The second day of racing at the Ladies Tour of Norway saw the peloton take on another rolling stage over the Norwegian hills, with 145 kilometres from Askim to Mysen. It was a cagey start to the day with a lot of attacks neutralised before eventually a two rider group escaped, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch. The leading duo managed to build up a lead of almost two minutes, before Wilma Olausson started to help in the chase. With the gap falling a counter attacking rider, Markus, bridged across before going solo at the front.
The peloton fanned across the and the gap to the leader expanded, before once again the team took up the onus in the chase with Olausson. As the rain began to fall, no other teams helped out initially before eventually they began to set the pace too with the gap standing at over one minute with eight kilometres to go. On the uncategorised climb, Liane Lippert took over and shredded the gap, with the team continuing on after that, looking to set up Coryn Rivera for the finale. The bunch had Markus in their sights in the kick up to the line, but in a repeat of yesterday’s stage, Rivera’s brilliant and powerful kick from the peloton was only rewarded with second place after some great work by the team all day.
“I think today was a pretty big disappointment for us after getting second yesterday and doing it again today in a similar fashion,” expressed Rivera after the stage. “We’re a bit upset and frustrated but I think we did well to try and salvage the day but it just wasn’t enough in the end. On a positive note, the legs are good so hopefully we can learn from today and take it with us to the next two stages of the race.”
Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “Today everything was under control, until it wasn’t anymore. There was a small break of two riders, who had a gap between one and two minutes. Then one other rider joined the two leaders, with around 40 kilometres to go. Markus then attacked the rest of the break, and built up her lead to around one minute quite quickly. The team of the GC leader had spent a lot of energy earlier and other than Wilma, who did an impressive job riding at the front, there was no other team really committed to the chase anymore. The gap didn’t go down enough after which credit to Markus, was also down to her strong riding. Coryn had such a strong sprint to finish in second for us but it was more of a ‘what if’ feeling, rather than being happy about getting second. We’ll look to what happened today and learn from it, and we’ll keep on fighting here for that top step!”