Team Sunweb closed the Ladies Tour of Norway with a bang today, as Ellen van Dijk sprinted to 2nd and Floortje Mackaij took 5th. Ellen also finishes the race 3rd in the GC.
Team Sunweb wrapped up proceedings at the Ladies Tour of Norway today with a 158.6 kilometre stage which featured various challenging climbs and gravel sections. It was another quiet start to the race with no attacks until the day’s first intermediate sprint. Here, various riders tried their luck but all moves were swiftly neutralised by the peloton. It was only after 48 kilometres that another group went clear, this time including Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann and Sabrina Stultiens inside a group of six. The strength of the riders within the sextet meant that they would only enjoy a brief two kilometre stint up the road before being brought back to the bunch. Another three riders were to go clear at the 80 kilometre mark, but were to be brought back inside the final 10 kilometres.
As the kilometres ticked down, Floortje Mackaij and Leah Kirchmann launched attack after attack at the front of the peloton. With all of their attacks brought back it was Ellen van Dijk who was able to accelerate away from the bunch. A dangerous move for the peloton behind, a furious chase was launched to catch Ellen. After five kilometres ahead of the field, the reduced peloton made the catch and the group continued in pursuit of the line. With Floortje and Ellen still present inside the front group of 15 riders Team Sunweb were in good position for the finale. Ellen opened up the sprint to take 2nd place with Floortje finishing close behind in 5th. Team Sunweb’s efforts throughout the week also mean they take the win in the team classification.
Ellen said: “It was a fun week of racing with the team. We were always dominant and created a lot of the action. Each rider did a perfect job. It was also impressive to see our young riders racing so well and being so committed to their jobs. We wanted to make the race hard and the team worked very well together to do so. I was pleased to win the prologue but a little bit disappointed to miss out on the win today. To win the team GC was a great reward for our style of racing this week.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said: “Today was a really hard stage with climbs, gravel sections and a really technical final lap which made it even harder. Once again it was an amazing job from the team who were in perfect position throughout the day. Ellen showed her strength after being in the break for one lap of the finishing circuit then being so close to the win in the finale. The final GC was really close and it was an impressive performance from the whole team to finish third overall.”