Bunch Sprint in Bodo Wraps Up Arctic Race of Norway14. August 2016, Bodo (NOR) — Road Team
A strong ride in the breakaway by Marcus Burghardt wasn’t enough to spoil the day for the sprinters on stage 4 of the Arctic Race of Norway, which saw John Degenkolb (Team Giant Alpecin) win the bunch sprint.
Four riders went clear early in the stage but were reeled in to make way for a split in the peloton where Philippe Gilbert, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard and Michael Schär were part of the small selection up the front.
As the two groups came together again Daniel Oss launched an attack, following which Marcus Burghardt made the final six-man breakaway.
Burghardt’s breakaway stayed clear until the final of three laps of the finishing circuit in Bodo when the peloton brought them back with just 2.5km to go, setting the stage for the bunch sprint.
Philippe Gilbert crossed the line in the front group to retain his eighth place overall and Amaël Moinard just behind in tenth place.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It’s hard against all of the sprinters’ teams and we were four riders in the breakaway in the final part of the stage which is not many. I think I did most of the work to stay away and I was feeling very strong. I just wanted to try. I haven’t mad many opportunities to get in a breakaway in the last few months so I wanted to take the chance today and go for the victory. We thought that if the gap to the first breakaway was not too big that we would go on that first big climb and that’s what we did. I think this was the best way because we put a lot of pressure on the sprinters’ teams so we had at least a small chance to keep the breakaway away.”
“Eighth overall isn’t a good result but it’s not a bad result either. I came here from Rio jet-lagged and the temperature difference was a big shock for the body, so I was feeling pretty bad in the first couple of days. But the climb yesterday opened my legs a bit and today was the first day that I was feeling good on the bike. It’s been a long time and I’m happy to feel good again so this gives me confidence for the Vuelta a Espana. Before San Sebastian and Rio I was missing a stage race because the Tour of Poland wasn’t a great race, so now I have a good race in my legs and I’m happy. With this I think I can go with ambition to the next races.”
Klaas Lodewyck, Sports Director:
“After 72km kilometers of racing was the top of climb and we were actually lucky that the breakaway went pretty late and the guys from Bora-Argon 18 and Team Sky started controlling. So I told the guys that as the climb was only ten kilometers maybe we should give it a go and split up the peloton. And like this it was a war for a really long time. The first bunch came back but then Marcus Burghardt was able to set up another breakaway and got caught in the last few kilometers. As a team we did a really good job and raced aggressively which is what I like.”
“Yesterday it was pity that we couldn’t win but when you only have one stage to go for GC you only have one chance. As a team I think we raced like we should at every race, aggressively and showing who we are. As my first race as Sports Director with BMC Racing Team I’m happy with how the guys raced.”
Arctic Race of Norway
Stage 4: Arctic Circle > Bodo (193km)
Top 3: John Degenkolb (Team Giant Alpecin), Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), Arnaud Demarre (FDJ)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 18. Philippe Gilbert, 21. Loïc Vliegen, 22. Amaël Moinard
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 8. Philippe Gilbert, 10. Amaël Moinard, 12. Loïc Vliegen