"It didn't go exactly as we wanted" - Mixed emotions for FDJ - Suez despite Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig's stage 2 win at the Tour Down Under

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig proved the strongest on stage 2 of the 2024 women's Tour Down Under, powering to victory in an uphill sprint.

Despite this, for FDJ - Suez's sports director, Nicolas Maire, emotions were mixed at the finish line, given last year's overall winner of the Tour Down Under and team leader Grace Brown didn't have the best of days.

"We had a plan for some time. It didn't go exactly as we wanted," Maire explained in his post-stage interview. "We wanted to support Grace, she was the winner in the same place in 2019. However, with one lap to go, she told us that she didn't feel so good, so we switched our plan, as we had Cecilie, who is good on a finish like this. Plan B was also good. It's a bit sad for Grace as we are in Australia for her, and we were up for her to defend the title, but we have Cecilie in a good position now, so it's nice as well,"

"In the beginning, Grace felt good, which is why we went for the intermediate sprint, where she got third," Uttrup Ludwig added. "After that, she said she wasn't feeling good when we came into the circuit, so with one lap to go she told me to go for it. We changed the plan, and I was happy to execute it."

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