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"In the last climb I tried to attack again, but maybe the climb was not long and steep enough to get a good gap. In the final I did my best, but Dillier was stronger."

Photo: Katusha Team








16.08.2015 @ 23:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The final stage in the 3rd Arctic Race of Norway provided plenty of racing action and excitement, with Team Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin in the heart of the battle, sprinting in for second place from a breakaway group of three. Zakarin’s efforts gave the Russian rider third place on the general classification behind overall winner Rein Taaramäe.


Teammate Sven Erik Bystrøm also performed well, earning fourth place on the stage and stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff earned the green points jersey for the general classification, making it a very successful four days of racing in Norway for Team Katusha.


"Yesterday I did not feel too good, while today my feelings were much better. That’s why we decided to fight for the stage victory. The team helped me a lot, especially Sergey Lagutin, who worked hard in front during the whole lap. Later I attacked and we managed to go away as a group of three. In the last climb I tried to attack again, but maybe the climb was not long and steep enough to get a good gap. In the final I did my best, but Dillier was stronger. I did not expect to be on the podium in general classification, so my third place is a nice bonus. Now I can take a small rest before next races," said Ilnur Zakarin.


Zakarin followed the attack from Taaramäe and the duo were joined by eventual stage winner Silvan Dillier of BMC. The threesome continued to gain time all the way to the finish line with Zakarin hitting out for the line first but just missing the win by two bike lengths. Taaramäe rounded out the stage podium but more importantly took the general classification win by 8 seconds to Dillier and 31-seconds to Ilnur Zakarin.


In a special presentation, the winner’s trophy was brought in by a skydiver who landed some 25 meters from the podium area to give the prize to Taaramäe.


Also enjoying good results was team rider Sven Erik Bystrøm who attacked on the last lap but ran out of time to catch Zakarin’s group, setting for fourth place.


"I had been thinking of attacked on the next to last lap but I didn’t want to haul other riders up to Ilnur in the front so I waited. Ilnur was trying for the GC results so it would be too dangerous to take others riders on the wheel. So when I attacked of course it was too late but it was nice to show myself in front of the Norwegian people. I was happy with my condition today," said Sven Erik Bystrøm.


The final stage in Narvik at 165 km included four local laps with a 2,3 km climb each time. Race leader Ben Hermans (BMC) suffered a mechanical on the first lap and despite a furious chase, the Belgian rider ended up isolated from his teammates and steadily losing time as the laps ticked over.


"I am a happy director for the successes we saw this week. I wanted to see Zakarin win today – his condition was so good and he attacked many times. We saw that he was a bit tired after yesterday’s stage, but he made a good recovery and today he had good legs. The team worked for him today and his second place was a good result. These guys look very good for their next races in Hamburg," said team director Claudio Cozzi.



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