Top ten for Docker on a cold and wet stage two in NorwayThu 18 May 2017
Fast Australian all rounder Mitch Docker jumped into the bunch sprint on today’s second stage of the Tour of Norway, taking tenth place for ORICA-SCOTT in difficult conditions against a field of top sprinters.
Low clouds and heavy rain made for a long 194kilometres for the peloton with the addition of poor visibility doing no one any favours as yet again a three rider breakaway went clear in the early kilometres.
The peloton were content to let the trio go and the race did not come back together until the final lap of two finishing circuits with only 20kilometres remaining.
The big sprinters teams soon took over at the front and started to shape up for the anticipated bunch sprint and in the end it was Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) who took the stage win with Docker in tenth.
No change to the general classification means that Simon Gerrans remains in third place going into tomorrows Queen stage.
“It was a really slow day,” said sport director Matt Wilson. “Much like yesterdays opening stage the breakaway move formed early and the peloton was happy to let them go. Dimension-Data controlled the pace most of the day until the other sprinters teams came up in the final.”
“The plan was to go with Mitch today, he was feeling good and on a good day he can get up there and mix it with the big guns, the boys did well in tough conditions, but it was the favourite who won today and we can have no complaints.
“There is no change on the general classification so we are still in a good position going into what will be the toughest stage of the race tomorrow. We will be looking to race aggressively and try to get up there for a result and hopefully we have some cards to play.”
How it happened:
Following on seamlessly from yesterdays opening stage today’s 194kilometre race started with a three-rider breakaway going clear early on, quickly developing a significant lead over the peloton.
After 50kilometres of racing in the cold and wet conditions the leaders held an advantage of around six minutes, with the peloton once more happy to let the trio push on.
Past the halfway point and the breakaway group had split, with a lone leader holding five minutes over the main field and his former companions chasing in limbo inbetween.
As the peloton entered the first of the finishing circuits the weather had worsened with low rain clouds making for poor visibility and around four minutes separating the peloton and the solo leader.
The speed ramped up significantly over the closing 30kilometres as the last member of the breakaway was caught on the final lap as the peloton readied itself for the bunch sprint.
Lotto-Soudal and Dimension-Data led the pack over the day’s last ramps as late attacks started to spring with 15kilometres remaining and LottoNL-Jumbo moving up the field.
A compact peloton shaped up for the sprint going into the last few hundred metres as the battle of the lead out trains ensued, it was Groenewegen who got the better of everyone to take out a comfortable victory with Docker the best finisher for ORICA-SCOTT in tenth.
Tour of Norway stage two results:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) 04:49:53
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team-Joker-Icopal) ST
3. Edvald Boassen-Hagen (Dimension-Data) ST
10. Mitch Docker (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after stage two:
1. Edvald Boassen-Hagen (Dimension-Data) 09.03:40
2. Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) 00:00:08
3. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:10
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com