MacLean shines in fourth at Ladies Tour of Norway

Sat 16 Aug 2014

Tireless domestique Jessie MacLean came to the fore at the Ladies Tour of Norway to finish fourth on stage one this afternoon.

Surviving from an initial breakaway of 12 which then split of half, MacLean finished fourth in a sprint for minor placings behind solo winner Anna Van der Breggen and just ahead of a fast closing reduced peloton. The result moves her into seventh overall, 51seconds off the lead. 

“It was good to see Jessie in the move today,” sport director Gene Bates said. 

“We haven’t seen her go for a result most of the season and it was really nice to see her in the thick of the action and get a top five result for the team. 

“She has worked tirelessly for the team and that was a good result for her today.”

Showing further good signs after her return from the track and seventh position in last night’s prologue, Melissa Hoskins finished second in the bunch sprint for a second consecutive seventh position.

“Mel showed a lot of promise in the sprint to come second in the bunch so that’s a real positive for her,” Bates said.

“And the rest of the team performed well and we will be looking for a strong result again tomorrow.”

After a tame start to race, the action picked up as the terrain got tougher.

“There were favourable winds and nothing major on the course profile so it was never really going to break up at the start,” Bates said.

“But once we got into the hills there were a few really dangerous moves, good moves.

“Over the major climb of the day we had Emma (Johansson) in a group of four with a couple of Rabobank riders, but they weren’t super keen for the break to go away with their teammate Marianne (Vos) in the overall lead so it came back to the bunch.

“Then there was a lot of action caused by a couple of teams, mainly ourselves and the Specialised team, and finally a group of 12 riders got away and we had Emma and Jessie in that move.

“We were outnumbered by Rabobank but it was a good move for us none the less. That group split in half and five riders went away with Jessie and the eventual winner of the stage in it.”

The Ladies Tour of Norway concludes with the second and final road stage tomorrow, a 105.8km journey starting and finishing at Fredriksten Fortress. 

“To be honest it is probably a bit harder the stage,” Bates said.

“The start is quite hilly and then we go into a finishing circuit and do three laps. 

“That circuit is really technical, there are a few hills in it and there is actually a couple of dirt sections too so that is bound to throw up a few surprises that’s for sure.

“We will probably ease our way into the race and really look to be active in the final and try to take advantage of some numbers in the finish.”