Rain and wind makes for a hard first stage in Norway with Roy sprinting to eight place

Thu 22 Aug 2019

Clasica Fémenina Navarra winner Sarah Roy sprinted to eighth place today for Mitchelton-SCOTT on a wet and windy opening stage at the Ladies Tour of Norway.

Despite numerous attacks, climbs and wind, the race remained mostly together and concluded with a bunch sprint won by Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg.)

Attacks but no freedom

In the first half of the race, riders launched many attacks but no riders were able to break free. Grey and rainy conditions added to the difficulty of the stage, which resulted in the peloton remaining in tact for more than 70km despite a few splits over the Queen of the Mountains. 

Wind and rain play a part

With the heavy rain continuing and a headwind section on the run into the first passage of the finishing line, the peloton remaining together until more attacks came during the final three laps of an eight kilometre circuit. Tge race split for a period of time with Mitchelton-SCOTT present with numbers at the front but once again things came back together.

A group of six-riders briefly broke away but Moniek Tenniglo was quick to react for Mitchelton-SCOTT to bring things back together again.

As the race headed for a bunch sprint, a crash with two kilometres to go caused a shake up in the bunch with Roy eventually sprinting to eighth place.

Sarah Roy

"It was pretty much pouring rain the entire stage. The roads were super wet with puddles everywhere and some slippery sections.

"There were a few teams keen for a small break rather than a sprint but we were pretty keen for a sprint from the reduced bunch that ended up on the finishing circuits. We had Moniek, Grace and myself there, and Moniek did an excellent job of keeping things together for us.

"Unfortunately there was a crash on a main corner about two kilometres from the finish, Moniek and I were very lucky to get through as we were right near the front when it happened but then I was on my own for the sprint. I made up some places with 500metres to go and then the top few riders shut the door to my inside line. To be expected, I wasn’t positioned perfectly and so didn’t get the chance to have a full gas sprint.

"The strength in the team is awesome, some bad luck today but some great days ahead for us."

Martin Vestby - Sport Director

“I think we did well with the team today and with the bad weather, it was really raining the whole day and then really fast in the hilly section.

"We kept that under control and were represented at the front and were nice and safe. Then there were almost no breakaway's because of the wind direction. 

"We tried to be active on the small crosswind section before the local laps and we had quite a few riders in the first group and the riders we needed there.

"A small crash about two kilometres from the finish stuffed it up for us but in general we are quite happy with the day and still in the mix for the GC."

Ladies Tour of Norway - Stage 1 Results:

1. Lorena Wiebes (park Hotel Valkenberg) 3:16:27
2. Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cippollini) ST
3. Amalie Dideriksen (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) ST
8. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Photos courtesy of Getty Images