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Emilia Fahlin achieves podium goal on home stage of Tour of Scandinavia

Swede takes first WorldTour top-3 in four years in Strömstad.

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Prior to the start of the Tour of Scandinavia, Emilia Fahlin said her goal was to leave the race “satisfied”, but what she would really love to do was get back on the podium after a difficult few years on the bike.

On stage 2, the Swedish rider did just that, taking second on her home stage of the six-day tour.

Fahlin went early in the final straight in Strömstad and was narrowly pipped on the line by winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma), but took consolation in what was her best result of the season.

Also read: Tour of Scandinavia stage 2: Marianne Vos pips Emilia Fahlin to win again

“I wanted to change something from my sprint yesterday [where she came 9th],” she said after the stage. “So, I decided to start early. Marianne passed me so close. That hurt but I’m finally happy to get the podium. With the home crowd here it was a good feeling ”

Fahlin had a chance to soak up and enjoy the celebration of her home crowd as she was awarded the ceremonial best Swedish rider on the podium in Strömstad.

After struggling with injuries in 2019 and 2020, Fahlin skipped the Tokyo Olympics last summer but has been making a return to form, collecting four top-10s already this season. Today marked her first visit to a WorldTour podium since the Ladies Tour of Norway in 2018.

“It’s been a tough spring, trying to come back to fitness from having a hard last part of the last year,” she said before the race on Monday. “I’ve been racing myself into fitness now and had a really good block of training.”

“It’s coming now, my form is on the way up. This part of the year is always my favourite, coming into August and all the nice races in Scandinavia and coming close to Worlds. I usually like this part of the year.”

Sweden is not a nation that has a huge contingent of female racers – the Tour of Scandinavia is hosting national teams from Denmark and Norway, but not Sweden – and Fahlin is the only Swedish rider to have won a WorldTour race in Sweden, taking victory in the Vårgårda road race in 2016.

When the multi-country Tour of Scandinavia was announced in 2019, Fahlin made it clear she would not retire before getting to race the new event. Though the Swedish Vårgårda races did not end up forming part of the proposed race, stage 2 in Sweden still gave Fahlin a rare chance to race at home.

“It was hard to think that this tour would come and I would not be part of it,” she said on Monday. “So I’m glad this day has come and the race is on and I’m standing here still racing.”

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