New to the WWT: Ladies Tour of Norway (preview)

In its fourth edition, the Ladies Tour of Norway is one of the new additions to the UCI Women’s WorldTour. This well organised event, including a very informative website, good social media and live TV production, looks like a worthy addition to the series, and continues the run of Scandinavian races on the calendar after the European Championships in Denmark and the Crescent Vårgårda WWT in Sweden.

The outstanding list of past winners (Anna van der Breggen, Megan Guarnier and Lucinda Brand) is set to add another big name to the race’s palmarés this year.

The parcours

The Ladies Tour of Norway starts with a short, 3-km ITT prologue that may be important for the final GC as none of the following road stages looks too selective, at least on paper.

The first and shortest stage, between Halden and Mysen, is 105-km long and includes a final circuit featuring a short hill and some off road, gravel sections.

The second stage will cover 140 km between Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad. It’s basically flat an should be a day for the sprinters.

The third and last stage is also the longest: 157 km. The peloton will pass a few climbs, but perhaps the key part of the stage will be the 7.5-km gravel section as the race briefly enters Sweden.

The favourites

Riders who are good at prologues and can survive the small climbs and the off road sections are the likely favourites for the overall win. Marianne Vos (WM3) looks like an obvious choice, but don’t underestimate Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla), Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb), Annette Edmondson (Wiggle-High5), Katie Archibald (WNT) or Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans).

Will be prologue be long enough for a TT specialist like Ellen van Dijk? Probably not as much as she would’ve liked, but the Sunweb rider might still have a chance.

Look out for sprinters Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini), Jolien D’hoore and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High5), Kirsten Wild (Cylance) and Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans). Local rider Emilia Moberg (Hitec Products) will be very motivated.

Other big names in the race are Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3), Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal), Shara Gillow (FDJ) and Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Lensworld-Kuota).

How to follow the race live

There will be some cameras for the prologue, but only the three road stages will be shown live with a full TV production.

The scheduled times (CEST) for the broadcasting are as following:

Friday Aug 18th: Halden – Mysen, 16:40-18:20
Saturday Aug 19th: Sarpsborg – Fredrikstad, 16:40-18:20
Sunday Aug 20th: Svinesund – Halden, 13:30-15:20

The links are already available on the UCI Youtube channel.