An uphill finish on stage three in Norway sees Kennedy take 6th placeSat 24 Aug 2019
Clásica San Sebastián winner Lucy Kennedy climbed to sixth place today on the penultimate stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway, after a solo breakaway rider animated most of the stage.
An aggressive final saw the race split up once the leader had been reeled in, with Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) attacking the to claim a second consecutive stage win.
After 20kilometres of racing, Shannon Malseed (Team Tibco-Silicon Valley), made a strong solo attack with the peloton seemingly happy to let her go. Emilie Moberg (Team Virtu Cycling) tried to bridge across but was unable to and Malseed continued to power on ahead, reaching a maximum advantage of around seven-minutes.
A steady chase
Behind, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) still maintained her overall race lead, with Malseed starting the day nine-minutes 36seconds behind on the GC and therefore no teams took any real responsibility to bring the lone leader back.
Eventually with 50kilometres to go, the WMN Cycling and Valcar Cylance headed to the front of the bunch to increase the speed, more teams joined in and slowly the leader’s advantage began to drop. A large crash in the bunch saw Grace Brown go down, thankfully she was ok but had to fight hard to return to the peloton.
Climb to the finish
With 15kilometres to go, after a long chase, Malseed was finally caught by the peloton in time for a tricky technical and hilly finish.
The pace was high on the first of two times up the final climb with Vos accelerating and only Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) able to follow.
Kennedy found herself out of position and missed the crucial move and despite a hard chase behind from Mitchelton-SCOTT to try and bring Kennedy back into contention, it proved to be a little too late.
A group of eight-riders instanly responded and tried to bridge across to the leading duo, but the two riders reached the base of the final 1.4kilometre ascent with a 30seconds advantage and did enough to hold on for the top two spots with Kennedy making up places to climb to sixth.
“We were expecting a much more aggressive stage so when the solo rider got a big gap and no-one was chasing it made for a very cruisey day in the bunch.
“With everyone so fresh and then a couple of big crashes, the fast run-in to the circuit and climb was really hectic.
“Despite amazing work by the team I was out of position the first time so had a lot of distance to make up. Sarah Roy and Moniek Tenniglo)then put in huge turns between the two climbs to bring the gap down. I had good legs on the climb but ruined my own chances.
“I prefer a longer harder climb, but I think I was capable of a better result today. I enjoyed having the chance but am disappointed I didn't fully take it and get a result that the team deserved.”
Martin Vestby - Sport Director
"Lucy was abit out of position for the climb the first time, the team did well with helping her back but it was some bad luck losing Grace for the final due to the crash today as well. Sixth place shows she is strong, coming back into contention and climbing the final climb well."
Ladies Tour of Norway - Stage 3 Results:
1. Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) 3:24:20
2. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) +0:05
3. Demi Vollering (Parkhotel-Valkenburg) +0:11
6. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:13
Photos courtesy of Getty Images