photo credit @ Tour of Norway
The 2015 Tour of Norway concluded today, with Andras Vangstad (Sparenbanken Sør) winning the fifth and final stage.
Meanwhile, Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo) succeeded in maintaining his grip on the overall race lead to claim this year’s title.
“It’s a very good feeling,” Hansen said. “This is the first big race I’ve won. It went all well in the last stage. [Runner-up Edvald] Boasson Hagen attacked in the final climb but I was not scared. I had 47 seconds lead on GC. I could let him go and make sure we weren’t far behind. We went full gas, so did Katusha because they wanted a bunch sprint for Kristoff.”
Eight riders managed to ride clear of the peloton after the first 30 kilometers, to form the day’s breakaway group.
From there, Yaroslav Popovych (Trek), Vegard Breen (Lotto-Soudal), Michael Reihs (Cult), Tim Kerkhof (Roompot), Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Alexander Wetterhall (Tre Berg-Bianchi), Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Joker) and Marius Hafsås (FixIT.no), went to to creat a modest advantage of 3 minutes over the chase.
However, with 15 kilometers remaining, Grøndahl Jansen, Breen and Hafsås, jettisoned their breakaway companions and forged ahead as a three-Norwegian strong lead group. Shortly thereafter, the escapees were joined by a fourth Norwegian rider, Vangstad, who managed to bridge himself to the leaders during the final 2 kilometers, and go on to a solo victory.
“This is absolutely fantastic,” said the young rider from Kristiansand. “It’s amazing that I managed to stay away. I didn’t dare to look back to see how far behind the peloton was. It means a lot to me to win this race. Now I hope that people will know who I am.”
Last year’s winner, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), made no assumptions about his chances for a repeat victory, even after winning the first stage of this year’s race.
“I was hoping to win”. “Compared to last year, the distance between the last climb and the finishing line was shorter. I’m quite happy with third actually because at the top of the climb, I was pretty far behind but I managed to come back. What Vangstad did today was impressive, especially from a young rider who hasn’t been cycling for a long time.”
Boasson Hagen and David Lopez (Team Sky) completed the final podium of the Tour of Norway.
photo credit @ Twitter
Top 10 Finishers
1 Andreas Vangstad (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sør 4:10:29
2 Frederik Galta (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:00:11
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:14
4 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
5 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
7 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Joker
9 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
10 Bjørn Tore Nilsen Hoem (Nor) Team Joker
Final General Classification
1 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 23:14:57
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:47
3 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:05
4 Frederik Galta (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus 0:01:31
5 Andreas Vangstad (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sør 0:01:32
6 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:33
7 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:01:36
8 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:01:43
9 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:01:46
10 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky 0:01:51
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