The first of 4 stages in the Arctic Race of Norway took place on Thursday with a 156.5k stage from Engenes (Andørja) to Narvik resulting in one rider just ahead of the sprint finish. Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Alexander Kristoff took seventh on the day behind winner at two-seconds, Dylan Teuns of BMC.
“I felt good during the day but in the end it’s really hard with the climbs. In the last k they attacked but I couldn’t manage to keep my position in front so in the end Teuns had a small gap that we could not close. Everybody was on the limit. The team rode well with Hollenstein and Michael (Mørkøv) controlling it alone. Near the end there was almost a crash for Sven Erik (Bystrøm) in the downhill and he had to work to keep the distance so it was up to me at the end but it was just a little too hard for me today, unfortunately,” said Norwegian Alexander Kristoff.
Kristoff's teammate Rein Taaramäe, overall winner of the Arctic Race of Norway in 2015, had bad luck in very good position in the final climb with broken chain.
Teuns winning time of 3:36:14 (43.425 km/h) was two seconds in front of the sprint field, led in by August Jensen (Team Coop) and Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) for second and third. With the win, Teuns also earns the first leader’s jersey on the general classification after one stage of racing. He holds the lead by 6-seconds to Jensen due to time bonuses available on the finish line.
Day two on Friday brings a longer stage. At 184.5k, stage 2 begins in Sjøvegan and ends in Bardufoss. Alexander Kristoff will try again for a win on his home soil.