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Liane Lippert (Team DSM) said she was “a bit disappointed” to just miss out on stage 5 victory in the Tour of Scandinavia, being outsprinted by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) after an aggressive display from the team.
However, the German moved up to second on the general classification with one stage remaining and took some positives from her performances.
“On one hand I’m a bit disappointed to not win the sprint because this stage was a big goal,” she said. “But we also gave everything and I’m really happy to take second on a day like this behind one of the best climbers in the peloton. Being second on GC ahead of tomorrow is also nice too.”
Team DSM were the first attackers of the day, sending Esmée Peperkamp in an ambitious but short-lived early move, and Lippert praised the team’s efforts into the base of the final decisive climb.
“It was an active race from the start,” Lippert said. “Today the girls did a great job of following the attacks in the beginning with Léa [Curinier], Leah [Kirchmann] and Esmée.”
“Going into the final climb they did a super job again to position Floortje [Mackaij] and I for the final climb. We both felt good and wanted to give it a go. We turned onto the climb in a good position and then the other teams set the pace in the beginning, which was good for us.”
The first half of the climb was a battle of the domestiques, with Stine Borgli (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) and Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-SRAM) putting in big turns for their leaders. It was Peperkamp who then tried to set the pace for Lippert.
Lippert was then the instigator of the move that saw her and Uttrup Ludwig get away in the final three kilometers of the Norefjell climb, jumping off a move from Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) to open up a gap on the favourites group.
“I was waiting for the steep part and countered there and was clear with Cecilie [Uttrup Ludwig]. I think I did a smart final as she was up on GC so I put the pressure on her and fully focused on the stage but unfortunately she was just stronger in the sprint.
“I was one second too slow after her really strong acceleration and I couldn’t come closer anymore.”
Sunday’s punchy stage into Halden is not an obvious GC day, but with only 17 seconds separating Lippert and yellow jersey Uttrup Ludwig, there are still chances for the overall classification to be reshuffled on the final day.