The final stage of the 2022 Tour of Scandinavia saw Marianne Vos take her 4th victory of the race. The Dutch rider was unsurprisingly the fastest in the bunch sprint after a dominant week. Her teammate Anouska Koster had led a late charge but was caught shortly before the finish. Canyon SRAM’s young Belgian Shari Bossuyt was 2nd behind Vos. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig secured the overall victory by heading off a late charge from 2nd placed rival Liane Lippert. The Dane takes the victory in a home race of sorts.
The peloton took on 153km between Lillestrøm to Halden, a stage that always looked set for sprinters again. A couple of small slopes didn’t make too much of an impact on what was otherwise a flat day. The local lap was 5km long, taking on a technical finish in Halden with 3 laps.
Again, as on most of the stages in this year’s Tour of Scandinavia, a break took a while to form. Only after the first QoM of the day did 5 riders get away. These included Sylvie Swinkels, Maud RIjnbeek, Eluned King, Katia Ragusa and Femke Markus. They got the largest gap of 5 minutes but the peloton kicked on and had reduced the gap to 3 minutes with 80km to go, always a sign the peloton has things under control. FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope were doing the marshalling on the front of the peloton for their race leader, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.
With Maud Rijnbeek the highest in GC at 6 minutes behind, FDJ had completed their work. They handed the baton of responsibility over to Jumbo-Visma who wanted the stage victory. Their input reduced the lead to 1 minute with 40km to go and the break was down to 4 members with Ragusa returning to the peloton.
The break was caught for good with 20km to go, a touch too early with a local lap encouraging late attacks. Mischa Bredewold and Jeanne Korevaar attacked at different points, Korevaar in the lead by 15 seconds when starting the last lap. That was closed and the counter-attack from Koster briefly looked good. Liane Lippert attempted to use it as a launch pad, but Uttrup Ludwig managed to close things again without ever getting to Koster. It was only with 100m to go that Koster was caught, with her teammate Vos sprinting past for another win.
With Lippert and Uttrup Ludwig finishing at the same time, the GC was decided for the effervescent Dane. She was the big winner of the week along with Marianne Vos.
“It went beyond expectations. We wanted to go for the mountain jersey and see if we could win a stage. That was right away, so that was very nice. Then there are three more stage wins. We could not have imagined that.
The way of racing was very nice to experience. We continuously motivated each other to go for it every day and fought every day for what we were worth. The spirit was good and we learned something every day.”Marianne Vos