Amalie Dideriksen (Trek-Segafredo) had earmarked Tuesday’s stage 1 of the Tour of Scandinavia, as the sprint finish into Helsingør suited the 2016 world champion well. Her team went all-in for their Danish sprinter on home soil, but Dideriksen had to start her sprint very early when her lead-out Chloe Hosking swung off 300 metres from the finish. Dideriksen could not keep up the speed and crossed the line in sixth place.
“You have to open when you can. That’s what I did, and I believed in it right until they came past. Then I tried to get onto Marianne’s wheel, but there was somebody [Megan Jastrab] there already. I tried to go for the victory, I am proud of that, it’s just a shame that it didn’t work out,” Dideriksen said after the stage.
At the start on Kongens Nytorv in the centre of Copenhagen, just a few kilometres from her home on Amager, Dideriksen said that she wasn’t in top form, but she hoped that racing on home roads could give her a boost. She had her team’s full support with the Trek-Segafredo riders lining up at the front of the peloton in the final.
“Of course, it would have been cool to get on the podium, that was what we went for, but I am happy that the girls really committed to it today,” Dideriksen said. “Everybody was super-motivated for me to get a chance on Danish soil. I am proud of how we raced as a team, I think we did really well, the sprint just got a bit too long. But that’s how it is, it is hard to do perfectly.”
She also enjoyed the first Danish Women’s WorldTour race day. A month after a hugely successful Danish Grand Départ of the men’s Tour de France, it was time for the women’s peloton to sample the Danish roads.
“It was huge,” said Dideriksen. “I’ve never done this before, and it was very nice to have Danes along the route. I smiled to myself about that every now and again.”
A large crowd at the team presentation on Kongens Nytorv ahead of the stage cheered on every rider, understandably reserving the biggest cheers for the Danish stars, Dideriksen as well as national champion and Tour de France Femmes stage winner Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Suez Futuroscope).
Henrik Jess Jensen, president of the Danish cycling federation DCU that co-organised stage 1 of the Tour of Scandinavia, was satisfied with a successful stage. “I had coffee with [Tour of Scandinavia race director] Roy Moberg six years ago, and we agreed to do something together. It took longer than expected due to COVID-19, but now we’re here. And I believe that we will get more than one Tour of Scandinavia stage in Denmark next year,” Jess Jensen said.
The Tour of Scandinavia continues with a stage in Sweden on Wednesday followed by four stages in Norway.
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