MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung would ride confidently on the front of the peloton for the better part of the 2nd Tour of Norway stage, only faltering slightly in the final 5km of the stage. Edvald Boasson Hagen still managed a top 10 finish though as he collected 9th place for our African team today.
With 5 riders forming the break early on, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were looking to avoid the alarm bells that went off during yesterday’s touch and go chase and kept the escapees on a shorter leash today. The course was more undulating than yesterday making it slightly easier to pull back the lead riders as they tired near the end of the 199km stage.
Again all the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders did a sterling job to marshal the race. Jay Thomson kept a close eye on proceedings all day while Edvald Boasson Hagen sat the South Africans wheel in complete safety from the bunch. The other MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders all took their turn at setting the tempo to ensure another sprint finish would decide the stage.
The final would become slightly messy as a number of teams would now make their way to the front of the bunch. Eddy was in a good position with 2km to go, sitting in the wheels of Caleb Ewan (Orica-Greenedge) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). The fast descent to the final km saw a number of risk takers diving for position which saw Eddy emerge in about 20th place when road levelled out. Our Norwegian star would open his sprint really early to leapfrog a number of riders but it would only be 9th place on the day for Eddy as Kristoff took the win ahead of Ewan and Andy Fenn (Team Sky).
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
Today was the longest stage of the Tour of Norway and it was also a very windy day as well. The break took a short while to form, eventually going clear after 34km with 5 riders. After 130km of racing we started to work in the front together with a few other teams to reduce the time gap. It was safer to keep the gap small as there was always the threat from the crosswinds. The final was super-fast and the headwind was softer than we expected in the last 4km. We rode in support of Edvald but the finish didn’t quite work out as planned. We will continue to support Eddy in the coming stages.