Three time winner Marianne Vos took a nail biting solo victory at the Ladies Tour of Norway on Friday. Having attacked with 5.5km remaining, she held on by the narrowest margin, with British champion Alice Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) second and Marta Bastianelli (Virtu) third.
The double overall winner attacked the peloton on a short climb, just over five kilometres out, on the last of three local laps. With yellow jersey Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) out of position after crashing, there was confusion in the chase, and Vos was able to build a lead.
That advantage, however, never exceeded 12 seconds and, as the race entered the final kilometre it was less than five as other teams set up their sprinters.
Of those Barnes was the strongest, sprinting to within a second of the winner.
Though she is on the same time as yesterday’s winner Wiebes, Vos takes the overall lead by virtue of her fifth place on Thursday’s opening stage, with her young compatriot only managing seventh on stage two.
How it happened
The 133.6km stage between Mysen and Askim was ridden in contrasting conditions to the first day, with sunshine greeting the bunch and earlier wind dying throughout the day.
The opening kilometres were hard fought, with a number of attacks being nullified, but the main action of the race’s early kilometres came at the intermediate sprints and classified climbs.
With a small break just 20 seconds ahead of the peloton, Emilie Moberg (Virtu) attacked the bunch, passing the leaders on the line to take maximum points. Brought up in Halden, where the race is based, and the daughter of the organiser, she was intent on taking the points jersey and was successful, winning the second intermediate later in the day.
Italian, Soraya Paladin (Alé-Cipollini) began the day wearing the queen of the mountains jersey, though on equal on points with her nearest rival. However, the Italian won on the opening climb and finished second on the next, with a team mate taking maximum points.
Though a short period of cross winds threatened, only on the three 8.1km local laps did the race explode, with Vos part of a five woman breakaway which led for half a lap. However, the talking point came before that, when Wiebes crashed after what appeared to be a touch of wheels.
With blood dripping down her left elbow, the young Dutchwoman appeared badly injured, though she managed to remount and regain the bunch just as the first breakaway went up the road.
With Vos in that group and others riding for team mates behind, a lack of cohesion caused that escape to fail. Then, one lap later, on the same short steep climb the earlier break had gone, Vos made her race winning move.
If Vos has not already secured the overall classification, Saturday’s third stage is likely to be decisive. The 125km day between Moss and the Fredriksten Fortress in Halden finishes with two ascent of the climb to the fortification, which dominates the town
The climb is 1.3km at 7.3km and is likely to produce a small, select group for the winner to sprint from.
Ladies Tour of Norway, stage two; Mysen – Askim (133.6km)
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 3-19-33
2. Alice Barnes (Gbr) Canyon-SRAM
3. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu
4. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
5. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé-Cipollini
7. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
8. Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar
9. Eugenia Bujac (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
10. Ilaria Sanguinetti (Ita) Valcar Cylance all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 6-35-50
2. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) PArkhotel Valkenburg at same time
3. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé-Cipollini at 04 sec
4. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu at 06 sec
5. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans at same time
6. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek Segafredo at 10 sec
7. Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar
8. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
9. Floortje Maackaij (Ned) Sunweb
10. Sheyla Gutierrez (Esp) Movistar all at same time