Susanne Andersen 2nd in punchy and chaotic Tour of Norway opening stage


The Ladies Tour of Norway got underway today with a 141 kilometre long stage from Halden to Sarpsborg, taking place over some rolling terrain with a tricky and technical finish circuit. It was a fierce start to proceedings with a lot of attacks before eventually a five rider breakaway got clear, building up an advantage of over four minutes. With all Team DSM riders in the peloton, focus remained on staying safe and conserving energy before the finale.

As the kilometres ticked by, Wilma Olausson helped to take up the onus in the chase alongside some other teams. However approaching the finish circuits the breakaway split up, and lone rider Faulkner put up a strong battle, with the peloton hesitating in the chase somewhat. As a result, the pace was really high on the final laps which led to a nervous bunch. The team moved forward en masse at three kilometres to go, aiming to set up Coryn Rivera for the finale. Unfortunately, a crash towards the front of the peloton saw the group split with Rivera caught behind. Regrouping, the team worked well to bring Susanne Andersen towards the fore before she unleashed a strong sprint on the punchy drag to the line, claiming a strong second place as Faulkner just held on for the win ahead.

“Our plan was to go all in for Coryn today,” expressed Andersen at the finish. “We made sure the break was not too big and that no bigger teams were in. Once they got four minutes we put Wilma in the chase and it felt in control when the gap started coming down. We caught most of the break coming into the local laps where we were sharp in case more attacks went, with Faulkner still up the road. We were focusing on the lead out hoping to close the last bit with it. Unfortunately, Coryn had to stop because of the crash in the last corner, so we had to change our plan completely. I found my way to Floortje and she did a very strong pull before I opened my sprint pretty early but it was just not enough to catch the solo rider. It’s a bit of a bittersweet feeling as we couldn’t execute our plan with Coryn, and didn’t catch the break but personally I’m still happy with my sprint. I think all girls were really strong today so we will bring this further and continue to fight for the win here.”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “Today was a bit of a chaotic stage. There was a big crash halfway into the day, which Wilma got caught in but after a long chase she came back strongly. Five riders went up the road, and got up to four minutes of an advantage before the chasing started in the peloton, with Wilma helping out for us. We all focused on being in a good position on the technical local circuits, and on the lead out for Coryn. When we got to the final kilometres, we lost each other a bit in the chaos leading up to the sprint. With two kilometres to go there was a crash near the front, which Coryn got caught up in, leaving Susanne, Floortje and Juliette in the front. Susanne then quickly switched and took up the sprinters role for us. As the group slowed down a little bit after the crash, Faulkner just stayed away a took the win, with Susanne sprinting to a solid second place behind her. We’re motivated to keep fighting for more strong results in the coming days.”

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 FAULKNER Kristen Team TIBCO – SVB 3:38:15 25
2 ANDERSEN Susanne Team DSM ,, 20
3 BARNES Alice Canyon SRAM Racing ,, 18