Ladies Tour of Norway (st. 3)
Olympic champion from Movistar Team perfectly protected by unbreakable Blue squad, wins convincingly at Scandinavian ski station to take Telefónica-backed squad’s 30th success of 2021.
The extraordinary 2021 season of Annemiek van Vleuten and the Movistar Team continues reaching new heights at the Ladies Tour of Norway (UCI Women’s WorldTour), which tackled its Queen stage on Saturday with the final climb to the ski station of Norefjell (10.5km at 6%), venue for a resounding victory of the Olympic TT champion.
The current holder of the European RR jersey, supported perfectly during the last three days by Gloria Rodríguez, Barbara Guarischi, Aude Biannic, Sheyla Gutiérrez and Leah Thomas, kept calm against the strong opposition and attacks from SD Worx, with Niamh Fisher-Black and Ashleigh Moolman, and launched her decisive acceleration with 3km to go, leaving behind both the South African and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ) and reaching the finish with a 34″ gap, almost fourty seconds to defend as new yellow jersey heading into Sunday’s final stage.
This was Van Vleuten’s 81st victory of her pro career and the 30th success -17th for the women’s squad, here directed by Pablo Lastras- of the 2021 Movistar Team, who will try to offer their fans another moment of joy tomorrow at the northernmost women’s event in the calendar.
REACTION / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“I came here to this race trying not to soak in too much pressure after the Olympics, just to see how I was going, but with the team working hard for me all day, putting everything together with such an amazing job, I felt another kind of pressure, which was trying to finish things off for them. I went all out when I attacked.
“The goal for the whole team was to keep everything together until the final climb. Baby actually did a really good last pull at the foot of the climb, and she did make me hurt, which was actually good! After that, I just had to follow the group and choose my moment. Pablo and I have planned to go on the steepest part fo the climb, yet other teams went quite fast and it was not a slow stroll up, so it was not easy to try it there.
“In the end, Ashleigh Moolman went and I attacked over it. I felt that she could follow me, but I just committed, did not look back and kept on going, and I didn’t even know what was happening behind after I attacked, because I just went to ‘maximum hurt’. It was a beautiful win here – it’s so nice to be racing here in Norway, and I look forward to defending this tomorrow with the team. It will be another hard day for us again, but I think I have an experienced team around me, so I’m not nervous for tomorrow.”
- 01 Annemiek van Vleuten Movistar Team 3h52'17"
- 02 Ashleigh Moolman SD Worx +35"
- 03 Mavi García Alé BTC Ljubljana +41"
- 25 Leah Thomas Movistar Team +2'16"
- 92 Barbara Guarischi Movistar Team +15'33"
- 96 Gloria Rodríguez Movistar Team "
- 97 Aude Biannic Movistar Team "
- 98 Sheyla Gutiérrez Movistar Team "
- 01 Annemiek van Vleuten Movistar Team 11h10'25"
- 01 Ashleigh Moolman SD Worx +39"
- 03 Mavi García Alé BTC Ljubljana +47"
- 24 Leah Thomas Movistar Team +3'09"
- 66 Sheyla Gutiérrez Movistar Team +16'23"
- 68 Barbara Guarischi Movistar Team +16'30"
- 83 Aude Biannic Movistar Team +21'22"
- 91 Gloria Rodríguez Movistar Team +26'36"