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Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig ‘over the moon’ with first GC victory at inaugural Tour of Scandinavia

Dane survives ‘mega stressful’ finale to hold on to lead and score a breakthrough overall win.

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Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig was overjoyed to seal overall victory at the Tour of Scandinavia on Sunday, holding off last-minute attacks in Halden to secure her first WorldTour GC win.

The Dane was full of praise for her FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope team after a day that had seen the likes of Stine Borgli, Emilia Fahlin, and Brodie Chapman controlling the peloton in support of their leader.

“It feels so goddamn good,” Uttrup Ludwig said at the finish. “I’m over the moon. And the team was so good, controlling it. I don’t know where they get their energy and their power from. They were so strong and it made me so motivated and so happy. That we can bring it home, it’s thanks to them.”

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After winning the ‘queen stage’ atop the Norefjell climb Saturday, Uttrup Ludwig had a 17-second lead on GC over Liane Lippert (Team DSM) going into Sunday’s final stage.

Though a difficult deficit to make up on a relatively flat stage, Lippert dug in to try to challenge Uttrup Ludwig’s lead, and had to be chased down by the yellow jersey herself in the closing kilometers of the stage.

“Woi oi oi, it was just mega stressful here on the laps,” the ever expressive Uttrup Ludwig said of the finale.

“It goes so quick and it’s so full-on and hard. And then when Liane attacked with one lap to go I was like ‘holy moly, no no no’ so I was like ‘ahhh, gotta close that.’

“Then when I closed it I was like ‘phew, OK, now just gotta be safe, safe home, safe home’. But we made it, good!”

After taking her first WorldTour win in May 2021, Uttrup Ludwig took her second on stage 3 of the Tour de France Femmes in July, and only had to wait 18 days for her third Saturday.

Securing the overall in Scandinavia is her first UCI stage race overall win – WorldTour or otherwise.

Uttrup Ludwig is one of a handful of riders to have raced the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Tour de France Femmes and the Tour of Scandinavia this summer.

Already an impressive triple to race all three back to back, the Dane’s run of sixth, seventh and now first overall in each tour is a strong showing for the rider quickly becoming one of the main GC contenders of the peloton.

The 26-year-old did not have the best start to the 2022 season, missing much of the spring through COVID-19, but is certainly making up for it with her latest run of results.

As well as taking the win with a strong team performance, FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope leaves Scandinavia with a second-place finish on home roads for Emilia Fahlin on stage 2, a meaningful return to form for the Swedish rider.