photo credits @ ARN
Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) claimed stage 2 of the Arctic Race of Norway today, after the French rider beat overall leader Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) in the bunch sprint in Svolvær.
Erik Nordsætter Resell (Uno-X Norwegian Development Team), Henrik Evensen (Joker Fuel of Norway), Håkon Aalrust (Team Coop) and Tobias Mørch Kongstad (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) marked the day’s first breakaway effort, subsequently establishing an advantage of around two minutes over the peloton after 10 kilometers of racing, which later ballooned up to 3:15 at the 46 kilometer mark.
Stijn Devolder did much of the work at the front of the peloton, trying to reduce the escapees’ lead which eventually reached a maximum gap of 3:30.
As a result, the breakaway group’s lead was reduced to 1:50 with 15 kilometers remaining, leaving just Resell alone out front until he was caught during the last 5 kilometers.
With the peloton now back together, Cofidis took to the front in an effort to lead out Christophe Laporte, but Coquard was quick to mark his move with a perfectly timed acceleration that overhauled both his French rival and Van der Poel in a final dash for the finish.
Van der Poel still continues to lead the race with a nine-second margin over Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Markus Hoelgaard (Uno-X Norwegian Development Team).
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