Lorena Wiebes takes the win in messy sprint at Ladies Tour of Norway

Dutch champion takes the General Classification lead in the opening stage after crash mars the final sprint

Dutch champion Lorena Wiebes took her fifth Women’s WorldTour victory of the season, winning the opening stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway on Thursday.

The 20 year-old’s sprint was too powerful for her rivals, the Parkhotel rider winning the sprint with a clear margin ahead of Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini) and Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans).

Hosking had opened her sprint with around 300 metres to go and for a moment looked as though she may have been able to hold on, but an imperious Wiebes was able to come over the top, winning with relative ease. Meanwhile, former world champion Dideriksen finished a close third, with Australian Hosking second.

A late crash had upset the sprinters’ preparations when Sunweb rider Juliette Labous fell on a slippery right hand bend, hitting some road furniture. While the Frenchwoman was able to remount and finish the stage, the crash briefly split the leading group of 38 riders, leaving Hosking on the front as the closing kilometre approached.

The victory comes hot on the heels of Wiebes’s victory at the Prudential Ride London Classique and the Parkhotel Valkenburg rider has been the standout sprinter of the year, taking 13 victories, including the national and European Games titles.

How it happened

Wet and windy weather greeted 118 women as they rolled out of Åsgårdstrand, former home of artist Edvard Munch, for the stage to Horten.

Though only 10km separates the two towns on the banks of the Oslo Fjord, the lumpy stage was in fact 128km, first heading west, inland, before heading north, approaching the finish town from the north for three local circuits of  7.6km.

A flurry of attacks opened the day with British rider Hayley Simmonds (BTC-City Ljubljana) one of those to try her luck off the front.

However, nothing stuck and the first intermediate sprint after 23km was contested by the bunch, with German Lisa Klein winning.

Though the race split on the first classified climb, some 10km later, even then no break was able to get away and the race stayed together until it entered the closing 35km. There, with strong crosswinds, Sunweb came to the front and despite occasional shelter for the chasers, conclusively split the peloton leaving just 39 woman in the first group.

The Dutch registered Sunweb team had been aggressive all day, but continued to attack the leading bunch. Over and again they put riders up the road forming small groups off the front, missing only one of numerous escapes.

Even they they worked hard to bring that back, but chances for their sprinters were spoiled with Labous’s crash, making Susanne Andersen’s sixth place more laudable.

Abby-Mae Parkinson was the top Brit, the Drops rider the only one of her team to make the front group, she sprinted to 24th place, on the same time as the winner.

Tomorrow’s second stage with tackle 133.6km between Mysen and Askim, south-east of Oslo. Though the route is undulating all day, there are no big climbs and the day is likely to finish in another sprint.

Result

Ladies Tour of Norway, stage one; Åsgårdstand – Horten (128km)

1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg in 3-16-27
2. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé-Cipollini
3. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans
4. Letizia Paternsoter (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv
6. Susanne Andersen (Nor) Sunweb
7. Sheyla Gutierrez (Esp) Movistar
8. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu
10. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope all at same time

General classification after stage one
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg in 3-16-27
2. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé-Cipollini at .04 sec
3. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans at .06 sec
4. Letizia Paternsoter (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 10 sec
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv
6. Susanne Andersen (Nor) Sunweb
7. Sheyla Gutierrez (Esp) Movistar
8. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu
10. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope all at same time

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