Faulkner defends points classification lead at Ladies Tour of Norway
August 13, 2021
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank had another successful day at the Tour of Norway, defending Kristen Faulkner's lead in the points classification. After stage 2, Faulkner is sitting second on GC, just four seconds behind the current race leader, with a summit finish on the cards for tomorrow.
"We knew that we wanted to defend the green jersey if we could," Faulkner said. "Tanja (Erath) and Nina (Kessler) gave me a fantastic lead out going into the intermediate sprint. It was the best lead-out I've ever had. They kept me in position and kept the pace high, so all I had to do was finish it off. At the end of the race, teams started scrambling for the chase, and Eri (Yonamine) kept me on her wheel towards the front, which helped in the finishing sprint.
Kristen Faulkner rides near the front of the peloton protected by a teammate at Tour of Norway. Photo/Anton Vos
"I'm so happy with how the team is working together, and I'm proud of our results. Rachel (Hedderman) encouraged us to go for the first intermediate sprint, and that guidance is one of the reasons we're able to hold on to the jersey."
One name noticeably absent from the Tour of Norway roster is Sarah Gigante. The 20-year-old, who recently represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, was hospitalized recently with an as yet undiagnosed illness. She is on the road to recovery and said that she's prioritizing rest at the moment and will return to racing soon.
"I'm disappointed not to be back racing with my teammates in Norway," Gigante said. "I was feeling excited to finally race again for Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank after a long injury break in the lead-up to the Olympics, and I was especially looking forward to Stage 3.
The stage, to which Gigante is referring starts tomorrow, when fireworks are expected on the event's first-ever summit finish. Starting in Drammen, the penultimate 151km race takes the peloton on a 10km rise to Norefjell ski resort, the steeper sections appearing right before the finish line, a perfect race for the climbing specialist.
“Unfortunately, I've been a bit sick, so it's best for me to sit this one out and get back to full health. I will be back even more determined! In the meantime, I'm busy cheering on my teammates to World Tour wins, which has been absolutely amazing to watch."
We are all cheering Sarah on to get back to good health!
How to watch
The Ladies Tour of Norway is available to stream on GCN Plus in all countries except Norway. Check the website for your local listing and updated broadcast times.