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“For me, it’s great to win on a mountain. I didn’t expect this, although I knew that the final climb wasn’t very difficult," Vanmarcke says

Photo: Sirotti








23.05.2014 @ 23:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sep Vanmarcke may mostly be known as a classics riders ut today he proved that he also climbs solidly when he won the first ever summit finish in the Tour of Norway. The Belgian was surprised to do so well in unfamiliar terrain in his first race after a break.


Sep Vanmarcke triumphed in the third stage of the Tour of Norway today. The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM Belgian returned first to start town in Larvik and atop its climb at 600 metres. Gustav Erik Larsson (IAM Cycling) and Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) closed the 148-kilometre stage second and third. Belkin’s Stef Clement, who played a vital role in the victory, placed fourth. 

Vanmarcke and Clement opened the final with an attack to reel in the remaining riders of an early escape. Ultimately, they reached the finish line together with Larsson and Smukulis. After a perfect lead-out from his Dutch team-mate, Vanmarcke sprinted. The peloton arrived thirteen seconds too late.


“For me, it’s great to win on a mountain,” said Vanmarcke. “I didn’t expect this, although I knew that the final climb wasn’t very difficult.


“With three kilometres to go, Stef told me that he would keep the pace high to avoid the bunch from reeling us in and that I had to save energy for the sprint. His tactic was spot-on. We both had to dig deep, but it was worth it.” 


The Tour of Norway is Vanmarcke’s first race after the classics so he didn’t expect to be successful right away.


“I don’t win very often and to win in my first match after a period of rest means that I have trained well. I still can, and have to, improve. Unfortunately, I lost some time yesterday, otherwise, I would have been up there in the overall, as well.” 


Clement was a very pleased man after the stage.


“I’m happy and proud that I was able help Sep to take this victory,” he said. “He really deserved this after his great spring. It gives me a great feeling to nail this stage as a team.


“Sep and I were riding at the front when we arrived at the top of the penultimate climb. Sep then jumped and I followed him. Before the stage, we told each other that we wanted to try to win today, but this was a spontaneous move.” 


The peloton will take on another hilly stage tomorrow.


“We’re going to try to win tomorrow’s stage, as well,” said Vanmarcke. “And hopefully, we can force Lars Petter Nordhaug’s and Bauke Mollema’s overall rivals to lose time.”



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