Affini finishes the Tour of Norway 4th overall with Mezgec sprinting to 4th on the final stage

Sun 2 Jun 2019

Today’s final stage of the Tour of Norway concluded with a bunch sprint where Slovenian sprinter Luka Mezgec sprinted to fourth place after a hard and fairly hilly final day of racing. 

In a close sprint to the line, the victory was given to Kristoffer Halvorsen (Ineos), who gained enough bonus seconds to knock stage four winner Edoardo Affini down to fourth place on the general classification and take the young rider jersey from the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider.

Overall it has been a successful week for the young Mitchelton-SCOTT squad, concluding the week with one stage victory, five top ten stage finishes and a close fourth place on the general classification.

Six settle in ahead

The final stage began with a breakaway of four-riders establishing themselves ahead of the bunch with a two-minute lead already after just 15kilometres of racing.

The group were shorty joined by two other riders and as they headed over the first climb of the day, they extended their lead out to over three-minutes and settled into their rhythm.

A hilly final

With the general classification all still to play for, and a climb coming towards the end of the stage, it was inevitable that the breakaway wouldn’t survive to the line, as the main peloton chased hard behind and finally made the catch with 15kilometres to go.

More attacks came with a new duo escaping off the front of the bunch, but like the previous stage, the race came down to a fast bunch sprint despite the challenging terrain.

After multiple top ten finishes, Mezgec positioned himself closer to the front coming into the final twisty kilometre and fought on all the way to the finish line, to take his best result of the week, with fourth place. 

After taking maxium bonus seconds for the stage win Halvorsen did enough to jump up to second place overall, pushing Affini to fourth spot, just missing out on the podium by one-second, a very respectable result for the 22-year-old neo-pro.

Luka Mezgec 

“The day was again hard from the start to finish, but we rode very well and the last climb was actually easier than we expected, but anyway Edoardo rode super strong, he was never in trouble. 

“In the final I tried to sprint again from a bit too far back, but the sensations in the sprints were better every day this week.

"As a team we showed some great spirit and I am really proud of all our youngsters this week. They progressed a lot since stage one and they showed there is a bright future for them and with that also for Mitchelton-SCOTT.”

Edoardo Affini

“I’m happy with what we achieved this week. It was unlucky that I lost the third place and the white jersey because of time bonuses on the finish line, but it’s no problem, that's racing! 

“I came into this week without really knowing my condition because I had a good break after spring classics, so now I can say that I worked well and the morale is high. I have to say a big thanks to the guys here and the staff for all of their great job this week.”

Tour of Norway Stage 6 Results:

1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Ineos) 4:02:40
2. Cees Bol (Team Sunweb)
3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE) 3:39:44
4. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Final General Classification:

1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE) 25:19:58
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Ineos) +0:03
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension-Data) +0:05
4. Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:06

Photos courtesy of Getty Images