Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Amber Kraak has finished third in the final classification of the Tour of Scandinavia. The 29-year-old Dutch rider finished the final stage of the five-day race in 12th place. The stage win went to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. Annemiek van Vleuten won the general classification.
The fifth and final stage of the Tour of Scandinavia was rocked by a crash in the peloton 40 kilometres from the finish. Kraak, Maud Oudeman and Carlijn Achtereekte were involved, but both Jumbo-Visma riders could continue.
Meanwhile, the group of favourites with Kraak was chasing breakaway rider Anya Louw. The Australian was caught during the local laps in the finish town of Haderslev. The stage win went to Louw. The number two in the general classification put in a strong final sprint from the depleted peloton. Kraak crossed the line in twelfth place. Her third place in the final classification was no longer jeopardized.
"The goal was to finish in the top five. To finish third is very good."
"After the big crash in the peloton, I dropped back for a while”, Kraak said. "Just before the local laps, I could catch up again. But this way you can't start the final relaxed. Luckily, my teammates supported me enough to defend my third place. The heavy rain made the final anything but pleasant, but I am relieved that it worked out. The goal before the race was to finish in the top five. To finish third is very good. We can go home satisfied.”
"We can look back on a successful week”, race coach Carmen Small said. "We started here with a mix of experience and talent. With such a strong field, we didn't know if finishing fifth would be possible. The efforts of all our riders made the difference last week. We knew that every stage was important for Amber. It's quite an achievement that she managed to finish third and claim her first stage race podium.”