Lorena Wiebes showcased her diverse skills by claiming her second victory in the Tour of Scandinavia, winning the uphill sprint to Larvik, Norway in the challenging third stage. Renowned for being the favourite in flat sprints, Wiebes demonstrated her prowess in a tough final, proving that she can also prevail in more gruelling conditions.
The third stage featured a less difficult course with only two categorised climbs, but the final kilometres presented an uphill challenge, promising a thrilling finish. As the peloton navigated through the few hills, a sprint finish seemed inevitable, despite a bold attempt by Carina Schrempf (Fenix-Deceuninck) 28 kilometres from the finish line. Her brave effort achieved a lead of just under a minute but was ultimately reeled in with 2 kilometres remaining.
Wiebes’ victory was not only decisive but also emblematic of her adaptability. She overcame the tough final kilometre with a pace that none could match, winning by lengths over Liane Lippert, who secured second place, and yesterday’s stage winner Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who finished third. Uttrup Ludwig’s performance also earned her bonus seconds, strengthening her lead in the general classification.
Following her win, Wiebes commented: “This means quite a lot. It wasn’t really a sprint, more of a one-minute effort. It’s nice to show that I can do this too.” Her triumph extended beyond traditional sprinting, reflecting an enhanced capability in complex racing scenarios.
The race also saw noteworthy performances from other GC favourites like Amber Kraak (4th) and Annemiek van Vleuten (10th), who finished in the top-10. Wiebes’ double victory in Scandinavia not only confirms her position as a top sprinter but also adds a new dimension to her racing profile, signifying an athlete who can win in various terrains.
The Tour of Scandinavia will continue until Sunday, and it remains to be seen whether Wiebes’ form will propel her to further success. Her already outstanding week is a vivid reminder of her growing reputation as a versatile and dominant force in women’s cycling.
2023 Tour of Scandinavia Stage 3 result
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Main photo credit: Cor Vos