The velogames fantasy Tour of Scandinavia 2023 preview highlights the route and the choice to be made with respect to the penultimate leg of the women cycling championship competition.
Stage 1 opens with a bang1 the 15 km double features the ascent of a 1.5km at 6%. The last peak coming less than 10 km to go. Marianne Vos won here last year. The big question is: Can Lorena Wiebes be dropped? If yes, will she still make it back in the descent?
We are already at the queens stage of the Battle of North. This climb was the battlefield for the crowning of Cecile Uttrup Ludwig as the queen of the north. Can she repeat her feat? Her main challengers are Annemiek Van Vleuten and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.
The day ends with 1.4km climb finish at 4.8%. We have seen Lorena Wiebes hold on to short climbs in the past and this might be slightly outside her limits. The race should reward the pure puncheurs and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is one.
Nothing much to see here except for a 16.4km that will crown the new Queen of the North.
The last stage ends with an uphill sprint finale. The 800m long climb is more within Lorena Wiebes ability but it will have to be taken 4 times!
Velogames Tour de Scandinavia 2023 preview
- Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team) 24: ` Surely she would want to win one of her last races ever. Stage 2 suits her well and whoever crosses the line with her will be taken care of on the time-trial.
- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ – SUEZ) 22: Her bronze medal championship was proof as to how she is the best in short efforts. She will have some trouble to follow Van Vleuten on the long climb in stage 2 to repeat her heroic of last year. But she is the favourite to win stage 3 and 5.
- Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) 22: She was been climbing like a monster this season. She was disappointing at the world championship as it shows that she suffers on repeated effort. At 22, she could win stage 1,3 and 5 but she could also be dropped on all 3.
- Ashleigh Moolman (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) 20: The most likely to follow and stick to Annemiek Van Vleuten on stage 2. However she will have to distance the former world champion on the climb if she wants to win the overall. Indeed Annemiek Van Vleuten is a much better time-tribalist
- Liane Lippert (Movistar Team) 20: Probably the last race until she will her own go. She finished second to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig last year. While it be hard for her to repeat her feat of last year she could still top 3 3 stages.
- Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon//SRAM Racing) 16: Her win in the Tour is proof that her knee issue is behind her. She finished 5th in the Vuelta before he r injury. She managed to finished 10th on the Tourmalet last month
- Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM Racing) 16: will be in contention for win in stage 1,3,4 and 5!
- Grace Brown (FDJ – SUEZ) 16: the big favourite for the time-trial
- Elisa Balsamo (Lidl – Trek) 14: A peak Balsamo would have had a blast here. She is still on the recovery road though her 29th place at the world championship is a good indication.
- Amanda Spratt (Lidl – Trek) 12: Will probably top 10 stage 2 and the final GC.
- Arlenis Sierra (Movistar Team) 12: They will be riding for her in stage 1,3 and 5 as they try to drop Wiebes for the Cuban to show her punch.
- Soraya Paladin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) 10: More of a puncher she will be in contention for stage 3 and 5 if Maike Van Der Duin dropped
- Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka (Canyon//SRAM Racing) 10: Also goes well over short climbs
- Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) 10: one of the heroines of the Tour, expect to see plenty of her and even snatch a final top 10.
- Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Human Powered Health) 10; She will try her luck on stage 1,3 and5 although her best stage placing could be the time-trial
- Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Israel Premier Tech Roland) 10: She will be sharing sprinting duties with Maggie Coles-Lyster or whoever is still left.
- Claire Steels (Israel Premier Tech Roland) 10: she had a break through season and the short climbs favours her as she will be present in the finals of these stages
- Elizabeth Deignan (Lidl – Trek) 10: one of the superstars of the world championship, she is close to her peak and a stage victory here would not be a surprise
- Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) 10: Not a sprinter anymore as per words after her win at the Tour. Crashed nastily in Glasgow but seems to be well motivated to race on home roads
- Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team Jayco AlUla) 10: Can resist and hold on to climbs better than Wiebes.
- Ane Santesteban (Team Jayco AlUla) 10: A definite top 10 finisher for stage 2 and a potential final 10 finish.
- Niamh Fisher-Black (Team SD Worx) 10: will be leading the GC charge for team SD works. Potential top 5
- Olivia Baril (UAE Team ADQ) 10: She loves those up and down terrain. Watch out for her and her sprints.
- Eleonora Gasparrini (UAE Team ADQ) 10: seems to be the designated sprinter in the absence of Consonni and she definitely climbs better.
- Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 10: A good sprinter who would was not really at the best in France
- Maike Van Der Duin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) 8: The young sprinting sensation also goes well over climbs justifying her price tag.
- Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) 8: one of the best pure climbers of the peloton she is however back after a very lengthy recovery
- Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ – SUEZ) 8: A bit of a disappointment in the Tour as she was the sole sprinter for her team.
- Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) 8: Took a brilliant win last week in Koerse
- Ella Wyllie (Lifeplus Wahoo) 8: 11th on the Tourmalet. Should be well among the top 10 best climbers here.
- Urška Žigart (Team Jayco AlUla) 8: pure climber and decent time trialist.
- Barbara Guarischi ,Christine Majerus, Femke Markus, Lonneke Uneken (Team SD Worx) 8: Instead of having to chase for Wiebes, they will not put all their eggs in the same basket and instead will be taking turn into getting into attacks.
- Zoe Bäckstedt (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) 6: Still too young and did not race enough among the elites to choose her
- Letizia Borghesi (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) 6: Designated sprinter for her team
- Maggie Coles-Lyster (Israel Premier Tech Roland) 6: Will be sharing sprinting duties with Tamara Dronova
- Tereza Neumanova (Liv Racing TeqFind) 6: Will relish her chances in the absence of Rachel Barber
- Franziska Koch (Team DSM) 6: will sprint in the absence of Charlotte Kool.
- Eglantine Rayer (Team DSM) 6: At 19, she was in the eye of the media after finishing 10th at the Tour de Suisse. A real 6 credits bargain.
- Elinor Barker (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 6: Brave classic rider who is not afraid of putting her nose in the winds.
- Hannah Ludwig (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 6: This Ludwig enjoys long climbs as she finished 13th on the Tourmalet.
- Kim Cadzow (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4: Best 4 credit option who will feature regularly in the top 20 finishes and a possible final top 15 finish.
- Alena Ivanchenko (UAE Team ADQ) 4: she finished 25th of the Vuelta this year, Is remembered for her dazzling performance on the last climb. At 4, she is a gift.
- Rebecca Koerner (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) 4: The current Danish champion. Expect to see plenty of her in the next 5 days in the breakaway.