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"I think it’s going to be difficult to change the GC now but if we see an opportunity to do so, we’ll grab it,” said Hoffman."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo




24.05.2014 @ 18:56 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The 4th and penultimate stage of Tour of Norway from Brumunddal to the winter Olympic town of Lillehammer was the queen stage and a mountainous circuit concluded the day and the GC was expected to change.


Tinkoff-Saxo’s Edward Beltran had a few good punches from the peloton that kept getting smaller throughout the entire stage. With 25 kilometers to go, Ruben Fernandez (Caja Rural) had a small gap to the group of favourites chasing him. Soon, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Jesper Hansen launched a fierce attack, was joined by Bauke Mollema (Belkin) and Norwegian wonder-kid, Christian Elking and they completely shattered the group.


The gap to Fernandez was bridged going down the descent and the four riders were being chased down by the IAM and CCC Polsat teams but they worked beautifully together. Even though the chasers came very close, Mollema and Tinkoff-Saxo’sHansen entered the finish line side by side but the Belkin rider was the strongest rider today and took the win.


DS, Tristan Hoffman was happy with his young riders’ performance:


“Both Edward and Jesper did a super stage. Obviously, Beltran didn’t had it in him to make the difference today but Jesper surely demonstrated world-class by launching away with a guy like Mollema and stayed with him. Jesper went first through one of the final sharp corners and while Elking and Fernandez crashed behind him, Mollema stayed on his wheel but passed him on the final hundred meters to take the stage but I’m very happy about this result. I think it’s going to be difficult to change the GC now but if we see an opportunity to do so, we’ll grab it,” said Hoffman.


In addition to finishing second, Jesper Hansen conquered the white jersey of the race:


“It was a tremendously hard finale and launching off with Bauke was a good choice as he worked tirelessly from the start to the finish line and there was no doubt that he was the strongest of us. The pace went up significantly every time he took his turn in the front. But I’m happy with this result. Last year, I finished 7th overall but I think finishing second on a stage like this is a bigger result. In addition, I took the white jersey so if I can take that home with me, it’s been a very successful race for me,” said the upcoming Danish climber.



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