Jerome Baugnies (Wanty Groupe Gobert) put in a very late attack during the opening stage of Tour des Fjords and was just able to hold off Magnus Cort Nielsen (Cult Energy) and Sondre Enger (Sparebanken) to take the victory. Kristian Sbaragli from Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung once again showed his sprint consistency with yet another top 10 finish.
The 166km stage looked on paper, to be a good one for a sprint finish but with 9 riders forming part of the early breakaway, there was reason to be concerned. As quickly as the lead got up to 5’45”, it also came back down as the peloton realised the chase had to start early. No risks were taken by the sprinters teams as they ensured the break was neutralised with 20km to go. A few late attacks would follow but to no avail, until Baugnies went away with a km left to race.
The slight hesitation from the final leadout teams allowed Baugnies to get enough of a gap to hold his lead to the line. Sbaragli fought valiantly for the wheel of the inform Kristoff but unfortunately the Norwegian started his sprint from too far behind and both riders did well to eventually finish in the top 10.
Rider – Kristian Sbaragli
The stage was quite hard but i was still able to make it in the front group. Unluckily i decided to follow Kristoff in the last 300m and he was too far back. I am looking forward to the next few stages where i hope to get at least one important result after too many top 10’s now.
Tour des Fjords (28 May – 1 June/UCI 2.1) Team Lineup
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