Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig retains Norefjell crown for her first win of the 2023 season

Cecile Uttrup Ludwig has emerged as the victor in the second stage of the Tour of Scandinavia, triumphing over Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten in a demanding mountainous leg. With this win, Ludwig has claimed the leadership position in the WorldTour race, which witnessed intense competition and strategic plays.

The second stage included a climb to Djupsøen, a challenging stretch that offered the general classification contenders a platform to demonstrate their abilities. Breakaways by Lauretta Hanson, Yara Kastelijn, Tiril Jørgensen, and Mia Sofie Rützou were caught earlier on in the stage. A nasty crash just before the final climb saw Katrine Aalerud unable to continue and the Norwegian would leave her home race. Anouska Koster attacked on the climb but was eventually overpowered by Ludwig and Van Vleuten, who were later joined by Kim Cadzow and Greta Marturano. A four-way sprint ultimately decided the victory, with Ludwig outpacing her competitors in Norefjell.

“It wasn’t my best season yet, so this win means a lot to me. It makes me so happy and proud that I could finally win again,” Ludwig stated, emphasising the significance of her victory.

Her win highlights her strength and adaptability in women’s cycling, while Van Vleuten’s performance demonstrates her ongoing excellence. The Tour of Scandinavia is capturing attention with its drama and rivalry, and all eyes will now be on Ludwig as she aims to maintain her lead.

Moreover, Ludwig expressed her personal connection with the climb on Norefjell, saying, “I love this climb, from both sides (laughs). It also made me a little nervous to get back here this morning because I knew it was going to be one of the most important days for the general classification. I felt good and didn’t want to disappoint.”

This victory marks Ludwig’s first win of the season, providing immense relief for the Danish rider after a close finish yesterday. The success is particularly meaningful as Ludwig was also victorious at Norefjell last year, reinforcing her affinity for this climb. The anticipation now builds as the Danish champion will possibly ride to Denmark, her homeland, wearing the leader’s jersey. A time trial in Herning awaits her on Saturday.

“I always like to race in Norway, and I’m always good there. This stage race is a bit like a home race for me, because we are still going to Denmark,” she added, highlighting her comfort and affinity for racing in the region.

The Tour of Scandinavia continues to intrigue fans with its thrilling stages and intense competition. As the race progresses, the focus will be on Ludwig and her efforts to solidify her lead. Her strategic brilliance, resilience, and deep connection with the track set the stage for an exciting series of events in this prominent WorldTour race.

2023 Tour of Scandinavia Stage 2 result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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