t-72

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Tour of Norway
« on: May 07, 2018, 22:16 »
Enough of hot deserts? Maybe some cold cuts instead?  :D

Norway's longest standing (of a few not very long standing) stage race is about to start up.
The event follows its own traditions and includes 5 stages alternating between flat and hilly terrain. After a couple of years with high mountain passes included, which were typically climbed in 0 degrees wet and windy conditions I think those are more or less off the table for the indefinite future: it is just too early in the year for that here, and the risk for cancellations is high. Better then to have comfortable racing on the lowland roads of eastern Norway + there's more audience too.

TV production from these races are usually above average for smaller races in Europe, so if you can find it, it can be a more action-packed northerly alternative to middle of the road GT tactical standstills on the plains of Po. The Norwegian races usually win because of the active riding of the younger racers. Expect fierce battle between the dominant Danes and the Norwegian home squads for stage wins and intermediate sprints and climbers jerseys! (I have to admit, this year they are winning almost everything - until Ringerike GP that is...)

There will be 5 stages:
May 16th: Svelvik-Horten (186 km)
May 17th: Hønefoss-Asker (169 km)
May 18th: Moss-Sarpsborg (175 km)
May 19th: Kongsvinger-Brummunddal (218 km)
May 20th: Moelv-Lillehammer (154 km)

I think the first stage is a new creation (not sure) but the other ones sound familiar. The host organizations web site is out of reach due to outdated certificates at the moment but it seems it is the same finishes as was used last year, in which case #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen will not bring the jersey home until he is ... back at home, in Lillehammer (the route goes right by the house where he grew up, but the final loop loops around #unox Anders Skaarseth's family's farm.) Or maybe this time, #wanty Eiking will get it right...

The team to beat is probably #jumbo, who has already said they'll be bringing a strong team with Boom, Groenewegen and Jansen Valverde.


I will come back with more info on riders and stages once the host website comes back up with the latest information.   


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  • « Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 22:28 by LukasCPH »

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 05:54 »
    I will come back with more info on riders and stages once the host website comes back up with the latest information.   

    in case you haven't seen it yet, the roadbook is up in the designated thread, with all the information on the stages
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 05:58 »
    I have to admit I usually don’t read roadbooks, so I wasn’t aware of this.
    Thank you, for finding this, now I don’t have to Search for it.  :cool
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 07:32 »
    Sorry guys, combination of good weather, an upcoming sportive event and a training backlog lead to me being so tired yesterday I completely forgot the race starts today. For many days talk was today's stage had to be cancelled due to the major rivers in eastern Norway overflowing, but it seems like the race is on. Here's the shortest preview ever (I got to run..)

    Stage 1: --> Horten. Sprint finish expected.

    Favourite: #jumbo Dylan Groenewegen
    Outsiders, if they can stuff enough lactic acid into Groenewegen on a climb somewhere
    #sky Kristoffer Halvorsen
    #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen
    #academy Sondre Holst Enger (Horten homeboy!)

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  • Not My Circus

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 09:22 »

    Stage 1: --> Horten. Sprint finish expected.

    Favourite: #jumbo Dylan Groenewegen
    Outsiders, if they can stuff enough lactic acid into Groenewegen on a climb somewhere
    #sky Kristoffer Halvorsen
    #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen
    #academy Sondre Holst Enger (Horten homeboy!)

    Horton homeboy fresh from a 2nd place at Vuelta Aragon last week as well... come on Sondre \o/

    Just checked the start list, Wanty don't bring Odd Eiking. I've been out of the loop this year, is he injured???
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 11:50 »

    Just checked the start list, Wanty don't bring Odd Eiking. I've been out of the loop this year, is he injured???


    No injuries but illness forced him out of the Ardennes classics. At the Romandie he was on soft bottle-shuttle duties. Things are obviously not progressing according to plan and it has been decided to remap his schedule for the rest of the year. He is in Sierra Nevada for altitude training now afaik.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 12:25 »
     The race will be live on TV 2, I take it?
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    t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 22:31 »
      The race
    was live at TV2, yes, sorry for late reply but it is difficult to follow the forum discussion while I am at work.  :)

    I just finished watching it and the last 17 km are well worth watching if you can get your hands on it.  The sprint itself is not a big surprise, but it is the extended hard racing leading into it with lots of train tactics that made it a really good stage.
    One could see a lot of teams doing really good work to try to put their sprinter into position.  Some mentions:
    • #jumbo Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Timo Roosen, Paul Martens: Float like butterflies. Groenewegen: sting like a bee.
    • #ccc not so much the train but the shoulders of Alan Banaszek: he might do well in a hockey match, and his maneuvres in the fight for Groenewegens wheel probably made the rest of the race.
    • #gazprom  Porsev suddenly appeared from out of nowhere with high speed.  It seems he learned when to start sprints from Aleksander Kristoff, but not how to hold until the finish line.
    • #coop surprise conti squad resisting all the pushes and shoulders from the big teams, landing Trond Trondsen in a very good position. Finishing ahead of brutal Banaszek
    • #sky Halvorsen, like the rest of the field, wanted Groenewegen's wheel but was no match for Banaszsek and never got an opening to sprint for the win
    • #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen - was sitting very close to the last crash at 300 meters and luckily escaped with no time loss except bonus seconds.
    • #academy - one of their best races this year, but Holst Enger somehow ended up on Trond Trondsen's wheel instead of Groenewegen's and he would need to be on Groenewegen's wheel to win



    If you see the sprint, there is absolutely no doubt that Groenewegen is by far the best sprinter here.

    On the negative side there were a a few too many crashes, the course had some difficult corners with islands and signs that should have been removed or at least protected somehow - but it was a great stage, with sprint teams competing harder than at the Giro.  :)[/list]
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 07:32 »
    A few short words about today's stage, from Hønefoss to Asker.

    The race starts at 14:00 and finish is expected about 17:30. The stage starts in Hønefoss, also known as host town of the Ringerike GP / Sundvolden GP races earlier in the season,  and hometown for  both team Uno-x #unox and team Joker - Icopal #joker  - in other words, probably the Norwegian town with strongest culture for cycling as a sport.

    The course loops south around the Tyrifjorden lake, down to the Drammen branch of the Oslo Fjord and then onto the Hurum peninsula. This is on the east side of the Drammen Fjord, the terrain from stage 1 is on the other side.

    The course loosely follows the coastline of the peninsula as it loops around towards the north towards Asker (western part of the greater Oslo area although locals will probably object to that description...)

    The route is hilly rather than flat and in sections along the coast the road is not that good, quite tight and with many curves. There are 2 classified category 3 climbs along the way. These go up to ~200 - 250 meters above sea level, so they are real climbs. There are also a few uncategorized climbs of more or less the same magnitude, and the finishing circuit in Asker offers a hill that needs to be climbed twice AFAIK (not that easy to see on the profile though...wonder if they missed it?)



    This stage was stage 1 last year, and the results list probably gives a good idea about what kind of riders that are most likely to feature in the finish:


    The finish is selective enough to maybe impact the final GC, but the comissars are not as keen on defining splits in this race as they are in many other races.  The previous stage had big gaps in the ST group as far as I could see.

    The steep climb probably means #jumbo Groenewegen is not a competitor for today's stage win, and I am not sure if that means the team will race for someone else or just wait for tomorrow instead.


    Favorites then...
    *** = #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen
    ** = #academy Sondre Holst Enger or August Jensen, #virtu Aleksander Kamp
    * =  some little green man #bardiani or other proconti rider I didn't realize was here yet....

    Look out for:
    #joker CF Hagen
    #unox Anders Skaarseth
    #coop Krister Hagen

    and... *no *no *no  :D https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Constitution_Day

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  • Not My Circus

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 11:06 »
    No injuries but illness forced him out of the Ardennes classics. At the Romandie he was on soft bottle-shuttle duties. Things are obviously not progressing according to plan and it has been decided to remap his schedule for the rest of the year. He is in Sierra Nevada for altitude training now afaik.
    Thanks T :D  Poor Odd, I hadn't realised, fingers crossed the Sierra Nevada reset works.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 20:16 »
    DSQ.
    Definitely DSQ!
    But what on earth was the reason?
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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 20:37 »
    Definitely DSQ!
    But what on earth was the reason?

    When asked about the incident, Boom answered: "He was on my wheel and I almost crashed. I don't want to crash, particularly when an idiot does something like that."

    http://cyclingpub.com/article/3985/Lars+Boom+gets+expelled+from+Tour+of+Norway
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 21:00 »
    #jumbo Boom, towing the field for a long time today,  caught #vlaanderen van Hecke,  who had been attacking up one of many small climbs along the route. Exactly what happened, isn't clear, but it seems Boom shouted some words to van Hecke indicating he was not pleased by such unneccesary attacks. According to Boom, van Hecke then breaked in front of him, forcing Boom to unclip to avoid falling.
    Boom has a reputation for being a bit of a hothead, at least that's what we see when he's racing here in Norway. There have been arguments earlier, both with van Hecke and with #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen.
    To be honest, I am not convinced van Hecke is entirely blameless in this as he muddled the incident in post race interviews.

    OK, aside from the boxing match, did I tell you there was a bike race on today? Actually it mostly started after the punches. The mystery about the finishing circuit missing on the profile was finally made clear as it was cancelled due to shortage of security guards around the course. (The peloton almost made it one less on the way, as one of them ran for his life to hide in relative safety behind the sign he was supposed to warn about.)

    In the uphill finish, #jumbo Groenewegen was dropped by a strong and determined leadout on behalf of the #academy Academy from August Jensen. On his rear wheel, Sondre Holst Enger kept going to and earned another 2nd. #virtu Kamp was also hanging around there. However, first to open the sprint, and looking strong, was #cajarural Alex Aranburu, but on his wheel was the experienced #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen, who knows that going to early on an uphill finish is rarely a good idea.

    I think I forgot to mention that, it is not only Norway's birthday today. #didata Edvald Boasson Hagen gave himself the same present for his 31st anniversary as he got last year. I guess he kind of likes it, then  :D 



    With the small split a bit down the list, plus bonus seconds for two second-place finishes, Sondre Holst Enger moves into the overall lead. However, he isn't really trying to win GC, he says, he would prefer a stage win. The Lillehammer stage may be too much for him even if he is (or at least used to be) one of the more climb-able sprinters. A couple of years back he was supposed to lead Odd Christian Eiking out on a cat 1 climb, mountain train style.  This was when they tried high-mountain stages, to Rjukan. At that time, with #iam (but on a national team in the race) - he continued to ride in front all the way across the mountain.
    The Lillehammer stage features shorter, punchier and repeated climbs and maybe that is actually less favorable for the otherwise versatile Holst Enger.

    The struggle between the conti squads is now, as expected, headed by #virtu with Aleksander Kamp, who seems at home on Norwegian terrain. So far #coop seems to be the better Norwegian squad - Trondsen reportedly lost time today because an asphyxiated Groenewegen threw his bike far back when standing up and bailing on the climb to the finish line, in the last curve. Trondsen was on his wheel and had to brake, which caused someone to ram into his rear wheel. Still finishing 10th after so much trouble is definetly approved.

    Notably absent today was #joker Carl Fredrik Hagen, who finished in 26th position, but should not loose time on such a finish if he wanted to race for GC.  He is listed in the Trondsen group with 3 secs down, and again I think that is quite liberal calling of splits (in other words, not calling splits when it looks like one...).
     
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  • « Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 06:25 by t-72 »

    t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 21:38 »
    And then this, from yesterday's stage one  :lol @ #ccc CCC  Pawel Bernas

    https://twitter.com/Andreas_Hans1/status/996851637472976902

    I think he will play for Legia Warzava next year!
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 22:38 »
    Coming up tomorrow: stage 3, from Moss to Sarpsborg, 175 km.

    This is another opportunity for the sprinters, althoug it has previously been won from a late attack as well. 
    The sprint is a slight uphill drag and it favors strong sprinters, need I spell G r o e n e w e g e n anymore....?
    The #jumbo leadout will not be significantly impacted today by Boom being out of the race. He's just a bleakaway killah for them.
    The challengers, #academy will also have a strong leadout with 2 good sprinters in support of the 3rd (probably Sondre Holst Enger supported by Jensen and van Winden).
    Edvald Boasson Hagen is dependent on someone else's leadout, as #didata comes without a #jumbo calibre train, featuring lighter climbers for support instead, but age and treachery, and he just won a stage.  :)
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Tour of Norway
    « Reply #17 on: May 20, 2018, 11:46 »
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