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“Then Bob attacked on the climb and went with Ligthart. The plan was for him to ride to the first bonus sprint and take the time bonuses, as we did not want him to continue in the headwind all day with only two. But we have no radios....

Photo: Sirotti






23.05.2015 @ 21:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In a display of strength Bob Jungels courageously rode the day’s breakaway with one other rider at the Tour of Norway, and later when his accomplice Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) dropped off the pace Jungels forged ahead, hoping his large seven-minute lead would be enough as he soloed the final 46 kilometers.


But the stiff headwind and constant up and downs proved too much, even for youthful ambition. His gap tumbled quickly as the chase intensified behind, Tinkoff-Saxo leading the charge, and with 19 kilometers remaining Jungels was caught.


“We wanted to get in the break today; Bauke [Mollema], Rasty [Gregory Rast], Popovyvh they all tried,” explained Trek Factory Racing director Kim Andersen.“Then Bob attacked on the climb and went with Ligthart. The plan was for him to ride to the first bonus sprint and take the time bonuses, as we did not want him to continue in the headwind all day with only two. But we have no radios, and then when I came back to him after the sprint he had seven minutes. At that point, there was no choice but to continue on and see. We knew the chance [of succeeding] was low, but it was the way things worked out.”


The finale of the 167-kilometer fourth stage included a steep 2.5-kilometer uphill, and it was a late attack by Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) that no one had the legs to answer and he took the win. Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo) successfully defended his leader’s jersey by coming across the line five seconds later.


Fränk Schleck was initially dropped on the sharp ascent, but battled back to finish in 9th place, 14 seconds behind, while Bauke Mollema finished three minutes later as he still searches for top form after his break from racing.


Andersen added: “Fränk did well, it was a steep short climb that is not suited to him, and Bauke is where he is – his big goal is the Tour [de France] and there is no doubt he will be good by then.”


Trek Factory Racing now look to the final stage tomorrow where they will fight for once last chance at a stage victory.  With rain in the forecast, it could be a tricky stage explained Andersen:


“For tomorrow there could be rain and I know that it is quite a hard circuit so it could be dangerous. We don’t have anything to ride for in the GC so we will try to do our best and look at the stage win. Once again, we will see.”



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