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Re: Arctic Race of Norway
« on: August 18, 2019, 12:44 »
It seems like ages ago, but it is only 5 years: in 2014, as a first year conti-team rider with #joker he crashed in the last roundabout at Lillehammer in the Tour of Norway and thus quite involuntarily "gifted" the "king" stage of the Tour of Norway to Bauke Mollema. In the field of 4 attackers he clearly was the more explosive rider and had the best finish, so if he could just have stayed upright....

It was the closest thing to a Norwegian climber winning on home soil in a decade or so, and that was 5 years ago. (So much for the *dk people nicknaming Norwegians as "mountain monkeys"). 
Yesterday, he finally took back what that roundabout took from him, stage win on the most prestigeous climbing stage/race in Norway this year. He is clearly a man for the steep stuff (and not the long climbs), and he still has that ability to go d-e-e-p into red that is a great advantage on the steep uphill finishes. His greatest weakness is positioning in the peloton at critical moments. Yesterday's quite long effort was long enough for him to find his way forward step by step, but when the peloton split on the first stage he was in the wrong group and thus lost his opportunity to go for the midnight sun. Similarly on some of the more prestigeous international races he often starts his final climb way back and thus he can't really fight for podium. The top 3 are usually long gone up the hill by the time he gets past stuggling cyclists that finish top 10-20.

If #wanty can help him to a better starting position for the final climb, he could be a candidate for top 10 in the Fleche Vallone. (It is unlikely they will ever ride the Vuelta but it would be interesting to follow him there now that he has graduated from his role as anonymous team member in #fdj).

The finishing circuit on today's final stage should suit Eiking well, but he might be feeling yesterday's finish a bit too much I am afraid. It doens't really suit #arkea #champfr Warren Barguil, who is a less explosive rider. He is likely to loose the 3 seconds to #astana Lutsenko, who is more the allrounder.
A few candidates further down the list could close the gap (#total Calmejane, #academy Neilandts, but it #astana is unlikely to let them pass and thus, they are favorites for defending the title and bringing the midnight sun home with Lutsenko..
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