Marianne Vos has won her first WWT stage race in quite an unusual way: she has not won any single stage, which is quite a novelty in her winning style, precisely known for the inmumerous amount of partial victories she gets. Besides, it is the confirmation of the great WM3 momentum, and in Norwegian roads the team has worked extremely well to aim at the leader’s jersey and to keep that privileged position afterwards. Great team work and an experienced handling of every race situation. It is not a coincidence that stage victories or 1 day races are hard to win. The team has grown a lot along the year, but that final rider who should help Marianne in the positioning for the sprint is missing. She is in great shape, but we know how crucial is the work of a team-mate in the final kilometres to prevent the protected rider to spend so much energy in the positioning battle. We hope the new 2018 signings (we already know about ex-Rabo Sabrina Stultiens joining the team) will bring the team that needed rider.
This victory makes Marianne become second in the UCI ranking, a place where 4 of the 1st 5 riders are Dutch. And prolongs the Dutch aka Rabo-Liv dominance of the Scandinavian stage race, with 3 GC wins in 4 editions (the other was Megan Guarnier who took last year´s edition)
4 STAGES, 4 DIFFERENT WINNERS/TEAMS/NATIONALITIES
The prologue was won by Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb). Stage 1 by Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle-High5), stage 2 by Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini) and stage 3 by Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans). It shows once again the depth and variety of women’s cycling in 2017, and we see no signs of this trend changing in the near future. This is great news for the sport.
UCI streamed the final kilometres (we should say half of the race to be more precise) of the three stages, and the feedback from viewers worldwide was excellent. Expert commentary from both Emma Johansson and Owen Rogers was a delight to hear. The images were stunning in terms of quality production. This is the way to follow, we know it is not that hard to provide live coverage in women’s races. Furthermore, prologue was streamed by the race, with cameras at the start, at the finish and great commentary. No matter how humble the means, it was highly appreciated by viewers.
THE BRIDGE INCIDENT
It would be very sad if the great work done by the organisers of the Ladies Tour of Norway was shadowed by the bridge incident in stage 2. In case you missed it, Emilie Moberg’s family are the ones to organize the race. As they stated some hours after in the race’s web page, it was “a series of unlucky coincidences”. Whatever the reasons, it would be very positive if, from now on, final circuits avoided bridges and/or railway crossings. The consequences are dramatic for the riders, both if they are in the breakaway (this was the case here) or if they are in the pursuing group.
On the other hand, the negative impact on the image of women’s cycling is huge. It is not the best promotion for a sport which is searching for investors.
GC: 1-Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)
2- Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans)
3- Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb)
Best team: Team Sunweb
Points (green jersey): Marianne Vos
QOM (polka-dots): Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini)
Best Norwegian: Susanne Anderson (Team Hitec)
Best young (white jersey): Lisa Klein (Cervélo-Bigla)
Norway-Sweden border prize: Daiva Tuslaite (Alé Cipollini)