Australian champion Sarah Roy battled to 14th place as the peloton misjudged stage one of the Ladies Tour of Norway in Sarpsborg.
After a steady start to the day, a strong five rider breakaway eventually went clear and opened up a maximum advantage of more than four minutes. The peloton appeared unfazed by the time gap until they eventually set about reeling in the escapees with 40km remaining of the stage.
Team BikeExchange sent Janneke Ensing and Jess Allen to aid in the chasing and as the bell rang for the final lap, just Kristen Faulkner remained out front. However, a crash in the final three kilometres disrupted the charging pack, with the last rider standing still holding on to a slender advantage under the flamme rouge.
With nobody willing to lead the chase, Roy opened up her sprint in sight of the line, but there was no catching Faulker as she narrowly held off the peloton to take the win.
“Valcar had one lead out rider and when she finished her job with about 500 to go I was on the front and the group came up next to me and everyone just spread across the road as the pace slowed. I ended up starting things, but it was too early for me to hang on with that uphill finish so my mistake there.
I did a lot of other things right before that moment so I’m happy with the processes and can build on that for the next days. Tomorrow is another opportunity and I’m feeling confident.
The whole team rode really well today and I’m grateful for their support throughout the stage today and I want to repay their efforts.”
2021 Ladies Tour of Norway Stage 1 – Results:
1. Kristen Faulkner 3:38:15
2. Susanne Andersen ST
3. Alice Barnes ST
14. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) ST
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.