Arctic Race of Norway: 1-2 for Vacansoleil


Stage 1: Kenny Van Hummel steals the show on inaugural stage of the Arctic Race of Norway in a 1-2 for Vacansoleil-DCM

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Kenny van Hummel was the winner of stage 1 of the Arctic Race of Norway. It was a 1-2 for Vacansoleil-DCM with Barry Markus passing Thor Hushovd at the very end. The Norwegian champion was highly expected as a winner in Bodø but the bunch sprint came at the end of a very demanding race due to cold and windy conditions.


Photo: ASO/Sebastien Boué

After claiming his first win of the season, Van Hummel will start stage 2 with the leader’s jersey but Hushovd who crossed the line in fourth place is far from having said his last word.

The first edition of the Arctic Race of Norway started fast with a tailwind not allowing the riders to enjoy the encouragement of the big crowd which had painted the road in a similar style as the Tour de France. With 48 kilometres covered in the first hour, there wasn’t much room for a breakaway to succeed. Thor Hushovd (BMC) didn’t wait long to get amongst the action.

As soon as the first intermediate sprint was in sight, he sprinted to capture the time bonus and preceded Mathias Friedemann (Champion System) on the line at Fauske (km 57). His team-mate Adam Blythe took third place behind Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) and Kevin van Melsen (Accent Jobs-Wanty) at the second hot spot sprint located in Rognan (km 85.5).

Belkin on the move
The climbs at the halfway point in the race inspired Belkin Pro Cycling and they helped eight men escape off the front with 70 kilometres to go: Lars-Petter Nordhaug and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Marco Haller (Katusha), Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Nicolas Vogondy (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Stijn Neirinck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Sébastien Delfosse (Crelan-Euphony) and Filip Eidsheim (Øster Hus-Ridley).

Obviously, Nordhaug, the other Norwegian star of the event who doesn’t have the same characteristics as Hushovd as a sprinter, had decided he’d do anything to avoid a bunch gallop in Bodø. He secured the first King of the Mountains jersey but wanted more than that. With 40km to go, his acceleration split the front group in two. Vanmarcke, Haller and Tulik went with him. Nordhaug continued solo 27km away from the finishing line.

With Vanmarcke rejoining his team-mate, Belkin’s duo gave an impressive show. While a bunch sprint was expected when the peloton led by BMC and Argos-Shimano got a maximum deficit of only one and half minute, Nordhaug and Vanmarcke’s chances increased in the last 20 kilometres. For a while, they maintained an advantage of 50 seconds but several teams gathered at the head of the peloton.

With 8km to go, it was all together again. Team Plussbank of the young team-mates of Sondre Holst Enger led the charge but Argos-Shimano seemed to have the bunch sprint under control until Kenny van Hummel outsprinted everyone as he chose the right path on the left side of the road in the last 200 metres.

Kenny Van Hummel: “It feels great to win again. I’m really happy with this victory”, stage 1 winner Kenny van Hummel reacted. “I’ve waited for a long time to get my first win this year. I’m glad it happens here and now.”

“We’re not used to race so far north and it’s a bit of a climate change after the hot weather I recently experienced in Belgium. I was a bit surprised to see so many spectators on the road despite the cold. The race was also hard today and I was struggling a little bit.”

“But at the end, I managed to fight well for positioning. I was in competition with Thor Hushovd, it was a great challenge to beat him here as he was so motivated for winning in his country. But I wanted to position myself behind the wheels of the Argos guys and I did. In the last 200 metres, I went full speed. It feels geat to be a winner again.”

1 VAN HUMMEL Kenny Vacansoleil – DCM
2 MARKUS Barry Vacansoleil – DCM
3 SELIG Rüdiger Katusha Team
4 HUSHOVD Thor BMC Racing Team
5 BOL Jetse Belkin Pro Cycling Team
6 AHLSTRAND Jonas Team Argos – Shimano
7 KOGSTAD RINGHEIM Jo Team People4you – Unaas Cycling
8 GRONDAHL JANSEN Amund Team Plussbank
9 MATZKA Ralf Team NetApp – Endura
10 GHYSELINCK Jan Cofidis Solutions Crédits

43 THWAITES Scott Team NetApp – Endura
115 BLYTHE Adam BMC Racing Team
116 DOWNING Russell Team NetApp – Endura



RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,