Luxembourgish champion Christine Majerus sprinted to third place on the first road stage of Ladies Tour of Norway. The 105-kilometre day ended in a bunch sprint in Mysen.
The flat, fast stage was prime territory for the sprinters to shine, and most teams seemed content with keeping the bunch together. Although a handful of riders tried to slip into the early escape, it became clear in first half of the race that a break would not prove successful.
“It was more of an easy stage today,” said Majerus. “Only the finish lap was hectic. As Megan [Guarnier] was our best finisher yesterday, we wanted to give it a try to get her closer on the general classification, so she sprinted for the bonus seconds. For the final, we had several cards to play, but it was a technical finish, so we decided to go for me.
“Compared to [Vårgåda] on Sunday, I was more prepared for today’s sprint,” said Majerus. “The girls helped me a lot until the final kilometre, which was really important.”
Majerus was the first to start the sprint, jumping before the final round-about.
“It was a risk to go early or wait and probably get blocked and shuffled back,” she noted.
Belgian road champion Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) and Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT) managed to sneak past Majerus before the finish line. Majerus hung on for third place.
“For sure it wasn’t perfect, but I did my best,” Majerus said. “I’m happy with the podium.”
The Ladies Tour of Norway continues with a 140 kilometre stage between Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad on Saturday. Boels-Dolmans heads into the weekend with two riders in the top ten overall with Guarnier in sixth place and Majerus in eighth place, both within ten seconds of D’Hoore, the new overall race leader.
“GC is very open here and some stages might look easy from the outside but you never know what is coming up,” said Majerus. “Megan showed great shape so if the race is getting hard, hopefully she will be there.
“We are open-minded for the next stages,” Majerus noted. “If a good break goes, that’s fine for us. If it comes to a sprint, we have again more cards to play. The race situation will decide our tactic.”