Alice Barnes sprinted to third place on today’s opening stage of Ladies Tour of Norway. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider had an impressive sprint in a hard, uphill finish to collect a Women’s World Tour podium.
“It’s a great way to start the tour,” said Alice after the podium ceremony.
“I wasn’t feeling amazing during the stage and I came down in one of the crashes midway in the stage too. But once we got to the three finish circuits, with the high pace and a lot of corners, I found my legs. It was quite technical on the circuit and it created several bottlenecks. At various times I had the team around to help position me and bring me forward. Most of my teammates were behind a crash with two kilometres to go and that meant I had to find my way alone at the finish.”
A five-rider breakaway was away for much of the 141-kilometre stage, with Kirsten Faulkner (TIB) going solo on the finish circuits. While her breakaway companions were caught by the peloton in the final moments, Faulkner crossed the line with just ten metres spare to win the stage. Barnes was able to find a way out of the reduced peloton to launch her sprint and take third place.
“It kicked up a lot with 500 metres to go. Our group was really stop-start and I was boxed in for a long time. There was an opening with 200 metres to go and though I knew it was too early, I also knew that at least then I could sprint and be there. I committed and when Susanne (Anderson) launched her sprint with 100 metres to go I was almost finished mine but able to keep hold of her wheel to get third. I’m happy with the result,” added Alice.
Going in to tomorrow’s second stage, Alice sits third on the general classification behind tour leader Faulkner.
HOW TO WATCH
Follow the racing action each day on Twitter with #LTON21 and #UCIWWT. The stages are broadcast daily on Eurosport Player and GCN+.
Stage 2 | Friday 13 August | Askim – Mysen | 145.2km | Start 14:00CEST | Broadcast from 16:00CEST.
Stage 3 | Saturday 14 August | Drammen – Norefjell | 145km | Start 13:35CEST | Broadcast from 15:30CEST.
Stage 4 | Sunday 15 August | Drøbak – Halden | 141.6km | Start 11:35CEST | Broadcast from 13:30CEST.