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"It was a tremendously intense finale with a steep climb which drained the power out of almost everybody. I prefer to race for the win but that wasn’t possible today. But the way the day developed, I’m happy about finishing...







17.08.2015 @ 00:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Time had come for the final and 165km fourth stage of Arctic Race of Norway where CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s Rasmus Guldhammer was 8th in the general classification before today. Seven riders threatened to take it all but chaos reigned on the demanding local circuit in Narvik where Guldhammer finished 5th and moved to 7th in the GC.


In the first hour, the peloton covered 47 kilometers illustrating that it was a messy start but finally, seven riders broke clear. BMC didn’t allow the breakaway much hope as they kept the gap around three minutes. Hitting the foot of the climb on the local circuit, the gap was narrowed down to one minute and at the top of the 2 kilometer climb, only three riders were in the front with 30 seconds on the chasing field.


The steep slope decimated the pack and and gaps appeared everywhere. At the top of the first ascent, counter-attacks started to fly from the bunch and eventually, Rein Taaramae (Astana) broke clear with BMC’s Silvan Dillier and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha). Ben Hermans was in the overall lead and out of teammates, he was forced to chase the front trio alone while his teammate was sitting behind Taaramae in the front.


CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s Rasmus Guldhammer was playing it cool in the chase group and when Hermans ran out of power, he picked up the pace. However, the trio made it to the finish line where Silvan Dillier (BMC) took the stage win ahead of Zakarin. In the meantime, Sven-Erik Byström (Katusha) was trying to bridge across alone but had to settle for fourth.


Rasmus Guldhammer outsprinted his fellow chasers and finished 5th on the stage and moved up to 7th overall.


CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s Guldhammer said after the stage:


“Actually, I started the stage not feeling on top of things but as the stage progressed, I felt the power coming back. It was a tremendously intense finale with a steep climb which drained the power out of almost everybody. I prefer to race for the win but that wasn’t possible today. But the way the day developed, I’m happy about finishing 5th."


DS Michael Skelde was content with the result and the effort from the CULT Energy squad:


“It was a stunning race in many ways. After a high pace start, we delivered Rasmus in a good position in the finale. Even though Christian (Mager) didn't make it into the crucial break, I’m happy to see him out there giving it a good go. Considering the competition here, I think Rasmus did a good result. Finishing 5th today is a very good result even though we always prefer to win.


"The stage also reveals that even though you have a significantly strong team, it’s not always enough. I wish there were more of these kinds of races with a small squad of six riders. It proved impossible to control the stage for BMC today even though they’re all world-class riders and that was the primary reason for the fantastic finale."



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