Table of Contents
Tour of Scandinavia Battle of the North Race History
The Tour of Scandinavia has morphed from the Ladies Tour of Norway for 2022 after a successful run between 2014 and 2021. Originally hoped to incorporate the Vargarda races in Sweden, the organisers there eventually opted to remain separate. The 2022 Tour of Scandinavia route starts with a depart in Copenhagen, its second big race start in as many months! A long transfer up the coast of Sweden takes the race to the Swedish/Norwegian border. One stage in Sweden takes place before we return to the traditional Tour of Norway-type stages. The peloton will take on the long climb of Norefjell once again, which Van Vleuten comfortably won on last season. For the most part, expect rolling sprint stages with the summit finish deciding the GC.
All stages will be shown live 3pm-5:15pm BST on Eurosport Player/GCN
Tour of Scandinavia Battle of the North Contenders
SD Worx’s Demi Vollering will be the big GC favourite here as the only rider to come close to Annemiek van Vleuten in France last week. Everyone else felt like they were a tier below the Dutch climber. The onus will be her to distance her rivals on Norejfell but we also saw her able to win with attacks like at Itzulia Women.
Katrine Aalerud will be a home favourite for Norwegian fans and should finish high in the GC too. Her teammate Sarah Gigante will also be racing for the first time since Itzulia Women back in May too. She won Emakumeen Nafarroako shortly before Itzulia but then suffered a concussion and then has been back training since. The pair could work well together but we haven’t seen either racing for a while. Barbara Guarischi will do the sprints for Movistar, she won the Mediterranean Games at the start of July but hasn’t raced since.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig will be a big GC favourite here after her Tour de France Femmes. She took a stage win there, which bodes well for Stage 3 here and also climbed well. She may be behind Demi Vollering based on the climbs in the Tour de France Femmes, but Cille stands a good chance for a high GC finish. She’s supported by Brodie Chapman who was in great form at the Tour de Suisse, finishing 4th in GC.
Team DSM will go into this race with some confidence. Missing Labous and Wiebes, instead, they will have Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij available for GC hopes and Charlotte Kool for sprint wins. Lippert will be an early contender for the lead on the rolling sprint stages, with Stage 3, in particular, looking a good finish for her. Floortje Mackaij is a little bit more of an unknown. She was preparing at altitude to go to the Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes but has been testing positive for covid for a while despite having no symptoms. That saw her miss out but in theory, she will be in form and fresh compared to others. She probably feels the natural climber for a real GC stint.
With the news that Lorena Wiebes is moving to SD Worx next season, Charlotte Kool gets a run out here for Team DSM. She impressed at the Giro Donne, doing everything but actually taking a win against top-drawer rivals. Here she feels like a bet to take a stage win.
There isn’t an obvious GC contender on BikeExchange-Jayco but they do have a couple of solid sprint options in Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Alex Manly. The Aussie pair should dovetail nicely on the tougher sprint stages like Stage 3 but may be overpowered by the likes of Kool and her lead-out train. Without Wiebes though, the sprints should be closer and there is always a chance that Alex Manly recreates that Thüringen Ladies Tour and Women’s Tour form that saw her do so well.
Marianne Vos will be the sprinting favourite and she could easily take multiple wins here. After a pair of stage wins at the Tour de France Femmes, she will be confident of repeating that success. Back in 2019, Vos dominated the Ladies Tour of Norway, taking 3 stage victories and the overall.
Trek doesn’t come into this race with an obvious GC contender but it may fall to Shirin van Anrooij‘s all-round abilities. She won the youth jersey at the Tour de France Femmes and was 6th in GC at the Vuelta a Burgos. She has the potential to be an outsider for the overall. For the sprints, Chloe Hosking should get the shout but only has a pair of 6th places in recent months.
Roland Cogeas’ Tamara Dronova was consistent at the Tour de France Femmes, finishing 15th Overall. Her highest result all race was 9th place but she was rarely outside of the top-20 all Tour. That could mean she finishes in a similar spot here too, with a similar mid to low top-10 finish in the sprints.
Canyon SRAM has a shot with Alice Barnes in the sprints. She started the season strongly at Bloeizone Fryslan, Ronde van Drenthe and De Panne. Since then, results have been harder with a best of 5th at the Women’s Tour. Neve Bradbury is probably their rider in the best climbing form at the moment. The young Aussie finished 10th in the Giro Donne and may get a shot here. There’s also Ella Harris and Mikayla Harvey who could also do well too, with Sarah Roy another sprinting threat.
Susanne Andersen is the best shot for Uno-X to get a result in their home race. After a quiet Tour de France Femmes, Andersen will hope to recreate some of her early season form. With a number of major sprinters not here, Andersen can potentially finish in the top 5 regularly.
The profile here looks like it might suit a strong finish from Alison Jackson. We saw her finish in the top 10 repeatedly at the Baloise Ladies Tour on her way to 7th Overall there. The Norejfell climb here will prevent a similarly high GC finish but she could repeat her points win from last year’s Tour of Norway.
UAE Team ADQ’s Sofia Bertizzolo has a chance of sprinting against this field. She’s done well recently, finishing 5th in the final stage of the Giro Donne and 2nd in the first stage of the Women’s Tour. Bertizzolo is enough of an all-rounder that she could maybe even sneak into the top-10 of the overall.
I quite like Yara Kastelijn for a high GC finish here. She wasn’t far away from the top-10 with a 13th Overall finish at the Tour de France Femmes. Kastelijn also showed that she isn’t too far behind the best climbers and with many not here I’m expecting her to break the top-10. The straight-up single climb of Norefjell should suit her more than the tough repeated ascents in France.
Tour of Scandinavia Battle of the North Outsiders
Invgild Gåskjenn spent May and June racking up the top-10s at the Thüringen Ladies Tour, Women’s Tour and Tour de Suisse. The Norwegian rider impressed with her consistency over multiple stages. Last year on home roads, she was just a shade outside of the top-10 so I’m expecting her to make it inside this year. Her teammates Nicole Steigenga and Mari Hole Mohr will also have a shot. Steigenga has been 2nd at Ronde de Mouscron and Leiedal Koerse this year, with Mohr finishing 2nd in GC at the Tour of Uppsala. The Coop-Hitec Products team will be keen to impress in their home race.
AG-NXTG’s Julia Borgström has impressed this season with her best result 8th in GC at the RideLondon Classique. She’s got a chance for the youth jersey here and her consistency might see her do well in GC without getting a high finish on any individual stage.
A local favourite will be the Norwegian national champion Malin Eriksen. She will be on the Norway national team here and so will get another opportunity to do well in the UCI peloton after taking part in the Baloise Ladies Tour in mid-July. Formerly on the SwaboLadies and Keukens Redant teams, 2022 has seen Eriksen take her best results.
FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope’s Emilia Fahlin might get a chance to sprint here. The Swede will want to impress on one of the few chances to race on home roads. She was 2nd in the Swedish nationals and we’ve seen her finish 8th at Morbihan earlier this season.