Lorena Wiebes will return to the Tour of Scandinavia with Team SD Worx for the first time since leaving the Tour de France Femmes with illness. She also struggled with illness at the World Championships. “The Tour and the World Championships were big goals for me,” she said. “That I couldn’t get everything out of it due to stomach problems, among other things, doubly motivates me to finish the season strongly now. I hope to gain extra confidence in the Tour of Scandinavia, GP Plouay and Simac Ladies Tour, to hopefully successfully defend my European jersey at the end of September at VAM Berg.”
In the Tour of Scandinavia, Team SD Worx will hunt for stage wins with Lorena Wiebes and will hope to achieve a good final ranking in the general classification with Niamh Fisher-Black. The European champion and New Zealand rider will be supported by Barbara Guarischi, Christine Majerus, Femke Markus and Lonneke Uneken who is returning after a collarbone fracture.
The first stage presents a first chance for the sprinters in Halden, Norway. Lorena Wiebes hopes to triumph there. “I’m really looking forward to starting in the Tour of Scandinavia again,” Lorena admitted. She last rode in Scandinavia in 2019 when she managed to win the first stage straight away. Last year, the race was not on her programme and then in 2021 and 2020, the stage race was not run. “I obviously have good memories of my previous participation. This year too, I hope to start right away with a win. I know the finish because also in 2019 we finished a stage in Halden [Wiebes finished ninth]. In the local lap, we have to cross a short climb twice. I will know immediately how my fitness is. I expect it to be a sprint with a depleted group. It’s somewhat of a tactical finish. Normally that suits me.
Although it is also a question mark for me how my legs will feel. In the pro criterium of Etten-Leur they felt fresh. In the Tour of Scandinavia, there are a number of sprint opportunities, so I’m hoping for stage wins. Furthermore, this is the perfect race to regain race rhythm and confidence. I am doubly motivated to perform well. I want to prepare for the European Championships here and in GP Plouay and Simac Ladies Tour. There I want to defend my jersey.”