Teuns Holds onto Overall Lead After Queen Stage in Norway12. August 2017, Finnvikdalen (NOR) — Road Team
The Arctic Race of Norway queen stage came down to an exciting finale with Dylan Teuns on the attack before sprinting to second in a photo finish to maintain his overall race lead with one stage remaining.
It was another fast start on day three day in Norway with attacks flying off the front of the peloton from the moment the flag dropped. A three-rider group went clear within the first 5km, of the 185.5km course, but the peloton never sat up and, with others trying to bridge across, they were eventually pulled back with 160km of racing still to come.
New attacks began almost immediately as the race reached the hilly middle section, which included two categorized climbs, but the peloton closed every move down before four riders began to distance themselves at the front of the race and, with the gap hovering at under 20 seconds, another four were able to bridge across.
Behind the eight-rider breakaway, the peloton finally sat up with Floris Gerts and Bram Welten setting the pace for BMC Racing Team and allowing the leaders’ advantage to reach over 3’40” as the road began to rise towards the Vassåsen Summit and it hovered there going over the top of the Sæterlihaugen Summit.
On the flatter terrain that led the race into the final category one climb to the line in Finnvikdalen, BMC Racing Team continued to lead the peloton and began to steadily cut into the advantage of the breakaway pulling them to within two minutes with 40km remaining.
With a battle of the General Classification contenders brewing, the race charged towards the bottom of the final 5.2km climb, with the peloton trailing by less than one minute before the leaders were swept up as the road started to rise.
The pace on the early slopes of the climb, saw riders spread out across the road almost immediately. A select group of riders, including Teuns and Amaël Moinard, was drawn out at the front of the race with just 4km to go as riders began to try their luck in a late bid for glory.
After chasing the late attacks, Teuns led the front group under the flamme rouge before launching his final sprint towards the summit finish with 400m to go.
However, the stage came down to the last throw of the bike with August Jensen (Team Coop) able to match Teuns’ impressive speed and take the day's honors. After securing second on the line, Teuns retains his overall lead of the General Classification with an advantage of three seconds over Jensen heading into what will be an exciting final stage tomorrow.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"It was a pretty hard day. For me, it was maybe a bit easier than it was for me teammates. They had a lot of work to do, and the wind only made it more difficult. I am really happy with the work they did for me today. It was amazing. The final climb was not that hard, and it was really good that I still had Amaël Moinard with me, but I think the perfect scenario would have been to have had the sixth rider here to take me to 600m to go as they started to attack us with 2km to go. After Amaël had done his job setting a high speed on the climb, I had to do my job and follow the attacks. It was maybe just a bit too early when I launched my sprint, and I am disappointed to miss out on the stage win by just 1cm. When you lose by half a bike length you know you were beaten but today it was so close, it's hard to take."
"Tomorrow will be raced right from the beginning, and it will be a hard day. Today I was surprised how fast we raced at the beginning, and I didn't expect it to take so long and the guys had to cover a lot of moves, so I am really happy with how strong everyone is and that gives me confidence. I don't think I can think about the overall win just yet. It is so close at the top of the GC and I have an advantage of just three seconds, so it is going to be a hard race tomorrow."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
"We expected the finish to be harder today, but it is what it is. In the beginning, there was a battle to get into the breakaway, and it took over 50km for a group to go clear. Plus with the wind and rain, it made it hard for everyone. From there, we controlled the breakaway with Floris Gerts and Bram Welten, they did a great job pulling all day, and then some other teams started to help with the chase. In the end, we arrived at the bottom of the climb with the race back together, and from there we had Amaël Moinard with Dylan Teuns. Finally, it was up to Dylan to chase down the late attacks and even after that he did a good job in the sprint. We are still leading the GC, this morning we started with a two-second advantage, and now we have three. It will be another tough race tomorrow, and I think we might see a race for the bonus seconds at the final sprint between the GC riders. We know what we need to do tomorrow and I think that Dylan is more than capable of finishing the job."
Arctic Race of Norway
Stage 3: Lyngseidet (Lyngen Alps) > Finnvikdalen (Tromsø), 185.5km
Top 3: 1. August Jensen (Team Coop) 2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) 3. Dorian Godon (Cofidis)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Dylan Teuns 53. Amaël Moinard 67. Floris Gerts