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Tour of Scandinavia: Vos gallops to fourth victory in final stage, Uttrup Ludwig secures GC

Jumbo-Visma rider Anouska Koster reeled in just meters from the line after late solo flyer as Uttrup Ludwig secures inaugural edition of race.

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Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma) scored her fourth stage-win on the final day of the Tour of Scandinavia, catching an attack from her teammate Anouska Koster in the final few hundred meters of the stage.

Vos won by a clear margin with Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-SRAM) in second and Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) taking third.

Second-placed Liane Lippert (Team DSM) tried to make up a 17-second deficit in the closing stages of the race, but FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope controlled all attacks to secure the general classification victory for Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.

“I have to say the team did such a great job,” Vos said at the finish.

“Of course we had the lead group, and FDJ kept it on a steady gap. Then we decided to take over and try to close it and be alert in the final. To close it was excellent and then to get in a good position into the lap, and then stay in control. Then with Anouska Koster up front in the last lap we only had to follow the wheels. For one moment it looked like she was going to keep it. It was close but we came up with so much more speed from the back. I got in a really good position so I was happy to make it.”

“[With a teammate up front] of course at first you don’t want to go, but you try to calculate what to do. I knew I had to go around in the corner with speed in the front and I felt we had more speed.”

“It was a really good week. The team spirit was really good so I’m very happy about that.”

Vos celebrates number four.

The last and longest day of the tour, stage 6 saw the peloton tackle 153km between Lillestrøm and Halden, concluding with four laps of a 4.6km circuit. There were no serious climbs to contend with, but the rolling road, repeated rises on the finishing circuit and a highly technical final kilometer made it trickier than a straightforward sprint stage. At the start, Uttrup Ludwig led the overall with just a 17-second advantage on Liane Lippert (Team DSM)

The peloton started climbing almost as soon as the flag dropped, with the top of the first categorized climb to Fetsund coming just 7.5km into the stage. The attacks for the early breakaway were in full swing over the climb, so it was Lieke Nooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) who took maximum points with jersey wearer Amber Kraak (Jumbo Visma) out of contention, though her lead was already secure.

After several moves, a group of five got away, comprising Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra), Sylvie Swinkels (Coop Hitec Products), April Tacey (Le Col Wahoo), Femke Markus (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Maud Rijnbeek (AG Insurance-NXTG). The leaders had an advantage of a minute after 45 minutes of racing.

With most of the teams who had been chasing breakaways all week represented in this move, the bunch seemed happy to let the break go and their lead went out to five minutes – the biggest lead a group had had all week. The gap remained this way for several kilometers, but going into the last 90km of the stage, the FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope-led peloton began to control things more and the advantage was brought down to three minutes.

At the 75km to go mark, Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo) attacked from the peloton and tried to bridge to the leaders. The Australian didn’t make the catch, but her move kickstarted the chase in the bunch and saw the gap start to fall below two minutes again.

The situation remained like this for some 30km as the peloton kept the break under control but at a distance. A puncture for Katia Ragusa at 42km to go took some firepower out of the lead group, and saw the gap shrinking to a minute with little effort from the peloton.

Approaching the latter parts of the stage, Jumbo Visma took over some chasing responsibility from FDJ, clearly looking to set up another win for Vos on a finish she has won several times in the Ladies Tour of Norway.

Going into the final 35km, their efforts were joined by Canyon-SRAM and Trek-Segafredo, which saw the gap steadily come down and the leading quartet caught with 20km to go.

As soon as the race entered the technical circuit, the attempts at attacks started, overpowering FDJ’s efforts to control things. BikeExchange-Jayco and Team DSM were the most active – the latter trying to win the overall with Lippert – but it was difficult for riders to get away. Jeanne Korevaar (Liv Racing Xstra) managed to jump off the front with 14km to go and held onto a slender 10-second advantage.

Behind, Team DSM was assembling on the front of the peloton, and Lippert made her move at the 8km to go mark. The German’s acceleration strung out the peloton, but FDJ was strictly policing things and Lippert’s first try did not stick. The next to go was Alex Manly (BikeExchange-Jayco), third on GC and only 44 seconds down, so another threatening rider for Uttrup Ludwig. Manly was overtaken by Koster, who then swept past Korevaar and was alone solo into the final 5km.

With 3.7km to go, Lippert put in a big move on the circuit’s cobbled section to escape the group, and it was the yellow jersey herself who chased her main rival down.

Through the flamme rouge, Koster was still away, but the sprinter’s teams were chasing fast behind. Canyon-SRAM and Shari Bossuyt led the way, but Vos was able to come off Bossuyt’s wheel to speed past Koster and take her fourth win of the inaugural Tour of Scandinavia.

Bossuyt took second – her third podium finish of the race – whilst Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) came home for third.

Despite Lippert’s best efforts, the German finished in the lead group with Uttrup Ludwig, meaning the Dane sealed overall victory after her stage win in Norefjell on Saturday. This is Uttrup Ludwig’s first stage race victory.

Finishing off something of a perfect week for Jumbo Visma, Vos’s teammate Amber Kraak takes home the climber’s jersey after dominating the Queen of the Mountains classification across Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) will take home the green jersey after a similarly dominant performance in the intermediate sprints.

Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) earned the white jersey for best young rider.

The busy summer of WorldTour stage racing takes something of a break now, as the peloton heads to Plouay for the Classic Lorient Agglomération, the next stop on the calendar in two weeks’ time.

Results will be available once stage has completed.


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