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Simon Spilak executed a perfect attack when he beat Belkin’s Steven Kruijswik in a two up sprint in Norway. The Belkin rider had to settle for the race lead as compensation and keeps the leaders jersey in the Belkin team.

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team










16.08.2014 @ 18:45 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Simon Spilak executed a perfect attack when he beat Belkin’s Steven Kruijswik in a two up sprint in Norway. The Belkin rider had to settle for the race lead as compensation.


On the third day of the Arctic Race of Norway, riders faced a day that could go either way: a sprint or a breakaway/late attack due to a challenging parcours. The stage began in Alta and would travel 132km to Kvaenangsfjellet.


The early breakaway contained Albert Timmer (Giant), Florian Senechal (Cofidis) and Vegard Robinson Bugge of Joker. The stage followed a similar pattern to the two previous ones, with Belkin setting the tempo in the bunch, giving the breakaway an advantage of 2’50 maximum.


Timmer won both intermediate sprints, with Bugge second and Senechal third in both sprints.


Meanwhile at 90km to go, there were three simultaneous mechanicals for Jonathan Hivert (Belkin), Marco Haller (Katusha) and Danilo Napolitano of Wanty. All three men found it relatively easy to get back on.


Soon Oster Hus-Ridley began lending a hand with the chasing and the gap began to come down quite quickly.


As a consequence, Albert Timmer attacked on a rise in the road and dropped his two breakaway companions but he was chased down quickly by Katusha and Belkin, who were looking to launch Spilak and Nordhaug respectively. 


As soon as Timmer was caught, 5 men moved off the front and gained 16 seconds but before they could even be identified, they were brought back, allowing Thierry Hupond (Giant) and Boris Dron of Wallonie Bruxelles moved off the front.


There was a hard chase at the front and with 5.1km to go, Simon Spilak made his move. He went solo while Lars-Peter Nordhaug escaped the peloton to chase him but he was unable to make the bridge, being chased down successfully by the peloton. Instead his teammate Steven Kruijswijk made an instant counter attack and after a small chase, he eventually caught up to the Slovenian and the two worked well together to keep away from the peloton.


In the final sprint, Kruijswijk had no energy left to try to come round Spilak, who led out the sprint and took another win for himself this season, building on what has become his mandatory stage in the Tour de Romandie.


Belkin’s Jonathan Hivert beat home hero Kristoff into third 15 seconds later as Kruijswijk kept the leaders jersey within the Belkin team, giving him an 8 second lead over teammate Nordhaug, with young Cannondale rider Davide Villela sitting third at 17 seconds.




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