Kristoff does it again!

Photo: Szymon Gruchalski


Kristoff does it again!

The final stage ended with yet another win for Alexander Kristoff in front of his home crowd in Stavanger

It was an peloton willing to attack that set off from Vågen in Stavanger on the final stage. Several small groups managed to break away, but it took 40 kilometers before today's breakaway got away. With 110 kilometers remaining, nine men had a lead of 50 seconds: Dries De Bondt & Robbe Ghys (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Jefferson Cepeda & Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural Seguros-RGA), Manuele Tarozzi (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Chad Haga (Human Powered Health), Arno Clayes (Team Flanders - Baloise), Oliver Knudsen (Leopard TOGT) and Torbjørn André Røed (Norway).

The first hour went by at a furious pace of 49 km/h, and the intense speed meant that the breakaway never got to relax. They never had more than a two-minute advantage as the chasing peloton attempted to exploit crosswinds along Orrestranden.

Within the breakaway, a battle for the climbing points ensued. The third-category ascent of Grisabakken, to be tackled twice, would determine who would claim the KOM-jersey. Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural Seguros-RGA) won the first uphill sprint, securing an additional four points in the competition. This also meant that if he safely reached the finish line, he would be the winner of the KOM-jersey in the Tour of Norway for the second consecutive year. Chad Haga (Human Powered Health) got dropped, reducing the breakaway to eight riders as the race entered its final hour. At the first passage of the finish line, the breakaway had a one-minute lead over the main peloton, which was still riding under control and appeared to have the escapees well within reach.

During the second ascent of Grisabakken, the breakaway split up, with several riders falling behind. The pace increased further in the peloton as Tudor Pro Cycling Team applied extra pressure for their captain, Alexander Kamp. The Danish champion, who was in 10th place overall before today's stage, attacked over the top of Grisabakken. Tudor Pro Cycling Team continued to maintain a high tempo towards Vågen, and in the intermediate sprint, it was Kamp who took six points and bonus seconds. Rune Herregodts (Intermarché - Wanty - Circus) followed behind, earning four bonus seconds, while Tobias Halland Johannessen took two bonus seconds.

Approaching the final ascent of Grisabakken, INEOS Grenadiers took control and set a high pace for their overall leader, Ben Tulett. Mike Teunissen (Intermarché - Wanty - Circus) was the first to attack on the climb, creating small gaps. However, they were quickly closed, and it seemed like the stage was heading for a sprint in a reduced peloton.

Alexander Kristoff managed to stay with the front group on the final ascent, and after a strong lead-out by the Norwegian champion, Rasmus Tiller, Kristoff once again claimed victory on the finish line in Vågen after a close duel in the final meters.

Ben Tulett (INEOS Grenadiers) won the general classification, after being in the lead for the whole race. Teammate Magnus Sheffield finished in 2nd place, while Thibau Nys (Trek-Segafredo) concluded the podium.