Williams claims the win in Havoysund after ferocious race

August 19 th 2023 - 18:21

The grueling weather conditions didn’t keep the peloton of the Arctic Race of Norway from putting quite a show on in the third stage of the 10th edition of this beautiful event. Several long-range attacks took place, with an excellent breakaway led by Peacock jersey wearer Vincent Van Hemelen (Flanders-Baloise) as the highlight. It all came down to an uphill sprint in the final climb to Havoysund, though. Great Britain’s Stephen Williams took both the stage win and the Midnight Sun jersey, overtaking Astana Qazaqstan’s Christian Scaroni (3rd at the finish line) in the provisional GC by just one second. Runner-up to Williams in the fight for the stage was Arkea-Samsic’s Clement Champoussin. The overall victory is still up for grabs in the fourth and last stage to Nordkapp – the iconic North Cape.

Extended Highlights - Stage 3 - Arctic Race of Norway 2023

106 riders took the start in the third stage of the 2023 Arctic Race of Norway, held between Hammerfest and Havoysund over 167 kilometres, at 14:00. After a few attacks, six riders went clear 5 kilometres into the race: Ulrik Tvedt (Norwegian National Team), Paul Double (Human Powered Health), Michel Ries (Arkea-Samsic), KOM classification leader Vincent Van Hemelen (Flanders-Baloise), Karsten Larsen Feldmann and Anton Stensby (Coop-Repsol). At kilometre 28, they clocked an advantage of 4’00” over a peaceful bunch that rode at a steady pace, marshalled by Groupama-FDJ Continental.

Van Hemelen secures his Peacock jersey

Stensby led the way through both Skaidi (IS, km 52,5) and Lillefjord (IS, km 110,5), while Van Hemelen secured his Peacock jersey by being first atop Skaidi Summit (KOM, km 54,6). The advantage of the front group had increased up to 5’00” with 72 kilometres to go. With 65 remaining, Israel-Premier Tech, Astana Qazaqstan and Uno-X joined race leader Noah Hobbs’ teammates at the helm of the peloton and tried to launch echelons taking advantage of a crosswinds section. Their first efforts were fruitless, yet their second attempt with 40 kilometres to go did indeed whittle the main group down to 35 riders. Many of them unsuccessfully tried to power away from this reduced bunch in the following kilometres. Meanwhile, Double was dropped from the break as Van Hemelen passed first through Kirkedalen Summit (KOM, km 134,5), where the gap for the five remaining men at the front was down to just 1’35”.

Israel-Premier Tech went for it

An unfortunate crash with 28 to go took Astana Qazaqstan’s Gianmarco Garofoli out of contention while riding in the main group. Stensby was once again first in the last intermediate sprint of the day at Selvika (IS, km 148,4). The climb to Selvika Summit (KOM, km 153,1) left Van Hemelen alone in the lead with just 10” over the 30-strong favourites group. The Belgian rider was a caught at the base of the 2,2-kilometre race-defining climb to Havoysund by the chasing group, led by Israel-Premier Tech and Uno-X. Israel’s Dylan Teuns hit the afterburners with 350 meters to go, opening the sprint for his teammate Stephen Williams to power past everyone from the second row of the group and claim both his first victory of the season and the Midnight Sun jersey.


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