Full of Joyce
August 17 th 2018 - 18:39 [GMT + 2]
American fast man Colin Joyce of Rally Cycling won an eventful stage 2 in the Arctic Race of Norway while Russia’s Sergei Chernetski from Astana took the lead over from Mathieu Van der Poel in Kjøllefjord.
Although Mathieu Van der Poel had insisted that his main goal was a stage win, which he acquired after only one stage, he evidenced his GC ambitions by sprinting for time bonus at the first intermediate sprint 20km after the start of stage 2 in Tana. Third behind Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) and Alberto Bettiol (BMC), he extended his overall lead by one second. After the first summit at Duoriejeaggi (km 45), where Krister Hagen (Coop) was first ahead of Nicolas Roche (BMC) and Sindre Lunke (Fortuneo-Samsic), a group of six leaders was formed in three waves as Ryan Anderson (Rally) and Loïc Chetout (Cofidis) were reinforced firstly by Henrik Evensen (Joker-Icopal) and Dennis van Winden (Israel Cycling Academy), secondly by Yannick Martinez (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM) and Lunke. The latter crested the first category Ifjordfjellet summit (km 60) at the front, before Van Winden and Anderson. The advantage of the six escapees reached four minutes after 65km of racing.
Barguil and Van der Poel in a counter attack
With still 128km remaining, seven riders including Van der Poel and Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) countered behind the six leading riders. They chased flat out for 25 kilometres before the regrouped peloton reduced the deficit to 1’45’’ with 100km to go. Lunke went for more points and the conquest of the salmon jersey of King of the Mountains in the second cat. 1 climb of the day at Bekkarfordfjellet (km 120.5) while Chetout and Martinez got dropped. As the peloton came closer to the four remaining breakaway riders, Barguil crashed from an echelon within 50km to go. It was all together again 40km before the end. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) put the hammer down in the last climb of the day, the Hopseidet summit (cat. 1) with 35.5km to go. Only his team-mate Sergei Chernetski, second overall, and Bettiol managed to follow him over the top. The peloton was split into pieces and Van der Poel got caught in the third group with a deficit of two minutes with 20km remaining while Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), a very active member of the first chasing group, went down in a windy curve.
Chernetski moves into the lead
Fuglsang, Chernetski and Bettiol had 1’40’’ lead over the main peloton with 10km to go. But another change of wind direction modified the scenario again. 11 chasers came across 5km before the end. Chernetski sped up in the crosswind 4.5km to go and took three seconds bonus. 11 riders regrouped at the front with 2km to go. Michael Schär (BMC) sped up but it was a sprint finish that looked like going well for Van Winden but America’s Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling) showed his top end speed to the European riders. Norway’s Markus Hoelgaard (Joker-Icopal) rounded out the podium. The same trio topped the overall classification with Chernetski in first place with an advantage of four seconds ahead of Joyce and five seconds ahead of Hoelgaard. Van der Poel dropped to 14th at 1’11’’ at half way into the sixth Arctic Race of Norway.