Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s new stagiaire, Amanuel Gebreigzabhier continues to show off his huge talent in Arctic Race of Norway. The young Eritrean finished 11th on Saturday’s queen stage and he’s now ninth overall. Bernhard Eisel joined the early break and scored enough points to keep the KOM jersey.
After a fast start with numerous attacks, Eisel showed his experience and power as he joined what turned out to be the decisive move. At the beginning, only three riders followed the strong Austrian but later, four more riders bridged across. The front group worked well together and quickly got a gap of over three minutes on the peloton.
Leading the mountains classification, naturally, Eisel was eager to score more KOM points. On the first two categorized climbs, he got five points which put him on 13 points in total. As long as Delko Marseille Provence KTM’s Daniel Diaz didn’t win today’s stage, Eisel would be sure to keep the salmon jersey.
As the breakaway took on the final 50 km of the stage, Eisel decided to drop back to the peloton as the gap was starting to come down quickly. Despite being in the break most of the day, he still managed to give a helping hand to his teammates before the final.
With the uphill finish in Finnvikdalen, the best climbers and puncheurs in the peloton were eager to get into a good position on the final kilometers. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Jaco Venter set a high pace in what was left of the peloton before Ben O’Connor put in a strong attack as the riders went under the last-kilometer-banner. Unfortunately, O’Connor got caught before the finishing line, which saw a select group of riders fighting for the win.
Ultimately, August Jensen (Team Coop) took the win after narrowly beating the leading rider Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team). Gebreigzabhier did very well to follow the favorites and finish in 11th place. The 22-year-old is now ninth overall and third in the youth classification before Sunday’s final stage of the day. Eisel leads the KOM classification three points ahead of Diaz.
Rolf Aldag – sports director:
“Amanuel [Gebreigzabhier] was our dedicated captain for today as we believed he had a good chance to do well in the GC. He climbs well and he is punchy in an uphill sprint like this. Tomorrow, we will try to defend the KOM jersey and our Top10 position overall”.