photo credit @ Tour of Norway
Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural – RGA) won stage 4 of this year’s Tour of Norway, with a well-timed counter- attack during the final 300 meters, to deny his closest rivals, David Lopez (Team) Sky and Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), the victory.
“I’m very happy”, Txurruka reacted at the finish. “I knew I came to the Tour of Norway with good form but yesterday, I didn’t feel good. I was disappointed with my performance [46th]. I was up there uphill with David Lopez but I suffered in the cold and I punctured downhill. I was avid for a revenge. Maybe the adrenaline helped me in today’s final rush. I was hoping to ride for GC at this race. Fortunately I have a stage win to compensate my disillusion. May is usually my period of form. I have to profit from it.”
“Maybe I attacked a bit too early”, said Hansen. “I seriously tried to win but I like longer climbs than this one. During the race, I was never completely sure that we’d manage to catch Bob Jungels. He was still 6:30 ahead with 40km to go and he’s a very strong guy.”
Bob Jungels and Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) constituted the day’s breakaway, with the duo eventually building up an advantage of several minutes over the peloton.
However, Ligthart would later fall off of Jungels’ pace, leaving the Luxembourg rider to forge ahead alone for the remaining 46 kilometers.
But, stiff headwinds and an undulating route would later prove too much for Jungels to keep the chase at bay, as the Trek rider was caught during the last 19 kilometers.
The finale for today’s 167kilometer stage included a steep 2.5-kilometer final ascent, that saw a late attack by Txurruka that no one had the legs to answer.
“We wanted to get in the break today; Bauke [Mollema], Rasty [Gregory Rast], Popovyvh they all tried,” explained Trek Factory Racing director Kim Andersen.“Then Bob attacked on the climb and went with Ligthart. The plan was for him to ride to the first bonus sprint and take the time bonuses, as we did not want him to continue in the headwind all day with only two. But we have no radios, and then when I came back to him after the sprint he had seven minutes. At that point, there was no choice but to continue on and see. We knew the chance [of succeeding] was low, but it was the way things worked out.”
Meanwhile, Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo) successfully defended his leader’s jersey by coming across the line five seconds later.
photo credit @ Twitter
Top 20 Finishers
1 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 4:30:11
2 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:02
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:00:05
4 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Frederik Galta (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:00:07
6 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky 0:00:11
7 Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
8 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Team Joker
9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:14
10 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenEdge
11 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka
12 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:21
13 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:00:24
14 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Joker
15 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
16 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
17 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
18 Ricardo Vilela (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:28
19 Bjørn Tore Nilsen Hoem (Nor) Team Joker 0:00:35
20 August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:00:36
General classification after stage 4
1 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 19:04:14
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:47
3 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:05
4 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:33
5 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:01:34
6 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:01:36
7 Frederik Galta (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:01:40
8 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky 0:01:46
9 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:01:47
10 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Joker 0:01:53
11 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Team Joker 0:01:56
12 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
13 Andreas Vangstad (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sør
14 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:01:59
15 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
16 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
17 Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
18 Ricardo Vilela (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:03
19 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:08
20 August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:02:11
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