Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka put its mark on the final stage of Arctic Race of Norway. Bernhard Eisel showed great tenacity as he attacked and scored enough points to win the KOM jersey. Meanwhile, Amanuel Gebreigzabhier did well to finish with the GC riders and secured his impressive position in the final general classification.
With no less than 18 KOM points up for grabs on today’s last stage, Eisel had to go on the attack again in order to defend his lead in the mountains classification. The strong Austrian started the day on 13 points in total and he was eager to increase his lead. Therefore, it was really no surprise to see Eisel making it into the morning breakaway for third time in the race.
None of the other riders in the breakaway was a threat to Eisel before the stage. However, as the front group started on the first categorized climb of the day, Eisel didn’t take any chances. He went away together with Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) and won the first KOM sprint. After the top, the duo never looked back and continued on their own.
Eisel won the following two KOM sprints, bringing him to a total of 22 points in the mountains classification at the time. With only nine more points up for grabs, nobody could overtake Eisel and the KOM jersey was secured. Eisel then dropped back to the peloton to help his teammates prepare the final.
On the last climb, after several riders had tried to get away, the leading rider Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) attacked and managed to solo away to take the stage and the overall victory. Gebreigzabhier also put in a couple of attacks in the final. Ultimately, he crossed the line in 10th place, sealing his ninth place overall. A truly impressive performance by the 22-year-old Eritrean who’s making his debut as stagiaire with the team in the race. Gebreigzabhier also finished third in the youth classification, while Eisel – as the winner of the KOM jersey – takes home no less than 500 kg of salmon.
”On the first climb, I got away with Claeys and I told him I was only there for the KOM points. Then, we really committed to it and we had a blast out there. I’m super happy to have won this jersey. The whole team had a great four days of racing here in Norway. Amanuel [Gebreigzabhier] was amazing in his first race with the team. In fact, everybody did very well. We really had a great time. Tonight, we will celebrate – and probably have some salmon”.