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  Ladies tour of Norway Preview  
  The Ladies Tour of Norway is back for a second year but with just two stages instead of the three of the first edition. The prologue has been removed and instead the peloton will ride a criterium to start with the results not impacting the races general classification.

Five of the top seven UCI teams are here - Rabo, Boels Dolmans, Orica-AIS, Bigla and Hitec using the race as final preparation for the two Open de Suède Vargarda rounds of the Women's World Cup. Defending champion Anna Van der Breggen is back and will be looking to continue her best season.

Rabo dominated the event last with Marianne Vos winning the prologue, Van der Breggen a solo win on stage one before Vos won a sprint from a small group including Van der Breggen, who consolidated the overall finishing second. Rabo filled the top three positions on the final GC standings with six in the top 10.

2014 Results

Prologue: Marianne VOS
Stage 2: Marianne VOS

General Classification
2 Marianne VOS +38
3 Katarzyna NIEWIADOMA +45
4 Rossella RATTO +54
5 Tiffany CROMWELL +1:02
6 Emma JOHANSSON +1:02
7 Valentina SCANDOLARA +1:13
8 Roxane KNETEMANN +1:15
9 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN +1:34
10 Thalita DE JONG +2:38

Past Winners

2014 - Anna Van der Breggen

The Route

Stage 1

Riders cross the border between Norway and Sweden three times over the 114.6 kilometre stage that offers plenty of opportunities for attacking. The stage finishes with three complete but closer to four laps of a finishing circuit that includes a short climb.

Sprint Points: 32.7km and 97.6km
GPM Points: 40.7km and 71.1km
Border Sprint: 20.2km

Stage 2

More undulating roads on stage two that should again make for aggressive racing. Four laps complete the stage that again include a short climb.

Sprint Points: 56.5km and 97.6km
GPM Points: 24.9km and 70.8km
Border Sprint: 41.4km

The Contenders

Start list available here

Anna Van der Breggen and Rabo

Rabo brings defending champion Anna Van der Breggen and third place finisher Katarzyna Niewidoma. Last year the team put six riders in the top 10 in a show of their dominance. Repeating that performance will be far from easy but they bring a number of contenders for every situation.

Van der Breggen has been the rider of the season and has been on fire since the first race of the season in Europe winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Since then has won two stage of the Energiewacht Tour, La Flèche Wallonne, Festival Luxembourgeois Elsy Jacobs, Dutch TT Championship, Giro Rosa and La Course. After winning two prologues will no doubt be missing the race against the clock this year but that is not likely to deter her. A late attack at La Course stole the show and beat out the sprinters. The undulating roads give her plenty of opportunity to attack.

Katarzyna Niewidoma finished third last year and has also been one of the stand out riders this year. Won Euskal Emakumeen Bira, finished fifth at the Giro in support of Van der Breggen and comes in having just claimed the European under 23 championships. Expect to see her aggressive and after supporting Van der Breggen at the Giro might get some support in return here.

Emma Johansson and Orica-AIS

The Swedish Champion finished sixth last year and after an injury impacted classics season with a broken collarbone but has been back to her consistent ways after a quick recovery. With a move to Wiggle Honda next year she is in the final few races with Orica-AIS and will no doubt want to finish on a strong note. The race suits her attacking style of racing and in this field will also fancy her chances in a sprint from a large peloton of more select group.

Orica-AIS are always looking for opportunities to attack and without a pure sprinter they will no doubt he often found up the road. Gracie Elvin on the back of two wins this year will be full of confidence and on these roads will be at home. Packs a strong finish from a select group. Amanda Spratt and Valentina Scandolara are two riders who like to be up the road and are likely to be a dangerous duo.

Emilie Moberg

A home race for Emilie Moberg and comes in to the race off the back of a podium finish at Sparkassen Giro World Cup at the start of the month. On home roads Moberg will be motivated and her recent World Cup podium will fill her with confidence. Packs a strong finish and in the event of a sprint will be a name to watch. Will have to be careful some of the bigger teams don't split the race.

Lotto Lepisto and Bigla

The champion of Finland has taken it to a new level in the second half of 2015. Took five top five finishes including a stage win ahead of Emma Johansson at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt. In her last two races finished fifth at La Course and just missed the podium in fourth at the Sparkassen Giro World Cup. Packs a very quick finish and in this field will be confident of her chances having recently finished ahead of riders like Johansson.

The reigning champions of Canada and South Africa are two other options that Bigla squad has. Joelle Numainville could spring a big surprise over a number of better-known rivals. Finished a strong 14th in a wet and messy La Course but it is her result from Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt that is a better indictor of how she could go here. Finished eighth overall with three top 10 finishes and these sort of undulating roads suit her. Can post a good result in a sprint finish as well.

Moolman has had an excellent season winning Auensteiner- Radsporttage and finishing second at Euskal Emakumeen Bira and fourth at the Giro Rosa. The course offers opportunities for attacking and she will no doubt try and split the race to both improve her own and her teams chances.

Amalie Dideriksen

The reigning Danish Champion and two time junior road world champion Dideriksen has had a strong first year as a professional on both the track and road. Has had a number of strong results this year including two top 10 finishes at the Women's Tour and a podium at Auensteiner- Radsporttage.

Hasn't raced on the road since the end of June with her focus on the track and earning qualification points for the 2015-16 World Cup season. Put in an outstanding performance to win the IP at the under 23 European Championships and also claimed the omnium title. How she handles switching between disciplines as a first year senior will be interesting.

Boels Dolmans has a strong squad with the likes of Megan Guarnier, Evelyn Stevens and Kasia Pawlowska all likely to be aggressive.

Shelley Olds

Olds is always consistent but is more often than not just short of a win. Hasn't raced much this year with injury issues and a split with Bigla in the middle of the season. Won the White Spot / Delta Road Race in Canada and picked up a number of other wins at BC Superweek. With most of her big sprint rivals absent Olds will be looking forward to the sprints. Her Ale Cipollini team often fills the top 10 with several riders but will need to execute a proper leadout if Olds wants to win.

Other names to watch: Tatiana Guderzo, Sara Mustonen, Lucy Coldwell and Emilia Fahlin.
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