Mathieu van der Poel wins first stage of Arctic Race of Norway: It was a very hard day
Aug 16 2018 09:02 pm CET

Mathieu van der Poel wins first stage of Arctic Race of Norway: It was a very hard day
Mathieu van der Poel wins first stage of Arctic Race of Norway: It was a very hard day
Photo of Mathieu van der Poel by Beobank-Corendon

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) has taken the victory at the first stage of the Arctic Race of Norway. The Dutch rider was the fastest at the uphill finish in Kirkenes.

The first stage of the Norwegian race was 184 kilometres long between Vadsø and Kirkenes and featured a hilly route. The breakaway of the day was formed in the first 40 kilometres and included riders like Damiano Caruso, Nicolas Roche, Tiago Machado and Maurits Lammertink, among others.

As the climbs passed, the front group grew smaller until only two riders remained at the last kilometre and even though Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie) and Markus Hoelgaard (Joker Icopal) tried their luck, they were caught by the reduced group. Van der Poel attacked at the last metres and nobody could stay at his wheel, which allowed him to cross the finish line in the first position.

Sergei Chernetski (Astana) and Benjamin De Clercq (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) were second and third at the end of the stage. The Dutch national champion also took the lead of the general classification.

"It feels good to win the first stage in the Arctic Race," said the rider. "It was a very hard day. The pace was incredibly high all day, and especially with the wind, it wasn’t easy. Even in the bunch, it was hard. On the local laps, you had to stay in front cause the last turn was very important. And I was in a good position there."

"We were here for a stage with the team, and that’s already done. I think we did a great job today and now we will see what the next days will bring."




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