Stage 2: Arctic Race of Norway

Alexander Kristoff gets home victory on stage 2 of the Arctic Race of Norway as Dylan Teuns retains the Overall lead

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Stage 2: Arctic Race of Norway

The 184.5k stage from Sjøvegan to Bardufoss was one Alexander Kristoff had his eye on and come Friday’s stage two, the Norwegian sprinter went about the work of getting the stage win, his first while wearing his new European champion jersey. Dylan Teuns (BMC) meanwhile successfully defended his overall race lead on Arctic Race of Norway stage 2 after a solid day of teamwork that saw him finish safely in the predicted bunch sprint.

Attacks began from the moment the flag dropped on stage 2, with six riders going clear after 20km of racing and extending an advantage of over three minutes as they went over the top of the first of two categorized climbs, the Kolbranskaret Summit.

After a short and fast descent, the race road began to rise once again with the leaders sweeping up the only other KOM points on offer as they went over the top of the Lavangseidet Summit. While, behind them, the main bunch, led by BMC Racing Team, continued to sit three minutes back with 100km of racing still to come.

With a predicted bunch sprint on the horizon, the peloton soon began to pick up the pace with Floris Gerts and Bram Welten setting the tempo before eventually, the sprinters’ teams came up to the front to help with the chase and pull the leaders to within one minute with 22km to go.

The final breakaway rider was caught with just 4km to go, and the stage was then set for a fast and furious bunch sprint on the runway at Bardufoss Airport with Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha – Alpecin) eventually taking the win.

After being protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates all day, Teuns was able to negotiate the bunch sprint and crossed the line safely behind the eventual winner to maintain his position at the top of the General Classification.
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Alpecin) “For sure, it is always nice to win at home. Yesterday, I was close but did not have the legs at the end. Today, we knew would be our best shot to win. BMC had to take control because they hold the leader’s jersey, so with some other teams, we managed to bring the break back. We lost Sven Erik Bystrøm due to some technical issues so we only had Michael Mørkøv and Reto Hollenstein to do the lead outs but they did a really strong pull in the last k and then Michael led me out the last 500 meters, nice and smooth, to put me in the best position. At the end I felt there was no one close to me,” said Alexander Kristoff.

“It’s nice to win like this. I think the whole team contributed really well to this victory. In my career, I have won many times at home; I usually do have a victory here every year, but for sure it’s always nice. This is my first win in Norway this year and hopefully will not be my last,” said Alexander Kristoff.

Dylan Teuns (BMC): “The guys did a good job to control the race. It was a hard day for them I think and we didn’t get help for a long time. For me, it was a good day to spin the legs and it wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t that hard so it was good for me to have a day like this before the queen stage’ tomorrow. We will see how it goes tomorrow. It will be hard in the beginning for sure and hopefully there will be some easier points in the build up to the last climb which is the most important part of the stage.”

Stage 2
1. Alexander Kristoff Team Katusha – Alpecin
2. Hugo Hofstetter Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
3. Andrea Pasqualon Wanty – Groupe Gobert
4. Robin Stenuit Wanty – Groupe Gobert
5. Adrien Petit Direct Energie
6. Kristoffer Halvorsen Team Joker Icopal
7. Michael Grosu Eduard Nippo – Vini Fantini
8. Ivan Savitskiy Gazprom-RusVelo
9. Roy Jans WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
10. Eliot Lietaer Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise

16. McLayDanielFortuneo – Oscaro

1. Dylan Teuns BMC Racing Team
2. Andrea Pasqualon Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff Team Katusha – Alpecin 0:03
4. August Jensen Team Coop 0:07
5. Michel Kreder Aqua Blue Sport 0:11
6. Markus Hoelgaard Team Joker Icopal



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