Race report

Strong team ride sees Liane Lippert 2nd atop Norefjell with Esmée Peperkamp 9th

Tour of Scandinavia

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.

“It was active race from the start,” explained Lippert. “Today the girls did a great job of following the attacks in the beginning with Léa, Leah and Esmée. Going into the final climb they did a super job again to position Floortje 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. I personally felt really good so also asked Esmée to push the pace and she did a great job, and several girls dropped. 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. On one hand I’m a bit disappointed to not win the sprint because this stage was a big goal 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 coach Huub Duijn added: “Like yesterday, it was again an aggressive race from the start. Esmée got in a move for about ten kilometres but the bunch was reacting and she went back to the peloton. From then, it kept on going on and off and in the end a solo rider from UAE got in front with a maximum advantage of two minutes. In the bunch, we were all focusing on the big climb with eleven kilometres to go, to setup Liane. On the climb the group got thinned down quickly, leaving 12 in front with Esmée and Liane. Esmée rode well and set the tempo towards the steep part, where Liane launched her attack and got away with Ludwig from FDJ. In the sprint Ludwig took the win, but it was a really good ride from everyone and strong second place for Liane.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup FDJ - SUEZ - Futuroscope 3:26:24 50
2 LIPPERT Liane Team DSM 0:01 40
3 VAN DE VELDE Julie Plantur-Pura 0:31 30