Dainese extends Team dsm-firmenich winning streak in the Arctic Race of Norway
August 17 th 2023 - 18:29
They finished last year’s race with a stage victory and the Midnight Sun jersey claimed by Andreas Leknessund – and they have started this 10th edition on the same note. Team dsm-firmenich triumphed today in the opening stage of the 2023 Arctic Race of Norway with a winning sprint by Alberto Dainese, who defeated Groupama-FDJ’s Noah Hobbs and Arkéa-Samsic’s Clément Champoussin at the finish line set in Alta. The Italian rider is therefore the first GC leader, with a 4” lead on both Hobbs and his teammate Lewis Bower. It was not all good news form Team dsm-firmenich, though, as they lost defending champion Andreas Leknessund to an overnight sickness. The peloton of the Arctic Race of Norway will take on this Friday the second stage of the event, which will be decided by an uphill finish in Hammerfest.
106 riders took the start in the 10th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, which began with a 171-kilometre stage from Kautokeino to Alta. Defending champion Andreas Leknessund (Team dsm-firmenich) was finally unable to defend his title after falling sick overnight. The race got underway at 14.10. 500 meters after the official start, six riders attacked to establish the day’s main break: Torbjorn Andre Roed (Norway National Team), Ben Perry (Human Powered Health), Johan Ravnoy (Team Coop-Repsol), Fergus Browning (Trinity Racing Team), Trym Brennsaeter and Lewis Bower (Groupama-FDJ Continental). They quickly built a gap of 3’00”, clocked at kilometer 13,5.
Bower takes it all
Team dsm-firmenich, Jayco-AlUla and Uno-X took the helm of the bunch to keep the break on a tight leash, meaning the head of the race enjoyed a mere 2-minute gap when passing by Masi (IS, km 59,1) with Bower at its forefront. The situation remained stable until the entrance to the final circuit of Alta, on which the riders were set to do three laps. During the first one, the climb to Bossekop Summit (KOM, km 130,8) split the break in half. Ravnoy, Browning and Bower left his companions behind, with the latter powering away to claim the maximum points for the Mountain Classification available atop the hill. The trio kept a 40” lead on the bunch when it first passed through the finish line in Alta (IS, km 140,9), the rest of escapees already swept up by a peloton where Uno-X and dsm-firmenich still remained on top of the affairs.
Unsuccessful late attack by Impey
The peloton was about to reel in the break when Bower led the race once again on the second climb to Bossekop Summit (KOM, km 145,8) before taking a bow and dropping back to the bunch. Ravnoy and Browning were caught with 16 kilometres to go, leaving the road clear for the favorites to sprint for the bonus seconds up for grabs in the final passage through the finish line in Alta (IS, km 156). Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X) claimed 3” by getting the best of Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) and Christian Scaroni (Astana Qazaqstan), who took 2” and 1” respectively. The third and last climb to Bossekop Summit (Super KOM, km 160,9) provided a series of attacks that ended up awarding the maximum points to Flanders-Baloise’s Vincent van Hemelen. Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) took the initiative with 10 kilometres to go, going clear on his own. His advantage rose up to 20”, yet he was caught just inside the final kilometer. Cofidis, Jayco-AlUla and Q36.5 led the peloton on the way to the finish, yet it was dsm-firmenich to laugh last with Alberto Dainese’s powerful sprint.