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VN news ticker: Norsgaard sprints to Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour stage 1 win, Peloton passes latest COVID tests at the Giro

Here's what's making the headlines on Tuesday, May 25.

Norsgaard sprints to Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour stage 1 win

Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) won stage 1 of the women’s UCI ProSeries Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.

The hilly and windy 88km course took on three laps around Schmölln, Germany.

Ten women representing the major teams escaped early and were joined by seven more. Norsgaard made the bridge to the front group which deteriorated to nine after the final climb midway through the stage.

The Dane bested Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo Women) and Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) on a cobbled finish.

“Once I got through that final QOM, the last kilometer was mostly downhill, on cobblestones, and to be honest, I was so scared with that finish,” said Norsgaard. “With 1km to go, I just took the front, thinking: ‘Ok, hopefully, nobody will pass me.’ In the end, it paid off!

American Kristen Faulkner (Tibco-SVB) finished in 8th, four seconds back, while compatriot Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) was an additional five seconds back in 14th.

Norsgaard has been on a tear this season, since joining Movistar. She won the overall at the Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs; was second at the Omloop Het Niewsblad, Le Samyn, and Scheldeprijs. She was 3rd on the GC at the 2021 Healthy Ageing Tour.

Stage 2 continues tomorrow, the 125.1km circuit around Gera, offers constant elevation changes, with punchy climbs.

Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour stage 1 results

  1. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team), 2:17:42
  2. Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo Women), at s.t.
  3. Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing), at s.t.

Zero COVID-19 positives after 592 tests at the Giro d’Italia

The latest round of COVID-19 tests at the Giro d’Italia have produced zero positive results, the race announced Tuesday in a joint statement with the UCI.

According to the statement, the race carried out a total of 592 tests on May 24, and the testing included all pro riders in the race, as well as all team staff at the event.

The news marks the latest round of COVID-19 tests to be done without a positive result at the race. The race carried out 600 total tests on May 17 without a positive.

Giro d’Italia alters stage 19 in wake of cable car accident

Giro d’Italia officials are changing the route of stage 19 to keep the race caravan away from the area of a recent cable car accident that claimed 14 lives.  The original stage was slated to climb the mountain of last week’s tragic accident, where a site-seeing cable car plummeted to the ground and killed more than a dozen people.

“The Giro d’Italia race direction, following the tragic events of last Sunday that involved the Mottarone cableway, and in agreement with the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Piedmont Region and all the other institutions concerned, has decided to modify the route of Stage 19 of the ‘corsa rosa,'” a press statement read. “The new route will be 166km long and the start will be given from Abbiategrasso at 12.35.”

The route alteration comes following Monday’s decision to change the race route of the “queen stage” across the Dolomites due to inclement weather.

Fabio Jakobsen returns to WorldTour action at Critérium du Dauphiné

Fabio Jakobsen will race at WorldTour level for the first time since his crash at the Tour of Poland last year when he lines up at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday. He confirmed his appearance at the French weeklong race with a post on social media.

The Dauphiné will be his third race after making his competitive comeback at the 2.Pro Tour of Turkey in April, and the similarly ranked Volta ao Algarve earlier this month. Jakobsen was left with life-threatening injuries in the high-speed crash during the sprint finish of the opening stage of the 2021 Tour of Poland.

“Two weeks of training in Spain. Thanks, Deceuninck-Quick-Step team,” Jakobsen wrote on social media. “Now it is time to recover and rest before Critérium du Dauphiné that starts next Sunday. Look forward to be back racing again.”

The opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné clashes with the final stage of the Giro d’Italia due to the calendar being rearranged to accommodate the Olympic Games at the end of July.