The Tour of Norway saw another tough stage in the Hardanger area. 167 km from Rjukan to Geilo were on the menu today with a three categorized climbs. Spaniard Amets Txurukka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) managed to drop his closest rivals on the final incline, wining solo ahead of David Lopez (Sky) and Davide Rebellin (CCC-Sprandi). Edvald Boasson Hagen consolidated his good overall position, coming in just outside the top10.
The day saw another strong performance of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung who were setting the pace in the peloton, leading the chase of Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) and Bob Jungels (Trek). The young Luxemburger was clearly the stronger of the two, going solo with 47 km left to race.
At this moment the gap was at 6.30 minutes, but it was set to steadily come down before the peloton reached the final climb towards the finish in Geilo. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung and Tinkoff-Saxo kept on leading the charge. After Jungels was brought back it was Marco Minaard (Wanty-Group Goubert) who tried his luck.
With 2 km to go it was all together though, until David Lopez (Sky) put his cards on the table. He was followed by Edvald who eventually would struggle insight the final kilometer. Race leader Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo) tried to counter Lopez, but in the end it was Txurukka who picked up the pace 500 m from the line.
He came in 5 seconds ahead of Lopez and Hansen, who extended his GC lead to 47 seconds. Edvald managed to second in the overall, finishing the day in 11th place. Lopez sits third.
The Tour of Norway will conclude tomorrow in Hønefoss.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
The team was really strong again today, keeping me in a good position. Unfortunately, I was not strong enough in the finale and lost a bit of ground on the last climb. It’s a pity that I wasn’t able to pay off the effort but tomorrow is another day. I’m happy to still be up there.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
It was a superfast stage today. In the beginning there were a lot of attacks and it took around 40 km until two riders were able to get a gap. They managed to establish a lead of around 6.30 min. In the break Bob Jungels was clearly the stronger rider and he rode an incredible race today. With 50 km to go we took control of the peloton to help Edvald to another good result. He did not have the legs in the end, but the team did really well again and it’s just a matter of time until the work will pay off.