Danish 16-year-old takes epic stage win for Rás na mBan lead

Posted on: September 10th, 2015

The break from which the winner came on today’s second stage of the An Post Rás na mBan. It was another gruelling stage which saw the number of overall contenders really whittled down (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)


By Brian Canty

Emma Norsgaard-Jorgensen of Team Rytger won today’s second stage of An Post Rás na mBan, edging out Stephanie Pohl (South Netherlands) and Eileen Roe (WV Breda Manieu.nl) at the end of a thrilling day in west Clare.

The Danish teenager attacked the remnants of the day’s break inside the final kilometre and when she crossed the line in Ballyvaughan she had four seconds to spare on Pohl, which was enough to see her take the leader’s pink jersey.

She is also leading the Womenscycling.ie Young Rider competition.

The stage was a real cracker over 112-kilometre featuring three categorised climbs.

An eight-rider break animated proceedings and as well as the aforementioned trio present, so too were Dutch duo Femke Kuipers (West Frisia) and Mirthe Wagenaar (WV Breda manieu.nl), Britain’s Nikki Juniper (Giordana-Triton) as well as Irish pair Lydia Boylan (WNT) and Eve McCrystal (Garda CC).

Wagenaar took the points at the top of the first climb, the third category ascent at 15km and would ultimately end the day in the lead of the Wicklow 200 Queen of the Hills classification.

Working well together, the group opened up a gap of around 1:30 approaching the second climb of the day, the category 1 ascent at the Cliffs  of Moher.

There, Stephanie Pohl showed she meant business when she took the top points ahead of Wagenaar and at the next climb seven kilometres later Pohl again went over the top in first place.

McCrystal and Park suffered disastrous luck when they crashed out of the lead move after a touch of wheels and, though both got back up to chase on, their chances of the stage win were gone.


Emma Norsgaard-Jorgensen takes stage 2 into Ballyvaughan and with it the leader’s pink jersey (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)


McCrystal joined a chase group of seven that crossed the line 29 seconds down and that was a superb recovery by her.

Up ahead, the leading six became five when Wagenaar became distanced, no doubt a product of her efforts to try and get the Queen of the Hills jersey.

She would drop back to the chase group as Juniper, Roe, Pohl, Boylan and Norsgaard-Jorgensen raced on towards the finish in Ballyvaughan.

An attack by reigning world track points champion Pohl inside the final 10 kilometres saw Boylan and Juniper lose contact as the German was joined by Norsgaard-Jorgensen and Roe for the final push to the line.

Inside the final 500 metres Norsgaard-Jorgensen made her bid and distanced Pohl by four seconds with Roe a further three seconds in arrears.

A chase group of nine finished 29 seconds back, led in by Juniper and McCrystal, the latter rubberstamping her lead in the Clare County Council Best Irish Rider competition.

Pohl and Roe are tied at the top of the points competition and it is Pohl who will wear the NDC leader’s jersey tomorrow.

Norsgaard-Jorgensen has established a 29 second advantage over Natalie Grinczer (Fusion RT) in the young rider competition and it is Grinczer who will wear the womenscycling.ie white jersey tomorrow as Norsgaard-Jorgensen is the new overall leader.

Yesterday’s stage winner Grace Garner finished in a large group 5:04 behind Norsgaard-Jorgensen and that has seen her slip to 16th overall.

Tomorrow’s 80 kilometre stage starts and finishes in Scarriff and is a completely new addition to the race.

There are three categorised climbs and they come after 18, 36 and 50 kilometres, respectively.