Patrick Bevin has taken to the start line for his first stage race since Tirreno-Adriatico in March. The 26 year old finished 18th in the opening stage of the Tour of Norway, with Edvald Boasson Hagen coming out on top in the sprint finish.
A lumpy stage 1 served as the opener of the 2017 Tour of Norway. The UCI 2.HC race started in Henefoss, with the opening stage taking in 169.4km before finishing in Asker. Although a bunch sprint was anticipated it would be interesting to see which of the sprinters would still be in contention at the end of the stage after several short rises and the uphill finish to tackle.
The break of the day was formed by three riders, with Juan Pablo Villegas of Manzana Postobon, Ludvik Holstad of Team Sparebanken Sør and Marius Blålid of Team FixIT.no all making the move. After Villegas won maximum points up the opening KOM climb, the break’s lead ballooned out to beyond 8 minutes with just 48km covered. But once the peloton opted to chase, they had little trouble in quashing the time gap, bringing the move down to just 3.45mins in the space of just over 30km.
With the gap closing all the time Villegas launched a solo move with a fair distance still to go. His catch was imminent though, although that didn’t stop several riders from trying their luck themselves. It would all come down to the final climb though. Simon Gerrans looked strong, but it was Edvald Boasson Hagen, resplendent in his national champion’s colours, and in his home race who took the win. Tosh van der Sande of Lotto Soudal took second, with Simon Gerrans of Orica-SCOTT in third place.
Patrick Bevin placed 18th in the opening stage of the race and it will be interesting to see how he builds on that over the coming four stages. While there are no summit finishes in this year’s tour, there are plenty of rolling rides so stay tuned as the race unfolds.
|1||Edvald BOASSON HAGEN||NOR||DDD||4:14:01|
|2||Tosh VAN DER SANDE||BEL||LTS||+0|
|12||Preben VAN HECKE||BEL||SVB||+0|
|16||Bjorn Tore HOEM||NOR||TJI||+0|
|17||WILMAR ANDRES PAREDES ZAPATA||COL||MZN||+0|