Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ SUEZ Futuroscope) has won the 2022 Tour of Scandinavia, defending her overall lead on the final stage to Halden. Liane Lippert (Team DSM), second in GC, launched an attack on the last lap of the finishing circuit, but Uttrup Ludwig closed the gap herself. Lippert finishes as runner-up at 17 seconds while Alexandra Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) rounds out the overall podium 44 seconds behind.
“It was just mega-stressful here on the laps. It goes so quick and it’s full-on. When Liane attacked on the last lap, I was like ‘holy moly, no-no-no-no, I got to close that, aah’, and then when I closed, I was like ‘phew, OK, just go to be safe home’. We made it, and it’s thanks to the team that we brought it home. I don’t know where they get their energy from, they were so strong. It made me so motivated and so happy, it feels so goddamn good, I am over the moon,” Uttrup Ludwig said in another of her trademark interviews.
Anouska Koster (Team Jumbo-Visma) went all-out to hold off the sprinters, but when it became obvious that she would be caught, her teammate Marianne Vos launched her sprint and took the victory, her fourth stage win of the race, ahead of Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-SRAM) and Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team).
"The team did such a great job. We had a breakaway, and FDJ kept it on a steady gap, then we started to take over and tried to close it. We were alert in the final, it was excellent to close it, get in a good position into the circuit and stay in control," Vos said of her fourth victory in six days.
"With Anouska Koster up front in the last lap, we were in a perfect position and only had to follow the wheels. For a moment it looked like she was going to keep it, it was close, and at first you don’t want to go, but we came with so much more speed from the back. I got in a really good position for the sprint, and I knew I had to go around the last corner in the front with speed. I am happy to make it."
How it unfolded
The final stage from Lillestrøm to Halden was the longest of the race at 154.3 km. A break of five went away on the first ten kilometres: Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra), Sylvie Swinkels (Team Coop-Hitec Products), April Tacey (Le Col-Wahoo), Maud Rijnbeek (AG Insurance-NXTG), and Femke Markus (Parkhotel Valkenburg) built an advantage of 5:25 minutes before FDJ SUEZ Futuroscope took control of the race, steadily reducing the gap to under two minutes.
Team Jumbo-Visma and Team DSM joined in on the last 50 km, and their efforts reeled in the breakaway just before the race reached Halden with 20 km to go. Having entered the finishing circuit 3.8 km from the finish line, the peloton had to do three full laps of the very technical 5.4-kilometre circuit after passing the finish the first time.
Jeanne Korevaar (Liv Racing Xstra) attacked with 14.5 km to go and quickly got a 12-second gap. There were more attacks from the peloton that did not get away, and starting the final lap, Korevaar was still 10 seconds ahead. Koster went after Korevaar and passed her just under 5 km from the finish, keeping a gap of a few seconds on the peloton.
Having tried to get away earlier, Lippert made a last-minute attempt to get away on the cobblestone section with 2.5 km to go, but Uttrup Ludwig was attentive and closed the gap with a solo effort. Koster went into the final kilometre with a three-second lead, and Sarah Roy (Canyon-SRAM) chased hard to lead out her sprinter Bossuyt. Vos made her way up the left side of the peloton as they got closer and closer to Koster, pouncing with 200 metres to go through the final turn to win the sprint.
Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) defended her green points jersey while Vos’ teammate Amber Kraak was uncatchable in the QOM classification, taking home the peacock jersey. Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) finished fifth overall as the best U23 rider.
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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.
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