The day for the sprinters on Saturday?
Saturday’s 2nd stage between Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg is may be the best chance for the sprinters in this years Ladies Tour of Norway. The 128 kilometers will be races on well known roads for many of the riders, some of the roads used also last year and also for the mens Tour of Norway several times.
The finish is the same as two years ago when Lucinda Brand broke away and won both the stage and the GC.
The start will take place by Fredrikstad stadium in co-operation with Fredrikstad Triathlon being held at the same time. The riders will cross the famous bridge that went up during the race last year, but this time they’ll cross before the real start will happen. So there will be no accidents this time!
The roads towards Saltnes and to Rygge are not very demanding except the KoM coming at Vikane after only 11,6 km. But with an average climb of 5 % over 1,7 km this is really nothing for the worlds best female riders.
At Råde they will face the first intermediate sprint of the day at Karlshus after 52 km. Then they’ll turn inland by Missingmyr and taking on the road through Svinddal before they’re heading south again via Trøsken to the finishing city of Sarpsborg.
The final circuit has been used earlier, but not by LToN. The second passage of the finish line is the second intermediate sprint of the day, coming after 108 km with 20 km to go.
The sprint is well known both from LToN and Tour of Norway. A slight uphill towards the line makes it a little more demanding than a flat sprint.
In the mens races riders like Dylan Groenewegen and Edvald Boasson Hagen have dominated this sprint in the Tour of Norway. None of the men have been able to break away and stay ahead to the finish like Lucinda Brand did in LToN 2016. She had a 56 seconds gap to second placed Norwegian talent Susanne Andersen, who was a surprise runner-up on the stage from Mysen.
The stage doesn’t have any big climbs and it will probably be possible for the strongest teams to control the race if they have the power for it. But it is of course also possible to surprise the peloton with some attacks and break clear on the way into Sarpsborg.