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Re: Arctic Race of Norway
« on: August 19, 2018, 21:18 »
OK, a wrap-up post is called for, I believe.

Today's stage was raced in a more disciplined manner than many had hoped for. The wind at Sennalandet didn't quite come from the right direction (a little bit too much from the front), not very friendly for neither attacks nor echelons. When the race rolled into Alta it also became apparent that the small hills in the finale wasn't really hard enough to split the peloton - and again we saw it took a while before any of the other teams realized #astana Astana had no interest whatsoever in reeling in the break.

After a while #direct Direct Energie moved to the front and upped the pace, later followed by stage favorites #corendon. I guess Echoes is going to burn me over open fire for this, but the way Mathieu van der Poel is winning stages here is a bit Saganesque, including having his big brother to reel in the break. The pace was so high it was clear to  GC challenger #joker Hoelgaard he could do nothing except wait for the sprint.
The uphill sprint opened by #bmc Nicolas Roche in a way that was reminiscent of his win on the Finisterre, but without the stamina that he had back then. It turned out to be a perfect leadout for #corendon van der Poel. #academy Sondre Holst Enger did not get on board the Irish express and had to lead himself out up the hill. In the end, he could do nothing to catch van der Poel but without Roche's unintentional leadout he might at least have come closer. There was nothing unfair about van der Poel's way of winning, he actually beat a thoroughbred road racer in positioning for the sprint - something he seems to have practiced more than controlling a crosswinds stage.


Hoelgaard and Joyce were unable to threaten Chernetski in the GC. A split actually gave Chernetski 4 secs more in the final GC. This makes the Tour of Norway the only Norwegian UCI stage race he hasn't won[1]. With this strong Russian a favorite in all Norwegian races, let's hope that the next time they are racing in east Finmark, they can race in Nortwest Russia too. Murmansk is the biggest city up here and although relations are never very easy with the Russians, but a bike race would be a nice way to improve them.  The race organizers really wanted to go there this year, and they will probably try again. Sending the governor a few pictures of this year's worthy winner can actually make that easier.  :cool


T-72 awards:
#corendon Mathieu van der Poel - the new Sagan  :angel
#corendon Corendon-Circus the team - absolutely outstanding performance for a conti team
#joker - 2nd GC is actually something we usually get Aleksander Kristoff or Edvald Boasson Hagen to serve up
#rally - 1st win in Europe
#fortuneo (!) - for bringing home the salmon even if their leader crashed out
Arctic Race organizers: they are the best (I might even write a separate post about this later).

The flops and disappointments:
#bmc  (something must have happened to Bettiol but they should have alternativeS)
#katusha (can't make anything decisively right this year. How many chances does Azevedo get as the general manager?)
#wanty Eiking and #academy Jensen - the two presumably best Norwegian riders here suffered from "bad luck".
#fortuneo Barguil - same as above, except French..


oh...and one final word: Vuelta organizers - this is how you make a trophy

 1. well, there's the Ladies Tour of Norway too. He will struggle with that one
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  • « Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 10:42 by LukasCPH »


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