime rider was marked. An attack from Uttrup Ludwig soon after was the move that coaxed Van Vleuten out of the reduced peloton. The two rode together until just under eight km to go but were caught by two chasers: Kim Cadzow of Jumbo-Visma and Marturano of Fenix-Deceuninck, just before the top of the ascent. The four were chased by a large group of other favourites including Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM).
- Despite multiple attacks, the four leaders came into the line together. Cadzow led the sprint into the line, and Uttrup positioned herself perfectly to take the sprint ahead of Van Vleuten.
Brief stage results
GC standings after Stage 2
Quote of the day
It’s been a rollercoaster year for Uttrup Ludwig, who had the ride of her life in 2022 to win the Danish national championship road race, a stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, and the overall at the Tour of Scandinavia in short succession. But 2023 hasn’t gone her way, with her form falling short at both the Giro Donne and the Tour, Uttrup Ludwig’s legs seemingly have come around for the final months of the season.
“It has just not been the greatest season but what a turn around. This victory means so much to me, I’m just super happy and really proud.”-Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig at the finish
- There were a few riders who tried to get away early in the stage, including Denmark’s Mia Sofie Rützou and Rebecca Koerner, but FDJ-Suez and SD Worx were keen to keep the peloton together and any moves were short-lived.
- The eight-second gap between Uttrup Ludwig and Van Vleuten is an interesting one. The former world champion might be able to make up some of that in the stage 4 ITT but at only 16.5 km it’s going to be harder for her to make up all the time lost. Luckily, stage 3 looks like something Van Vleuten would love to take on solo, so FDJ-Suez has their work cut out for them to keep the lead.
- If Uttrup Ludwig is able to keep the lead into the fourth stage she will be wearing the jersey on home soil in Denmark, a feat she just missed out on in 2022 as the race started in Denmark before moving to Norway last year.
- Cadzow, the 21-year-old Kiwi who finished third on the stage, is in her first season with the WorldTour Jumbo-Visma team. She only started racing professionally on the road in 2022 with Torelli-Cayman Islands-Scimitar. The Dutch team hasn’t raced her a lot this year, only a few races in the spring including Trofeo Alfredo Binda and La Flèche Wallonne, Tour de Suisse and Baloise Ladies Tour. Cadzow crashed in the final four km of the first road stage in Belgium and rejoined the peloton for the World Championships in Glasgow.
Up next: stage 3
The third stage is the hardest of the week, with two climbs midway through the stage and a rolling course to finish. All day is up and down, so it will be a race similar to a one-day Classic with the strongest riders lasting to the end. Lorena Wiebes could definitely take her second stage of the week on Friday, but Lippert is also looking really strong. The stage could also be a prime opportunity for a break to succeed.
Live coverage of the stage is earlier in the day, starting at 12:30 CEST on GCN+.
What did you think of this story?