Jensen pips Teuns with bike throw on Arctic Race queen stage
Norway’s August Jensen overtakes Dylan Teuns on the line of the Stage 3 mountain finish with one day to go at the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway …
The anticipated victory would have secured the 25-year-old Belgian the overall win on the Stage 3 summit, however, Norway’s August Jensen (Team Coop) decided to spoil the party.
The 25-year-old area native, who finished second on the opening stage to Teuns in Narvik, flipped the script and overtook the BMC rider on the line with a perfectly executed bike throw.
“The only time I’ve been practicing that one is training,” Jensen told Eurosport. “It was my first time in use, so glad it gave me the edge that I needed.”
According to Jensen, he had no idea he had taken the win, but was completely overjoyed with emotion once he received the news.
“I was totally uncertain,” he admitted. “I just saw black in front of my eyes. To hear I took the victory was just amazing.
“I had all sorts of emotions just pouring out of my eyes,” Jensen continued. “My family is here, my girlfriend is here — I’m from the area, so it couldn’t be better.”
Dutchman Dorian Godon (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) took third, followed by Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport), Eliot Lietaer (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Quentin Pacher (Delko-Marseile Provence KTM) all on same time.
For Teuns, who is on a hot streak of sorts, with six wins in the past two weeks, the runner-up slot was disappointing.
“It was a really tight one, that’s why I am disappointed,” Teuns told Eurosport. “If I lose by a total bike [length] then, OK, you beat me … but by 1cm?
“The jump at the end made the difference,” the recent Tour of Pologne (Poland) winner explained further. “He came also from behind out of my slipstream and was also a good advantage for him.”
When asked if changing the timing of his assault up the final climb to the finish could have altered the result, Teuns said there was little he or his out-manned BMC squad could do.
“It was not a climb to attack earlier,” said Teuns, who launched his attack after he and a select group foiled an earlier assault on the 5.2km climb by Astana’s Andrei Grivko of Ukraine. “When Astana went pretty early, it was too early.
“I just missed one teammate today,” he continued. “We were only with five [to start the race], and the guys had to do a lot of work helping each other in the beginning — it was really hard.
“They did an amazing job, but that maybe is why I was alone in the finish because they worked so hard all stage, and that’s sad because I wanted to win for them because they did such a big job.”
Teuns takes a narrow 3-second lead over Jensen into the fourth and final stage on Sunday — a 160.5km race around the island with three final 13.5km circuit laps finishing in the Tromsø city centre.
“Still one more day. It’s only a 3-second advantage — it’s not much,” said Teuns, who aside from owning the white jersey for best young rider, also holds a one-point lead over Jensen in the points classification and six over Italian Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). “So, tomorrow there will still be a race for GC.”
Another jersey still up for grabs is the salmon KOM jersey held by Austrian veteran Bernie Eisel (Dimension Data), who has a three-point lead going into the final stage, which features three categorised climbs.
“It was defiantly a really, really tough day,” said Eisel, who fiercely battled Daniel Diaz (Delko-Marseile Provence KTM) for KOM points through the rainy Lyngen Alps, and participated in a doomed eight-man break for the majority of the all-weather 185.5km day starting from Lyngseidet.
“Our focus was to keep the jersey and get more points. [Daniel] Diaz was with me from Delko-Marseile, so didn’t gain so many points — actually zero points,” he continued. “I still have the jersey. Tomorrow is a different day and so far all our tactics are going off. Let’s see tomorrow.
“But, I think this is the first time they had to wait at a finish for the KOM jersey at a mountain top finish.”
Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images