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“It was a quite a flat stage today, and in the end with 20kms to go there was a 2-kilometer climb and then another with 5kms to go. So I tried to jump on the first one with 20K to go, but the sprinters’ teams were already set up...

Photo: Sirotti




21.05.2015 @ 21:36 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The Tour of Norway's second stage ended in a carbon copy of stage one with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) edging out Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEdge) for the stage win. But well before the sprinters’ battle played out, Trek Factory Racing tried to thwart their victory contest with a feisty Bob Jungels playing chief antagonist. 


Over the top of the second of two categorized climbs Jungels spiritedly jumped from the peloton, and again with just over six kilometers to go in a two-up attack with Gregory Rast that saw Jungels dangle off the front for a few kilometers before the unwilling peloton again shut it down.


“It was a quite a flat stage today, and in the end with 20kms to go there was a 2-kilometer climb and then another with 5kms to go. So I tried to jump on the first one with 20K to go, but the sprinters’ teams were already set up and they controlled it,” Jungels said.


“In the end I think Gregory and I went a little too early. He was launching my attack, and I managed to get away a few hundred meters from the bunch and then Lopez from Sky joined me. But it was impossible; it was a strong headwind all day long and it was hard to do anything since everyone was fresh for the finale. You go nowhere actually.  But I am happy with how I am feeling.


The Tour of Norway continues for three more days that should play out differently than the bunch sprints of the first two stages with some tough climbs and undulating terrain. Director Kim Andersen gave his view on today’s race, and what the next days hold:


“We wanted to do the attack with Rast and Jungels on the very last climb, and they went a little too soon, but without knowing the road, and with no radios...they made a small mistake. But at least they tried. The idea was to actually to do it on the very last climb just before the finish line.


“We wanted to see today, but it was the whole day a headwind. At the start we wanted to be in a breakaway with either Popo (Yaroslav Popovych) or Rasty [Gregory Rast] but they don’t let the big teams go. It took close to one hour before the breakaway went. After that it was just wait, and then we tried to go on the last climb, but it was on the second last one, and it was all we could do.


“We need to hope for the next days now, it’s still a very hard race. Tomorrow is the big climb, I am not sure how hard it is, and then after tomorrow the [uphill] finish is quite hard, and the last day the circuit is also very, very hard.  So we will see – we will keep trying.”



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