Results and latest news below
When they saw the parcours of the 2014 Women’s Tour of Norway, several fans thought it was a pity that the race didn’t spend a bit more time showing off the countryside of the nation frequently called the most beautiful on Earth. While Norway is indeed very, very beautiful and so it was a bit of a pity, it was also understandable: the race was in its first year and the route stuck to the sort of roads that would make organising the event a little easier. This year, the organisers have gone for a far more picturesque route, as you can see through the eyes of little orange man if you drop him at any point along the route of the opening criterium (results of which are not counted towards the outcome of the Tour, the criterium being the “Tour of Norway’s gift to celebrate our town’s 350 years anniversary”), Stage 1 or Stage 2.
The most interesting change from a British fan’s point of view, however, is how many British riders are taking part. In 2014 there were two, Alice Cobb and Lucy Coldwell. They obviously enjoyed it because they’re back this year, but now they’ve been joined by ten more British riders, one Irish rider and Clemence Copie, a French rider who races in Britain for a British team. It says a lot for the race that it can attract so many, and it says a lot about how things are changing in British women’s cycling that domestic, non-professional teams can send them.
Racing Chance Foundation
161 Alice Cobb
162 Julie Erskine
163 Chloe Fraser
164 Amy Gornall
165 Bex Rimmington
166 Hayley Simmonds
(Please see the bottom of this page for more information on Racing Chance)
92 Lucy Coldwell
86 Genevieve Whitson
Orica-AIS is sending Emma Johansson, ranked number one in the world in the past and currently ranked number two, while the mighty Rabo-Liv is sending Anna van der Breggen, currently ranked number one in the world and the winner of Stage 2 and the overall General Classification and Points competition at this race last year, and Katarzyna Niewiadoma who last year won the Mountains and Youth classifications. There are also very strong squads from top professional teams Hitec Products, Bigla and Ale-Cipollini, so the British riders (and Irish rider, and Copie!) will be well aware that they’re up against some very tough competition – but with a combination of skills learned through experience and young potential, they have a very good chance to do well.
We’ll have results and, where possible, news on the British teams (and Lucy) each day right here. In the meantime, the links in the startlist above will take you to their Twitter pages, so give them a follow and wish them luck!
Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) got the better of Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) in the final sprint after spending most of the race in a breakaway with Katarzyna Pawlowska (Boels-Dolmans) and Jeanne Korevaar (Rabo-Liv), who took third and fourth.
Ever-popular Italian rider Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) was at the front of a group of twelve which finished a minute later including, in 13th place, British rider Gabriella Shaw of Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International. Another group of twelve was six seconds behind, with Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) 21st.
Lauren Creamer, Clemence Copie and Bethany Hayward (all Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) were the only other British riders/members of British teams to compete in the criterium, which is not part of the Tour itself, but were classified DNF.
Criterium – 1 Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) 39’21”
13 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +1’00”
21 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +1’06”
DNF Lauren Creamer (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International), Clemence Copie (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International), Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
The criterium was a whole lot of fun but, as outlined above, it wasn’t technically part of the Tour – it was a gift from the race organisers to the Norwegian city of Halden to celebrate its 350th anniversary. Not a bad gift, really; if anyone gives me a race featuring several of the finest cyclists in the world for my 350th birthday, I’ll be pretty pleased.
Today, the race got underway for real with a tough 114.6km route featuring numerous climbs up to around 200m and, just as challenging (especially for the skinny climbers who gained an advantage on those climbs), numerous steep and fast descents – you can see the route along with the altitude profile here. Aggressive right from the gun, the race was dominated by a superstrong break made up of around 20 of the usual UCI-level suspects including the American Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) and Australian Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS), who finally fought their way free from the bunch towards the end of the stage. Still in front by a handful of seconds as the line approached, the duo began their sprint and Guarnier crossed the line one second ahead. Spratt’s team mate Valentina Scandolara once again led the rest, finishing 8″ later.
The best British rider today was current British Time Trial Champion Hayley Simmonds, who usually rides for Velosport but is in Norway to represent the Racing Chance Foundation team. Hayley finished fourth from a group of 23 riders 3’04” behind the winner, securing 24th place – which translates to 25th in the General Classification due to other riders picking up bonuses in the stage’s two intermediate sprints.
Gabriella Shaw, the best Brit in the crit, was 36th, recording the same time as Simmonds; she is 36th in the GC too. Lucy Coldwell finished in the same group as Simmonds and Shaw, taking 40th place for the stage and overall. Swabo Ladies’ New Zealand-born Scottish rider Genevieve Whitson led the next group, finishing 5’37” behind Guarnier in 44th place. Another Scot, Julie Erskine (Racing Chance), was right behind her for 45th, while Alice Cobb, Chloe Fraser and Bex Rimmington were fractions of a second slower for 47th, 5oth and 53rd.
After a few solo riders came in, another group arrived containing Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) in 59th place. Amy Gornall (Racing Chance) was 81st and Irish rider Lauren Creamer was 82nd. Sadly, Claire Galloway, Clemence Copie and Nikola Butler (all Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International, all finished beyond the cut-off of 3h20’20” and were eliminated.
Alice Cobb is 10th in the Youth classification, 5’29” behind leader Amalie Dideriksen of Boels-Dolmans. Chloe Fraser is 12th with the same time deficit; Bethany Hayward is 13th at +9’12”; Amy Gornall is 19th at +12’22.
In the overall Teams Classification, the Racing Chance Foundation is 10th and Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International is 14th.
Stage 1 – 1 Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) 3h02’08”
24 Hayley Simmonds (Racing Chance Foundation) +3’04” (GC 25th)
36 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC 36th)
40 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) ST (GC 40th)
44 Genevieve Whitson (Swabo Ladies) +5’37” (GC 46th)
45 Julie Erskine (Racing Chance Foundation) ST (GC 47th)
47 Alice Cobb (Racing Chance Foundation) ST (GC 49th)
50 Chloe Fraser (Racing Chance Foundation) ST (GC 52nd)
53 Bex Rimmington (Racing Chance Foundation) ST (GC 54th)
59 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +9’20” (GC 60th)
81 Amy Gornall (Racing Chance Foundation) +12’30” (GC 82nd)
82 Lauren Creamer (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST (GC 83rd)
OTL 85 Claire Galloway (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) , 87 Clemence Copie (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) , 95 Nikola Butler (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
Full results for all classifications
Stage 2 – Super Simmonds!
Boels-Dolmans kept the race on lockdown right from the off, making sure that if anyone did manage to get off the front of the fast-moving peloton they were brought back before Megan Guarnier’s General Classification advantage looked even vaguely threatened – a textbook example of team tactics.
By the time the finish came within sight it was clear that advantage was secure. However, her team was not willing to rest on their laurels: in the sprint, Guarnier herself was in the thick of it accompanied by Christine Majerus, but it was Criterium 350 winner Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) who once again came out on top despite the efforts of Rab0-Liv’s Anna van der Breggen and the Scandinavian riders Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), Emilie Moberg (Hitec Products) and Sara Mustonen (Swedish National Team) who were all in search of on their own turf.
It has been, in only two days, a fascinating race – and one that might become even more interesting in future editions if it were to be extended over three, four or even more days. Hopefully that will happen in the coming years.
The best British rider was once again Hayley Simmonds (Racing Chance Foundation), the 27-year-old Cambridge PhD student (and expert cake-baker – check out her Twitter!) who has been so successful on the UK time trial scene this year that she’s drawing comparison to the great Beryl Burton.
27th in the leading group of 33 (which finished with a time of 2h54’16”, equal to that of Olds) was sufficient for Simmonds to move up one place in the GC to 24th; she is therefore the Tour’s most successful British rider overall.
(At this point, can we just take a quick look at some of the riders Simmonds beat today? Gracie Elvin, Evelyn Stevens, Vera Koedooder – even Valentina Scandolara…! – Ed.)
No other Brits made into the lead group, but Genevieve Whitson (Swabo Ladies), Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) and Chloe Fraser (Racing Chance) were all close to the front of a group which, following a couple of riders who finished solo, was the next to come in. They took 39th, 40th and 41st respectively. Julie Erskine and Amy Gornall (both Racing Chance) and Bethany Hayward and Gabriella Shaw (both Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) also finished together; taking 52md, 53rd, 54th and 55th in the next group which finished 2’29” behind the stage winner. Alice Cobb and Bex Rimmington, also Racing Chance, finished a little further back in the same group in 60th and 65th.
Irish rider Lauren Creamer was involved in a crash and ended up in a ditch but climbed back out, got back on her bike and worked heroically hard to make sure she completed the race within the time limit. She finished the stage in 78th place (out of 79 who beat the limit) with a time of +8’05” – there’s no combativity award in this race, but if there was Lauren would surely have won it. Chapeau, Lauren!
Stage and GC results below…
Stage 2 – Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) 2h 54’16”
27 Hayley Simmonds (Racing Chance Foundation) ST
39 Genevieve Whitson (Swabo Ladies) +1’38”
40 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) ST
41 Chloe Fraser (Racing Chance Foundation) ST
52 Julie Erskine (Racing Chance Foundation) +2’29”
53 Amy Gornall (Racing Chance Foundation) ST
54 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
55 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
60 Alice Cobb (Racing Chance Foundation) ST
65 Bex Rimmington (Racing Chance Foundation) ST
78 Lauren Creamer (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +8’05”
Full stage result
Final General Classification – Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) 5h56’11”
24 Hayley Simmonds (Racing Chance Foundation) +3:17
39 Lucy Coldwell (Maxx-Solar) +4:55
45 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +5:46
47 Genevieve Whitson (Swabo Ladies) +7:28
48 Chloe Fraser (Racing Chance Foundation) +7:28
49 Julie Erskine (Racing Chance Foundation) +8:19
51 Alice Cobb (Racing Chance Foundation) +8:19
60 Bethany Hayward (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +12:02
73 Amy Gornall (Racing Chance Foundation) +15:12
78 Lauren Creamer (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +20:48
“The Racing Chance Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales which was set up in April 2014 to provide an alternative pathway for women in competitive cycling. We focus on road-based events, providing training and racing opportunities from novice through to elite level.” Read more
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