Arctic Race: Teuns solos to emphatic stage and race win in Norway
Belgian Dylan Teuns recorded an eighth wins in two weeks after claiming final stage victory and general classification at the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway …
Standing alongside national hero and race ambassador Thor Hushovd, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg cut the ribbon on the finale of the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway under pristine Scandinavian summer conditions on Sunday.
“It was the best defence I think,” Teuns told Eurosport after launching a solo attack in the final 3 kilometres of the 160.5km stage around the island of Kvaløya, which included three 13.5km laps to close the race in a packed Tromsø city centre.
“Otherwise, I needed to do really good sprint and I think my strength is going on the climb.”
Teuns took only a 3-second lead over Jensen into the final, something Teuns was all too aware of during the race.
“I was trying to keep [Jensen] under pressure,” admitted Teuns. “I was also keeping in mind that somebody could go with me, but in the end I was alone and it was quite perfect situation for me.”
Both the stage and race victories mark the seventh and eighth wins respectively for the 25-year-old Belgian in the past two weeks, which also include an opening stage win at Arctic Race after the doing the same at both the Tour of Pologne (Poland) and Tour de Wallonie (Belgium).
“I’m just in great shape,” said Teuns, who also claimed the points classification, as well as the white best young rider jersey. “I can’t explain how it happened, but it’s good it doesn’t stop because it’s good for my morale.”
For the second day in a row, Austrian Bernie Eisel (Dimension Data) fought hard to keep the KOM jersey he initially slipped into on the first stage.
“Yes, I got my into something on the first day being in the break and having a mountains jersey and just started enjoying it,” Eisel told Eurosport. “But at the same time had no idea how much work it was going to be defending that jersey and having it on the last day,”
The 36-year-old former Gent-Wevelgem winner was once again in a multi-rider break fighting for mountain classification points, this time with six other riders including Tony Hurel (Direct Energie), Molly Kenny (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits), Ludvik A. Holstad (Team Sparebanken SÃ, r), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-RusVelo), and Jon Soeveras Breivold (Team FixIT.no).
In the end it was Eisel and Claeys remaining as the two entered the first of the three laps with a two-minute advantage before being eventually consumed by the surging field.
“Today, I was a bit lucky I think,” he said. “Out of the first attack I just went and was in there. Then with [Claeys] we just drove it … at some point it was pretty obvious we were not going to make it, so we just enjoyed it out there.
“I definitely have really, really sore legs now,” said Eisel, who also earns 500kg of salmon from KOM sponsor Lake er viktig for Norge. “But at the same time I, or the team, have 500kg of salmon now … I think we are going to have a little bit of sashimi tonight.”
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images