Jakobsen best på oppløpet i Grimstad
Ingen kunne svare da Quick-Step Floors-rytteren startet spurten.
This year's first stage in the Tour des Fjords offered a dramatic ending. Everything was screened for a spectacular bounce, after especially Quick-Step Floors worked from the start of the stage to keep the breakaway riders close.
In the last hundred meters, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) put in a big sprint, and took the win. Thus, of course, he's also the first overall leader of the race. Behind him Moreno Hofland (Lotto Soudal) followed in second place, while Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) got third.
- I just followed wheels. It was very hectic. The speed was high in the last four kilometers, and there was a lot of fighting for the positions. In the last 200 meters, I thought I just had to go to, and I did, said Jakobsen, who thought it was a perfect day right from the start at Lindesnes Lighthouse:
- The weather was good. The Norwegian roads, which constantly go up and down, are beautiful. It was a fantastic day already before the sprint. When we got to the local lap in Grimstad and saw the finish, I thought it was a tough finish, but if I survived, I would have a good chance. At the end I got the chance to pass the others on the inside, and yes, that was perfect.
Thus, it was the maximum reward for teammates of Jakobsen and the top team, who took control in the peloton immediately when the breakaway was established.
On Wednesday, the second stage of the Tour des Fjords awaits. It ends in Kristiansand with a local lap they do two and a half times. It may turn out as a new chance for Jakobsen.
- Tomorrow is a new day. First, I'll enjoy this and drink a glass of champagne tonight. Then we check the profile for tomorrow, so we'll see, he says and puts on a big smile.
Fight for positions
In the last five kilometers there was a fierce fight for positions. CCC Sprandi Polkowice claimed the initiative, for their sprinter Alan Banaszek. With one and a half kilometer left, Israel Cycling Academy took over for Sondre Holst Enger, and they were in command. With about 400 meters left, the sprint was started. The kick to the finish line consisted of 400 meters at 5,5 percent. Here, Jakobsen proved he was the strongest by quite a margin. The young Dutchman waited and waited before launching his sprint. When he started to sprint, no one was able to respond and follow the 21 years old Dutchman.
With 200 meters left there was a big crash close to the front of the peloton. Several of those who fought for top positions went down. Sondre Holst Enger and Kristoffer Halvorsen were among those who missed the chance to fight for a result.
Norway's most southern point
The stage began at Norway's most southern point, next to Lindesnes Lighthouse. In amazing conditions and brilliant weather, the riders went towards the finish line in Grimstad, also visiting Spangereid, Vigeland, Mandal, Kristiansand, Vennesla, Birkeland and Lillesand.
From the start there were many riders riders who tried to get involved in the breakaway. Several of the World Tour teams were on the offensive, and Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott) was among the riders who formed the breakaway.
Breakaway of five
The Spaniard had company in front by Henrik Evensen (Joker Icopal), Frantisek Sisr (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Daniel Pearson (Aqua Blue Sport) and Floris Gerts (Roompot-Dutch Lottery). Gustav Höög (Team Coop) also tried, but he never reached the quintet, and he was forced back to the peloton.
Henrik Evensen went on to claim the Santander King of the Mountains jersey after stage 1. The #HammerStavanger intermediate sprints were won by Floris Gerts and Henrik Evensen.
You can check photos taken by Kjetil Birkedal Pedersen here. If you use any of them, credit Kjetil Birkedal Pedersen and Tour des Fjords.
You can check photos taken by Szymon Gruchalski here. If you use any of them, credit Szymon Gruchalski and Tour des Fjords.