The queen stage of the Tour of Scandinavia awaited the peloton today as they rolled out of Askim this morning, with a mostly flat albeit somewhat rolling route before the eleven kilometre final climb to Norefjell with its almost six percent average slopes.
It was a probing start to the day with Esmée Peperkamp launching an attack, hoping to drag a group clear but after forging on for her own and pulling out a 40 second lead, the peloton upped the pace and she returned to the bunch after 30 kilometres of action. More attacks then followed but no one was really able to get away until Wright went clear heading into the final 40 kilometres. She built up a lead of roughly two minutes but that quickly diminished as the peloton fought for position ahead of the climb, with Léa Curinier, Megan Jastrab and Leah Kirchmann bringing the team forward well.
On the climb, Peperkamp, Floortje Mackaij and Liane Lippert rode strongly as a unit while other teams set the pace, before Peperkamp took over at just inside six kilometres to go. Continuing to shred the group, Peperkamp’s tempo carried the bunch to three kilometres remaining before an attack was immediately countered by Lippert – who’s strong attack could only be followed by Ludwig.
The duo worked well together, sharing the pace until inside the flamme rouge; where it was clear they would fight it out for the win. In the sprint to the line Lippert gave everything she could but Ludwig produced a strong turn of speed and Lippert couldn’t come past, crossing the line for what was still a very strong second place. Behind, after her brilliant support work Peperkamp still had enough left to finish in eighth place from the chasing group. With the dust settled on today’s stage Lippert moves up to second overall with Peperkamp in ninth ahead of tomorrow’s final day.