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Young Frenchman makes late attack with 2km to go and holds off the fast-moving peloton by the narrowest of margins while Chernetskiy finishes safely in the peloton to seal the overall win

Photo: Einar Landa




18.08.2013 @ 18:36 Posted by Mathias Overgaard Poulsen

The Tour des Fjords ended with a big day for the young talents as the final stage were dominated by youngsters. Angelo Tulik (Europcar) broke the Katusha dominance with a late attack that stayed clear all the way to the finish while Sergey Chernetskiy (Katusha) was well-protected by his teammates all day and crossed the line safely to seal his overall win in the inaugural edition of the race.


Finisseur actions are usually very difficult to finish off but during the recent two weeks, a surprising number of late-race attacks have made it all the way to the finish. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) kicked off the trend on the first stage of the Tour of Utah and since then Alexander Serov (Rusvelo) has surprised the sprinters in the Volta a Portugal while a bunch sprint twice failed to materialize in the Eneco Tour.


Today a late attack once again surprised the sprinters when young Angelo Tulik did the impossible on the final stage of the inaugural Tour des Fjords in Norway. Having led the peloton all day, Katusha was well-prepared to deliver Alexander Kristoff to a home win and thus make a clean stage in the Norwegian race but the team had not taken young Tulik into account.


The Frenchman took them by surprise when he attacked with 2km to go and despite race leader Sergey Chernetskiy doing his utmost to reel in the youngster, he was never reeled in. Kristoff had to make a long sprint in a final attempt to catch the Europcar rider but the sprinters ran out of metres. Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen) profited from Kristoff's lead-out to edge out the Norwegian on the line.


It was not a bad day for Katusha though as Chernetskiy safely crossed the line to seal his overall win. Having led the race since stage 1, the Russian has finally opened up his stage race tally on the back of some impressive recent showings and much more is expected from the youngster in the future.


Home rider Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) finished 2nd while Zico Waeytens (Topsport Vlaanderen) completed the podium.


An aggressive start

The inaugural Tour des Fjords finished with a 187km stage that contained some climbs along the way but finished with 2 laps on a mostly flat 12km circuit in Stavanger. A bunch sprint was expected as Katusha were out to complete their clean sweep in the 4-stage race.


The race was off to a fast start with numerous attacks going off in the early part of the race. Kevin Reza (Europcar), Patrick Konrad (Erixx) and Sondre Hurum (OneCo) were the first to get a significant gap and they were later joined by Michael Valgren (Cult) while Andreas Vangstad (Plussbank) tried to bridge across.


A break is formed

It was all brought back together and the next move by Martin Wesemann (MTN-Qhubeka), Mart Ojavee (Champion System), August Jensen (Øster Hus), Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Adrian Gjølberg (Joker-Merida) was similar ill-fated. However, it was countered by Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka), Clinton Avery (Champion System), Reidar Borgersen (Joker-Merida), Christian Hannestad (OneCo) and Stan Godrie (Rabobank) and that was the attack that finally stuck.


The gap was never allowed to reach more than 3 minutes before Katusha started to chase. The team's young riders Sergey Nikolaev and Maksim Razumov did much of the early work to stabilize the gap at around that mark for most of the stage.


Two riders bridge across

Having brought the gap down to 1.30, Katusha decided to ease off and once again allow the back to grow to 3 minutes. Reza and Sven Erik Bystrøm (Øster Hus Ridley) saw that as a chance to set off in pursuit and with 32km to go, they had joined the leaders to form a 7-rider front group.


Katusha was now using its more experience riders and Maxim Belkov, Marco Haller and Rüdiger Selig were now swapping turns on the front. That spelled the end for the breakaway which was caught with 27km to go, just as the riders were about to hit the finishing circuit.


A new break is created

That spurred on a number of new attacks but none of them were successful until Tom Leezer (Belkin) and Nick Van Der Lijke (Rabobank) got off the front. Magnus Cort (Cult) did a good job to bridge across and those three riders did a good job to distance the peloton.


Fredrik Ludvigsson (People4Unaas) made a suicide attempt to join the leader and as Katusha had now speeded up, they also reeled in the front trio. Hence , it was all back together with 8km to go.


Vanmarcke on the attack

Belkin had been aggressive throughout the entire race and had no plans of changing the strategy . Sep Vanmarck launched and immediate counterattack and he was joined by Kristoff himself.


That move was of course too dangerous and so Topsport Vlaanderen closed it down immediately. The Belgian tried to keep the pace high to set up a sprint for Van Asbroeck.


More attacks

A Rabobank rider tried a fruitless attack while Vanmarcke, a Cult and an Øster Hus rider tried a countermove that also got nowhere. Europcar and Topsport Vlaanderen were now in full control as everything was set for a final sprint.


That script was changed when Tulik launched his attack. Chernetskiy immediately moved to the front but as he got no help, he was unable to reel in the Frenchman who took his first professional win in impressive fashion.



1. Angelo Tulik 4.34.05

2. Tom Van Asbroeck

3. Alexander Kristoff

4. Thor Hushovd

5. Tony Hurel

6. Mike Teunissen

7. Daniel Hoelgaard

8. Gert-Jan Bosman

9. Andreas Stauff

10. Sep Vanmarcke


General classification:

1. Sergey Chernetskiy 12.50.18

2. Lars Petter Nordhaug +0.30

3. Zico Waeytens +0.42

4. Alexander Kristoff +0.52

5. Sep Vanmarcke +1.04

6. Robert Wagner

7. Marco Haller +1.08

8. Mike Teunissen +1.10

9. Tom Van Asbroeck +1.15

10. Yves Lampaert +1.24



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