The Tour of Norway came to its conclusion today with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) taking the win on the final stage. Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat) was able to win the race overall by just 3 seconds after distancing Marc de Maar (United Healthcare) on the final stage. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung captain Gerald Ciolek capped off a good week of racing by finishing 3rd on the final stage and 5th overall on the GC.
The final stage of racing had 7 riders break clear after 30km’s of racing. Their lead got up to 4 minutes before CCC Polsat started to head up the chase. Coming into the tough finishing circuit, the break would begin to splinter as they tried to stay ahead of the peloton. Sebastian Reichenbach (IAM Cycling) would prove to be the strongest rider in the break as he eventually led solo with 11km to go.
Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) would be the first to attack in the closing kilometers but he never really got too much of a gap. Paterski would be the next to go inside of 3km to go and Ciolek was glued to his wheel, this injection of pace was enough to also finally reel in Reichenbach. JP Drucker (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Kristoff were also paying close attention to the moves upfront and in the end it was Kristoff that took the win ahead of Drucker and Ciolek.
Rider – Gerald Ciolek
In the end this last day was harder than expected. We had to do a hard finishing circuit 4 times and the pace was already on in the first lap. I had a bit of bad luck when i punctured with 25km to go, just at the point when Belkin started riding on the front. They gave me a hard time trying to get back to the bunch. In the final kilometers there were a few attacks and i was feeling good so i could follow the wheels and in the end, also contest for the victory with the 7 other riders. I wasn’t in the best position for the sprint so there was no way i could have won against a super strong Kristoff and Jempy Drucker.
I am very happy with my condition at the moment, maybe i could have got more out of this week but now i am looking forward to the upcoming races.
Directeur Sportif – Manel Lacambra
Gerald was amazing once again. He was in the top positions all the time and feeling very good. Our riders helped the others teams with the chase because we wanted to win the stage. With 2 laps to go Gerald had a puncture at the bottom of the steeper climb. Dennis was in the front group and gave him his wheel but it cost Gerald a lot of energy to get back to the front group because at this point the race was on full gas already. Gerald showed his super class though by being with the stronger riders in the last climb, finishing in 3rd place on the stage. With the final gaps and times bonus Gerald finish 5th on GC in a HC Tour. This is our best result in Europe this year so far.
Final Stage Results