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"We were thinking to do something at the end, probably with Bob [Jungels] as he was the best suited to a late attack. But then with the crash he lost his positioning and it was no longer ideal.”

Photo: Sirotti








20.05.2015 @ 21:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Tour of Norway kicked off today with an 182-kilometer stage that was expected to be a straightforward race, ending in a bunch sprint.


Although the expected bunch sprint finally played out with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) grabbing the victory in his home country, it was nearly upset by the breakaway with the last remnants only overtaken in the last 200 meters.


“It was a bunch sprint, but it was actually quite an exciting and nice race today,” director Kim Andersen explained. “It took a long time for a breakaway to go – 25 kilometers - and we tried to get in a move at the start of the day, but then five riders went with no big teams represented, and that was the break that could go. When the two Lotto (Soudal) riders made a nice move to join the front it was quite dangerous. I actually thought they might make it to the end.”


It was an audacious move by Lotto-Soudal, and with the added firepower joining the leading group the situation turned in favor of the breakaway. A panicked chase ensued, resulting in a two-rider crash with two kilometers to go that shattered the peloton. Bob Jungels managed to stay ahead of the split, finishing in a lead peloton that numbered just 35 riders.


Andersen continued, “In the final two kilometers there was a crash that split the peloton and I actually don’t know how we are placed for the moment. We were thinking to do something at the end, probably with Bob [Jungels] as he was the best suited to a late attack. But then with the crash he lost his positioning and it was no longer ideal.”


The official results showed Bauke Mollema and Fränk Schleck arrived with the second group and lost 13 seconds. With Trek Factory Racing’s two leaders already holding a small deficit after day one, the emphasis for aggressive racing will be further stressed in the next four days.  


“For sure we are here to make a good race and try to do something because we cannot wait for the sprint every day,” pointed out Andersen. “We are here to try and win something, in the overall and stages. It’s a race for opportunists: there are many small teams and only six riders per team and that changes the dynamics. The move that Lotto did today was a good example – it was really close to working – it’s things like this that we have to look for.”



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