Marianne Vos triumphs on stage one of Tour of Scandinavia with powerful sprint

The peloton couldn't handle the Jumbo-Visma rider's sprint on the opening stage of the race

Marianne Vos Tour of Scandinavia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) proved, once again, why she is widely regarded as one of women's cycling's greatest ever sprinters, as she won the opening stage of the Tour of Scandinavia. 

Multiple attacks were mounted across the stage from Copenhagen to Helsingør but nothing managed to stick over the largely flat day. While the final 25km saw attempts from plenty of different riders, the peloton managed to maintain a relatively comfortable pace and distance over the smooth Danish roads.

Lead out trains started to form during the closing stages, teams eager to give their sprinters the best possible opportunity to take the victory. Trek-Segafredo dragged the front of the bunch along, Elynor Bäckstedt and Lucinda Brand both working hard for the team, and, at the flamme rouge, Chloe Hosking upped the tempo once more.

This attempt for Amalie Dideriksen (Trek-Segafredo) was ultimately in vain, though, as Vos, inevitably, came storming through. The Dutchwoman once again proved her sprinting dominance by powering through the pack, perfectly timing her move.

Megan Jastrab (Team DSM) tried her best to get onto the wheel of Vos, but simply ran out of metres as she had to settle for second. Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-Sram) came third. 

How it happened

The Tour of Scandinavia started in Copenhagen, with the first stage a largely flat 145.6km ride from the Danish capital to Helsingør in the east of the country. 

Two-time Tour de France Femmes stage winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) lined up for the start of the race, with her compatriot Demi Vollering (SD Worx) also taking to the start line. 

The opening 20km started as a cagey affair, none of the riders seemingly taking the initiative to create a breakaway on the flat roads of Denmark. Kirstie van Haaften (Parkhotel Valkenburg) tried to add some impetuous to the stage, but the peloton easily caught her 7km after her attack. 

Proceedings largely stayed the same until the halfway stage of the race, riders seemingly content with the pace ahead of some more relatively difficult days in the coming days. Stage five is the only mountain stage on the six days, and could prove decisive with a summit finish up Norefjell.

Parkhotel Valkenburg were clearly eager to have a rider out front, as Lieke Nooijen attacked at the halfway mark. This caused the peloton to stretch out after a short burst of intensity, the bunch clearly expecting a sprint finish to determine today's results. 

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) attacked herself shortly after, though, causing multiple riders to be dropped from the peloton as they struggled with the pace being set. Over the next 15km riders counter-attacked from the peloton, trying to reel the Tour de France Femmes stage three winner back into the group. Racing in her own country certainly gave Ludwig added motivation, but was soon caught.

Two laps around Helsingør would conclude the stage, and the peloton remained in tact as they reached the circuit with 36km left in the day.

Floortje Mackaij (Team DSM) and Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx) both attempted to catch the other riders napping and attacked with around 25km remaining, but the peloton quickly caught them back up. Both Vollering and Vos were in prime position for the closing stages of the race, their teams leading the bunch towards the line with a quick but manageable tempo.

Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) powered to the intermediate sprint line first, but, with 15km still to go, she couldn't sustain a further attack and go clear. SD Worx pair Vollering and Elena Cecchini saw this as an opportunity to leave the bunch trailing behind, hoping riders would fail to counter their attack. However, just a couple of kilometres later they were caught.

Multiple attacks kept coming as the race reached the 10km mark, but nothing could stick as a bunch sprint became ever-more likely. The pace gradually started to increase as teams became intent on getting their sprinter towards the front of the pack, but it was Trek-Segafredo who managed to get into the optimal position, Elynor Bäckstedt dragging her riders along. 

Lucinda Brand then took control, Bäckstedt unable to continue heading into the final 3km. Trek-Segafredo were out front, seemingly with the race completely in their grasp as they headed towards the last kilometre. 

Brand kicked as they went under the flamme rouge, Amalie Dideriksen (Trek-Segafredo) directly on her wheel and with a small gap to the riders behind. However, the Dane couldn't hang onto her lead as she started her sprint too early, and eventually had to settle for sixth. 

Instead, it was Vos who came storming through the pack, astutely using the riders around her to launch at exactly the right moment, something we have become so accustomed to over the years. Megan Jastrab (Team DSM) tried her best to close down the distance to Vos, coming out of her slipstream and launching to the side of her, but ultimately ran out of road and came second.

Tour of Scandinavia, stage one results

1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 3-37-16
2. Megan Jastrab (USA) Team DSM
3. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon-Sram
4. Linda Riedmann (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
5. Karolina Kumiega (Pol) Valcar-Travel & Service
6. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
7. Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Le Col-Wahoo
8. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
10. Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Coop-Hitec Products, all at same time

General classification after stage one

1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 3-37-16
2. Megan Jastrab (USA) Team DSM
3. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon-Sram
4. Linda Riedmann (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
5. Karolina Kumiega (Pol) Valcar-Travel & Service
6. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
7. Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Le Col-Wahoo
8. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
10. Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Coop-Hitec Products, all at same time

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.