The 2nd stage of the Arctic Race of Norway saw a mass bunch sprint decide the stage with Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) getting through to take the win. Federico Zurlo (United Healthcare) was 2nd and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took 3rd place.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were dealt a bit of a blow today as Reinardt Janse van Rensburg couldn’t take to the start because of a throat infection and fever, and then halfway into the stage Theo Bos also had to pull out due to illness. The plan remained the same though as we looked after Edvald Boasson Hagen for the sprint.
Jayde Julius, wearing the Viking Jersey for being voted the race’s best teammate after yesterday’s stage, hardly left the side of Edvald all day as the peloton kept a 6 rider break in check. The finish suited a pure sprinter and so most teams had an interest in bringing the race back together. With 16km to go, the desired result was inevitable as the last of the escapees were caught.
IAM cycling set the pace to the final 3km and then Bora-Argon 18 took over the leadout responsibilities. Gerald and Edvald were well positioned heading toward the flamme rouge before the front of the race was swamped by a number of sprint hopefuls. With so many riders in close proximity and not enough road to work with, there was just no way through for Eddy and safety became the objective. Thanks to winning the first intermediate sprint of the day, Edvald remains 2nd on the general classification only 2 seconds behind Kristoff.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
There was a fast start with many teams trying to get into the break. I think this was because there was a prize of 500kg of Salmon at one of the GPM’s today. It was after 58km that the break eventually went ahead and then it was mostly IAM and Katusha that controlled the bunch. For the sprint we had Edvald and Gerald but they weren’t able to fight for the win today.