The Dane launched out of the peloton for glory inside the final 10km of racing but was caught by Rosita Reijnhout (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Dominika Włodarczyk (UAE Team ADQ) on Melville Avenue before the former attacked solo in an opportunistic move to take victory.
“The last two laps were super hard. Obviously, everyone wanted to be in front on the climb and the last lead-out was super hard because it was a full headwind going in and in one line,” said Uttrup Ludwig to Cyclingnews after the finish. “I was a bit far behind actually but I managed to put myself in the front and attack which was good.
“But I was just fully in the red actually going over that, so when they caught me I was just full of lactate. It was just really hard to keep turning and I just gave it my best but the two girls were super strong.
“I was just too done, to be honest. But I gave it a go and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Uttrup Ludwig made her move on the steepest part of Challambra Crescent as the peloton went over it for a second time and the elastic seemed to have snapped with Sarah Gigante (AG Insurance-Soudal) and Ella Wyllie (Liv Jayco AlUla) unable to respond. They had led the peloton onto the climb but the Dane’s stinging acceleration had made separation.
After tough windy conditions throughout the day of racing, Uttrup Ludwig faltered on the false flat and final uphill kicker on Melville Avenue where Reijnhout and Włodarczyk jumped away from the remaining chasers to make the catch.
Reijnhout, just 19 years old, made her move away in a moment of hesitation at the front with under 5km left to race and despite a final charge by Uttrup Ludwig in the final 300 metres, neither she nor Włodarcyzk could prevent the Dutchwoman from taking her first professional and WorldTour win.
“It would have been nice to take the win today,” said Uttrup Ludwig. “It didn’t quite happen but we gave it our best and I think that we have had a good Australian summer here and some good bike racing.”
FDJ-Suez couldn’t repeat their dominant start to the season from 2023 where they won both the Tour Down Under with Grace Brown and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with Loes Adegeest but did finish the Australian summer with a stage win at the TDU thanks to…