Death, taxes and Marianne Vos winning bike races! She took her second win in two days in Scandinavia, and it should have been her second win in Sweden within a week if not for the disqualification at Vårgårda. Another long day saw the riders take on 153km between Orust to Strömstad on the Swedish stage of this year’s Tour of Scandinavia. Vos beat Swedish rider Emilia Fahlin and the Italian Barbara Guarischi of Movistar to the line.
The route took riders north up the Swedish coast, with hints that maybe a strong wind could cause splits and echelons in the peloton. Unfortunately for fans, the roads were mostly covered by trees and small hills, so the open sections weren’t long enough to cause much drama. Too many natural turns in the road also prevented teams from opening up the peloton.
Just like the first stage in Denmark, there weren’t many hills to speak of, despite the QoM points on the route. Neither the Stenshult (2.7 km at 2.8%) and the Langesjo (0.9 km at 3%) were tough enough to cause many issues for the peloton.
The peloton spent most of the day altogether, with only the odd attack briefly creating any distance. There was no break of the day with the only major excitement coming around the QoM primes. Jumbo Visma is now all in for Amber Kraak here and the team tried their best to take full sweeps of the points to prevent Femke Gerritse of Parkhotel Valkenburg from taking many points. It was inevitable that we would see a bunch sprint.
The sprint trains of Team DSM, Le Col-Wahoo and Trek-Segafredo showed themselves at the front of the bunch, with Jumbo-Visma moving up late once again. Alison Jackson had a late crash having already secured the sprint jersey for another day – she was able to continue. Another late crash near the front of the bunch also created some havoc, with some GC riders distanced by the finish. They had the time gaps ultimately wiped though as a result of the crash coming within the last 3km.
Lucinda Brand led out Danish teammate Amalie Dideriksen but it was home rider Emilia Fahlin who made the earliest headway with a long sprint. Marianne Vos jumped onto her wheel and it took some time for her to come around the Swede. Only half a bike length separated the two on the line. Behind them, there was a little bit more distance to Guarischi and then Alex Manly, Megan Jastrab and Tamara Dronova.
Marianne Vos therefore still leads the general classification, with her lead now 14″ after securing more bonus seconds.
“It was a very difficult sprint because we arrived in the village at high speed, it was quite technical there with the corners and Trek-Segafredo made a good move there”, the Jumbo-Visma rider looks back on the final in Strömstad.
They escaped 1 kilometre from the finish, went through well and had a gap. I hesitated for a moment to close that because I knew it was going to be difficult. But I had to go and gambled on it.
Emilia Fahlin came by very quickly after that and it was very close in the sprint, but it’s nice to be able to take my second win.”Marianne Vos
Main photo credit: Kenneth Asbjørnsen / Eventfotografene