Niamh Fisher-Black returns to action for the first time in Tour of Scandinavia

Niamh Fisher-Black returns to action for the first time in Tour of Scandinavia

"Playing off the versatility of the squad"


After the Tour de France Femmes, the Tour of Scandinavia (formerly Battle of the North) is the next stage race. In six days the WorldTour peloton races through Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with something for everyone: sprinters, punchers and climbers. This is also reflected in the varied composition of Team SD Worx: Demi Vollering, Elena Cecchini, Blanka Vas, Niamh Fisher-Black, Anna Shackley and newcomer Sina Frei. "The fact that we can play so many different cards is an advantage," says Niamh Fisher-Black.

Linked race Tour of Scandinavia - Linked cyclists Niamh Fisher-Black - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Lars Boom

On Tuesday, August 9, the starting shot rings out in Copenhagen (156.6 km). Traditionally, the course of the Tour of Scandinavia is very diverse. In the first two stages through Denmark and Sweden, the sprinters' teams will try to make it end in a group sprint, but once Norway is tackled, the free riders and punchers seem to have the advantage. "In the Tour of Scandinavia, breakaways usually have a great chance of staying away, so it will be important to be alert and pick the right opportunities," said Niamh Fisher-Black.


For 21-year-old Niamh Fisher-Black, it is her first race with Team SD Worx since the Giro Donne where she finished fifth in the overall standings. "On Sunday at the Commonwealth Games I already noticed that my legs are really good. The Tour of Scandinavia was added to my programme later on, so I start without expectations or pressure. That can be liberating. I can also take the lessons I learned in the Giro Donne with me. There I rode for the first time for a good ranking in the general classification. I had to adapt my mindset. Instead of looking after my teammates, I had to find my own pace on the longer climbs. In fact, you're always looking for the limit of what you can do. I learned a lot from that."

Thus, the fourth stage looks like a great opportunity to set up a breakaway. "That we have such a versatile team at the start is an advantage. We have to try to take advantage of the strength of the team. We have many different cards to play and that will be necessary too, because this round is often unpredictable. With newcomer Sina Frei, we have someone who has a very technical background in mountain biking. After all, there are a number of stages with a technically complicated profile, and we will reap the rewards of this. This will undoubtedly be an attractive race to follow."  

Such a longer climb awaits in the penultimate stage, with 11.4 kilometres at 6.4% average. "I am really looking forward to the uphill finish. That stage should suit Demi Vollering and me. We are a complementary duo. The first kilometres are very steep and then it gets a little flatter as the top approaches. If we can stay together there, it can create fireworks. Demi Vollering came back very strong from the Tour de France, so we can try to go for the general classification with her."

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