Marianne Vos (CCC Liv) took her third consecutive stage win at the Ladies Tour of Norway on Sunday, winning the bunch sprint in the race’s home town of Halden.
The Dutchwoman came round the outside of a small group of sprinters, opening her sprint early and taking them by surprise to cross the line ahead of Marta Bastianelli (Virtu) and Ilaria Sanguinetti (Valcar) Cylance.
With other teams hoping for a win, Vos had been perfectly positioned in the final, following the wheels as sprinters jockeyed for position on three closing circuits of the town.
Canyon-SRAM’s former German champion had led under the flamme rouge with British champion Alice Barnes on her wheel. However, as the road curved to the right and into the final 200 metres, Sunweb came through working for Coryn Rivera.
However, she ended up bumping shoulders with stage one winner Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg), pushing both off line, and Vos was able to take advantage.
Each of Vos’s three victories have been taken in different ways, a lone breakaway on stage two, a two woman uphill sprint on stage three, and Sunday’s bunch sprint. Not only does this reiterate the versatility she has always had, but shows she has the form to be a real danger at next month’s World Championships in Yorkshire.
How it happened
At 154km Sunday’s was the longest stage of the four, and began on the Swedish border at Svinesund. The bunch headed south, into Sweden to tackle the intermediate sprint at Stene, where home rider Emilie Moberg was confirmed as the points competition winner.
Then, on the classified climb at Daftö Soraya Paladin scored sufficient points to confirm her place as the race’s queen of the mountains, just before the race returned to Norway.
Here the race settled, and it was only after around 90km that three women managed to escape off the front.
Mavi Garcìa (Movistar), Diana Puñuela (Alé-Cipollini) and Silvia Pollicini (Valcar-Cylance) were allowed a lead of 1.45 before the bunch had had enough and started to bring them back.
With Pollicini dropped 36km from home, the remaining pair were finally caught just before the race entered the finish town of Halden.
With the race ascending part of the climb to Fredriksten Fotress where stage three concluded, the bunch began to shatter, a smaller peloton forming on the ensuing descent, where Mitchelton-Scott’s Moniek Tenniglo attacked and gained a small gap.
She stayed ahead for two of the closing three and a half closing circuits of the town, and when she was finally caught her team mate Sarah Roy attacked, leading onto the final five kilometre circuit.
Having used up her Parkhotel-Valkenburg team chasing the earlier breakaway, star sprinter and stage one winner Lorena Wiebes was isolated in the final, and the consequent confusion allowed Roy a gap. However, when she was caught a bunch sprint was assured.
Ladies Tour of Norway, stage four; Svinesund – Halden (154km)
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 3-52-24
2. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu
3. Ilaria Sanguinetti (Ita) Valcar-Cylance
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé-Cipollini
5. Alice Barnes (Gbr) Canyon-SRAM
6. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb
7. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
8. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Cylance
9. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg
10. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, all at same time
Final general classification
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 13-52-14
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb at 29 sec
3. Leah Kirchmann (Can) at 41 sec
4. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) at same time
5. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkotel-Valkenburg at 42 sec
6. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Sunweb at 45 sec
7. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Virtu at 52 sec
8. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 55 sec
9. Reijanne Markus (Ned) CCC-Liv at 1-00
10. Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC-City Ljubljana at same time