Ladies Tour of Norway (final)
Second stage race victory in 2021 for the Olympic time trial champion, unbeatable at Norefjell and backed to perfection by her five teammates at the final circuit in Halden.
Despite the final bustle on the circuit of the fourth and final day of the Tour of Norway (UCI Women’s WorldTour) in Halden, Annemiek van Vleuten and the Movistar Team managed to confirm their third women’s victory in the 2021 stage races on Sunday.
Barbara Guarischi, Aude Biannic, Gloria Rodríguez, Leah Thomas and Sheyla Gutiérrez took great care of the Olympic champion during the 141 km of the final day between Drøbak and Halden, especially in a final circuit where stress and falls forced the ‘telephone squad’ to pull the peloton and resolve any small splits.
Moolman (SDW) and Faulkner (TIB) accompanied on the podium a Van Vleuten who reached 82 professional victories and leads the Movistar Team structure to 31 successes in 2021, 18 for a female team increasingly established among the best of the world.
STATEMENTS / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“When I woke up this morning I did not have any kind of nervousness, because with girls like these around me, I feel safe, and that has been seen on the road. We haven’t had any kind of rush today. With what comes to us in 2022, with great races like the Tour de France, it has been nice to see how this team responds and that they are capable of doing everything necessary. I have not had to say anything to them, they have ridden perfectly and it makes me feel very proud to be part of this team. On the final circuit there was a bit of chaos, but having the team in the lead all the time there has given me security. If there were any teams with the idea of trying to make up some time there, we showed them that we could control.
Now I’m going back to Livigno, but not as a concentration at altitude, but as a way to recharge my batteries. I need to keep my motivation high for the remainder of the season, and also enjoy training and be more aware of what I have achieved these weeks. I’m not very happy that there aren’t really tough races left on the calendar, but it is what it is. The idea for this end of the year is to score the World Time Trial as a team, and I also plan to ride the European Championship, which takes place very close to where I will be these days in Italy. Then The Women’s Tour in Great Britain will come and the idea is to close my season at the Ronde van Drenthe ”.
Image credits (c): Photo Gomez Sport / Anton Vos