Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) started stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway in the leader’s jersey after winning the opening stage in a sprint. But Wiebes suffered a crash on the finishing circuit and had to relinquish the yellow jersey to stage 2 winner Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv).
“Lorena crashed but all seems to be okay,” Parkhotel Valkenburg team manager Esra Tromp told Cyclingnews. “She has some bruises on her elbow, but she will be alright.”
Early in the stage, the Parkhotel Valkenburg team did its share of work bringing back early attacks. Wiebes was always in the peloton, but sometimes sat rather far back in the bunch. This is a trademark of the young sprinter who often relies on her power to come to the front ranks for the sprint, preferring this to a full team lead-out.
With two laps to go on the eight-kilometre finishing circuit, Wiebes was nevertheless close to the front, in the third row of a peloton that crossed the line at moderate speed. But only a hundred metres later, the yellow jersey was on the ground, with other riders swerving around her or her bike.
Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) got entangled with the race leader’s bike but managed to avoid crashing. Jip van den Bos (Boels Dolmans) was not so lucky, somersaulting over Wiebes’ bike and onto the ground.
Though Wiebes looked to have hurt her left arm, neither rider was badly hurt, and both were quickly up and chasing back. With teammates dropping back to assist in the chase, Wiebes made it back to the peloton within three kilometres just as attacks began flying off the front.
On the final lap, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) put in her stage-winning solo attack. In the peloton, Wiebes opened her sprint early, around the 300-metre mark, but the crash and subsequent chase appeared to have taken some power out of her. She was passed by several riders on the slightly uphill finishing stretch and finished in seventh place.
As Vos took a ten-second time bonus for the stage win, this put both riders on the same time – and since Vos had finished fifth on stage 1, she took the overall lead from Wiebes who remains the best young rider.
Stage 3 with a hilltop finish at Fredriksten Fortress may be too much for Wiebes’ sprinting skills, but the final stage the next day could end in a reduced mass sprint again.