Aggressive racing by ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage 4 of Tour des FjordsSat 30 May 2015
Starting the penultimate day of racing with South African Daryl Impey in second overall, ORICA-GreenEGDE set out for an aggressive day in an effort to shake up the unbeaten leader Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) at the Tour des Fjords.
The Australian outfit had Australian Damien Howson in an initial move of four riders before Canadian Christian Meier would join a bigger and eventually successful secondary move.
Behind, British climber Adam Yates and Impey both attacked the bunch and softened up the previously dominant Team Katusha but it was eventually stage winner Soren Andersen (Team Tefor – Blue Water) who stole the yellow leader’s jersey.
Meier was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s highest finisher in 11th, whilst Impey finished 15th to gain time on Kristoff but drop to tenth overall.
“The guys rode fantastic,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “There were a lot of teams that didn’t ride a very good race today, but I don’t think we were one of them.”
“We had Damien in the first break of the day and then when it broke up again we had Christian, as our second best guy on general classification, there.
“We knew it wasn’t a great situation because there was so many guys in front so we started to chase straight away but had very little help from other teams.”
With one last day remaining, the team will refocus on a stage result albeit it seeming a challenging task in what is expected to be a straight up sprint.
“We will go back to looking for a stage win tomorrow,” Wilson said. “The general classification is over for us which is a real shame.”
“It’ll be a tough ask tomorrow because it’s likely to be a pretty straight forward bunch sprint, which will suit Kristoff, but we’ll definitely give it a crack.”
How it unfolded
Today’s fifth stage was the last likely opportunity to break up the Tour des Fjords, characterised by a local finishing circuit with a short, sharp climb.
The first break formed in the first 30km, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Howson joined by three companions in building a sizable seven-minute advantage.
With more teams than one interested in seeing it back together, Katusha had plenty of allies in the chase and the race was in one group by the Seldalsbakken climb.
A secondary move than developed with around 15 riders, this time it was Meier who held the fort for ORICA-GreenEDGE. As they entered the local circuit to be completed four times, they had a lead of three-minutes 34seconds.
The attacks began from the break and from behind in the peloton, eventually it was Andersen from the break for the victory.