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Tour of Scandinavia stage 2: Marianne Vos pips Emilia Fahlin to win again

The Dutch woman comes from behind to take Fahlin right on the line.

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Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to the win on stage 2 of the Tour of Scandinavia, her second win in a row after winning in Denmark on Tuesday.

The Dutchwoman just pipped Emilia Fahlin (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) on the line, denying the Swedish rider a victory on her home stage. Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) took third.

Like stage 1, the peloton never allowed a breakaway to go on stage 2 meaning there were few moments to relax as the bunch battled the winds and repetitive attacks before the sprint finish in Strömstad.

“It was a very difficult sprint,” Vos said at the finish. “There was a lot of speed coming into the town and it was quite technical with the corners. Trek did a very good move, they escaped on the first corner with one kilometer to go and they sent it through the next corner. They had quite a gap, and at first, I hesitated a little because I knew it was going to be difficult if I closed the gap. But then I thought ‘well, I need to go’ and gambled a little bit. Then Emilia came past with such a lot of speed. I tried to get there and we were really close, but of course, it’s really nice to take a second win.

“It was a lot of wind, but actually a lot of twisting and turning as well, and a town and bushes and trees, so not a lot of long stretches that could make it real crosswinds or echelons sections. Everybody was looking at each other, waiting for action, and then the final was just a lot of speed.”

How it happened

Stage 2 started in Mollösund, a fishing town on the Swedish island of Orust, before heading north along the country’s west coast to the finish in Strömstad. Though not particularly hilly, crossing Sweden’s outer archipelago and hugging the coast for much of the route did give way to the risk of some dangerous winds, but this never really materialized.

The second stage started similarly to the first with a high pace in the peloton but no breakaways able to get away and stay away. At the first intermediate sprint in Munkedal, all was still together after nearly two hours of racing and it was Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) who took maximum points, extending her lead in the green jersey. The long, straight and largely sheltered roads of the middle portion of the stage didn’t lend themselves to attacks, and instead, the race saw a high pace in the peloton with teams jostling for position but no chances for attacks. AG Insurance-NXTG led out the sprint at the second intermediate point, allowing Eline van Rooijen to deny Jackson the full four points.

A slight touch of wheels at the back of the peloton saw former Swedish champion Fahlin and sprinter Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) go down, but both quickly returned to the bunch. Going into the final 45km, the Jumbo-Visma team once again attacked the climb to grab maximum points for Kraak, putting Vos second in the classification in doing so.

The climb sparked the peloton into action again, with several riders trying to make a move off the front of the race. BikeExchange-Jayco and Parkhotel Valkenburg were the teams animating the race, taking advantage of a few consecutive ramps to try to send riders up the road. A group briefly had a gap, but the high pace in the peloton once again made it impossible for any move to get established.

Heading into the last 25km of the stage, teams started to take control at the front of the bunch with FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope, SD Worx, and Jumbo-Visma getting organized for a possible bunch sprint in Strömstad. Floortje Mackaij and Esmée Peperkamp of Team DSM tried to initiate something in one of the more exposed sections with 11km to go, which helped to string the bunch out, but the wind made it hard to get away.

With five left, a bunch sprint looked inevitable as the trains of BikeExchange-Jayco, Trek-Segafredo, and Team DSM were in full flight heading towards the finish. Green jersey wearer Alison Jackson crashed in the final 3 kilometers, fortunately not affecting any other riders in the charging peloton. A second crash on a corner took down a handful of riders including Blanka Vas (SD Worx), but the sprinters avoided the incident.

In the closing meters of the stage, yellow jersey Vos was without teammates for the sprint and latched onto the Trek-Segafredo lead-out in the final straight. It was Fahlin who launched her sprint early on the right side of the road, but she was chased down by Vos who just pipped Fahlin on the line, denying her a home win by half a wheel. It was a three-way photo finish between Barbara Guarischi (Movistar), Megan Jastrab (Team DSM), and Alex Manly (BikeExchange-Jayco) for third, with Guarischi taking the last spot on the podium.

There was no change in any of the classifications with Vos, Jackson, Jastrab, and Kraak wearing yellow, green, white and the mountains jerseys respectively. Fahlin’s finish earnt her the ceremonial best Swedish rider jersey on the one stage in her home nation and moved her up to third on GC.

After two stages in Denmark and Sweden, the Tour of Scandinavia now heads to Norway for four stages, returning to the roads of the Ladies Tour of Norway that gave way to this race. Thursday’s stage from Moss to Sarpsborg takes in 119km of rolling terrain before a finishing circuit in Sarpsborg and culminating in a short, punchy climb to the line.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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