Groenewegen sprints to victory in opening stage at Tour of Norway
May 17 2018 12:12 am CET

Groenewegen sprints to victory in opening stage at Tour of Norway
Groenewegen sprints to victory in opening stage at Tour of Norway
Photo of Dylan Groenewegen by LottoNL-Jumbo

The first stage in the Tour of Norway has been won by Dylan Groenewegen. The Dutchman sprinted to victory in the streets of Horten. Sondre Holst Enger was second. With this win the LottoNL-Jumbo rider also took the first leader's jersey.

The first stage was a warm-up for the rest of the week, taking the riders over a mostly flat course. There were two categorised climbs in the profile, but the last of these had its summit at 30 km from the line.

The home riders showed themselves and their Continental teams in the beginning of the stage, with Andreas Vangstad (Joker-Icopal), Øivind Lukkedahl (Coop), Audun Brekke Fløtten (Virtu) and Erik Resell (Uno-X) forming the breakaway. They soon had a gap of over 3 minutes.

Lukkedahl showed himself the strongest climber on the Gregershullet, ahead of Fløtten and Vangstad. Before the second climb of the day Vangstad and Resell had to let go of their breakaway companions due to the high pace. With two in front Lukkedahl also won the second KOM sprint, beating Fløtten to the line. Dries van Gestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took third place from the peloton.

Behind the break, the peloton slowly increased its speed and a bunch sprint seemed inevitable. With 20 km to go the gap was less than 20 seconds. Three kilometres later the two Norwegians were caught and the sprint trains could line up. Pawel Bernas (CCC) attacked in the last lap, but he was reeled in by Team Sky, Wanty Groupe Gobert and LottoNL-Jumbo. Also Israel Cycling Academy was in front of the peloton for home rider Sondre Holst Enger.

With 2 km to go there was a crash in the peloton, but the sprinters teams were ahead and lined up the trains for the lead out. LottoNL-Jumbo took the front with 1.5 km to go to lead out Groenewegen. With 250 metres to go he started his sprint and won easily ahead of Sondre Holst Enger, who finished second in his hometown. The Dutchman also took the first leader's jersey.



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