The first stage of the 2016 Ladies Tour of Norway was met with harsh weather conditions that took their toll on the riders. Starting in Downtown Halden with a finish in Downtown Fredrikstad, stage 1 saw the peloton brave constant rain and wind over 71.1 km; our Alison Tetrick suffered a crash early in the race and had to chase back on, she was able to finish the race and will be fine to start tomorrow.
The pace of the race was high early in the race and no breakaway was able to gain an advantage by the first intermediate sprint (Carmen Small took second in the first intermediate sprint). The peloton would stay together heading into the first QOM before Rabo-Liv’s Thalita De Jong attacked and put some riders in the box near the back of the bunch. The peloton wouldn’t let her stay out for long and Shelya Gutiérrez was fourth over the top of the QOM which set up an attack from four riders including our Carmen Small. “When [Lucinda] Brand (Rabo-Liv) went,” added Carmen, “I knew I had to go, so I bridged to that move. Hitec brought us back, but I thought it was a good move that could stay clear.”
After the short lived break was reeled back in the race stayed very aggressive with lots of attacking from different teams. “I couldn’t see very well today in the rain and it was super windy,” Carmen later added. “There was constant separations in the peloton due to the weather and the technical course.”
As the peloton closed in on the finish Doris Schweizer went deep to bring back two riders that were off the front to help set Carmen up in the sprint. Carmen would end up 9th on the stage, behind race winner Nicole Hanselmann of Cervelo-Bigla.
Stage 2 will see the peloton travel from Mysen to Downtown Sarpsborg, where they will have three finishing circuits. We should see better weather tomorrow so it should be a great day of racing. Also, with the GC outside of just time bonuses, teams will have to be aggressive to better their overall placing.