It was touch and go, but Adam Toupalik (Corendon-Circus) took the stage win. The peloton caught the majority of the break just before the finish line, but Toupalik held on to take the first win of his career.
His teammate, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), finished in second place. In third was Sergei Chernetski (Astana Pro Team).
Current British Champion and Team Dimension Data stagiaire, Connor Swift, featured in the break for our African team and showed his mettle on the World Tour stage. He was brought back to the peloton in the final 3km of racing. Jacques Janse van Rensburg was our best placed rider, finishing in 24th place.
Tomorrow’s final stage runs from Kvalsund to Alta and will offer fireworks as teams look to secure their general classification ambitions.
Connor Swift- Rider
It was a tough day up the road! The tunnel climb at the start of today’s stage was unreal! Definitely a experience I won’t forget. You are climbing 3km out of a tunnel at 7% full gas in the dark. It was crazy! You come out of the tunnel and the outside air feels tropical compared to the cold air we had just been in even though it was only 12 degrees today. We thought the break would go there but Astana weren’t letting a big group go away.
The race was strung out with a lot of guys wanting to be in the break. The elastic finally snapped around 18km in on a climb and luckily I had managed to get in the move after covering a fair few groups that was coming and going.
Once the breakaway was away everyone worked together and we were all rolling through well. It was nice to soak in a little bit of the scenery today too… Norway is a stunning place and I feel very privileged to be racing my bike here for Team Dimension Data.
Before the start of today’s stage we had a meeting and said the break may stay as Astana would want us to mop up bonus seconds and keep the GC the same. Coming into the last 40km, the break started to really push on as everyone was thinking we had a good chance to make it stick. We got onto the finishing circuit and the chase was really on. The peloton were taking chunks out of our lead. With a lap to go, 3 riders broke clear and I just didn’t have the legs to follow…. I attempted to get there on another rise but the two little kickers on the circuit took their toll on me unfortunately! Two guys from the peloton bridged across to me and I worked with them as best as I could to stay away but it wasn’t to be for me as the bunch caught us with 3km to go. Nonetheless, it was good to get up the road and show the National Jersey for Team Dimension Data. Hopefully we go again and make the break that sticks in the future!