Gerrans shows his form with a second third place in NorwayFri 19 May 2017
Former Australian national champion Simon Gerrans sprinted to third place on an attacked filled stage three at the Tour of Norway today, following the late moves and maintaining his positive position on the general classification.
Attacks by young Australians Jack Haig and Rob Power animated the finale for ORICA-SCOTT as the Australian outfit really tried to take the race by the scruff of the neck and shift the momentum in their favour.
Haig bridged across to the leaders with 30kilometres remaining before being followed by Gerrans, Power and former race leader Edvald Boassen-Hagen (Diension-Data).
The closing finishing circuit lit up with attacks and chases galore, it was Pieter Weening (Rompoot-Nederlandse-Loterij) who stole the victory with a late solo attack and moved into the overall race lead with Gerrans holding on for third on the day and third overall.
“We marked this stage as a good one for us to go on the attack,” explained sport director Matt Wilson. “And the guys certainly did that, it was unfortunate that when Jack bridged across to the original leaders with about 40kilometres to go, no one went with him and then the break just sat up and Jack got caught at the base of the final climb.”
“From then on it was about Rob and Simon, Rob showed strength and had a go further up the climb and Simon, as planned was marking Boassen-Hagen. We were looking strong going into the final and I thought that with two guys up there we had a good chance.
“In the end Boassen-Hagen couldn’t bridge to Weening when he attacked so Simon had to go alone and settle for third. Nevertheless we are in a really good position with two days to go, lots of points still on offer and plenty of hard racing to come.
“The top ten on general classification is pretty tight and for sure we will be looking to race aggressively like today and try our best to move up the standings.”
How it happened:
Slightly better weather welcomed the riders to the start of the Queen stage and with plenty of climbing to come over the course of 192kilometres the breakaway took a little longer to form.
After 55kilometres had been covered a group of six riders managed to go clear, eventually gaining around five minutes on the bunch by the halfway point.
Three challenging finishing circuits around the well known ski resort of Lillehammer comprised the last 72kilometres and the six leaders still held five minutes over the peloton as they entered the first circuit.
Dimension-Data controlled proceedings at the front of the peloton for race leader Boasssen-Hagen with the gap to the six leaders closing with every kilometre and standing at less than one minute with one lap to go.
Haig attacked out of the peloton as splits began to form on the penultimate climb, gaining an advantage of a few seconds the young Australian began to chase down the leaders.
Catching the group with 30kilometres to go Haig pushed on, splitting the lead group as Gerrans followed the acceleration of Dimension-Data and Boassen-Hagen some 20seconds behind.
As Haig dropped off it was Power who was the next to have a dig for ORICA-SCOTT with Boassen-Hagen chasing close behind followed by Gerrans. These three made up half of a group of six that led the race into the final ten kilometres.
A very late attack from the front group by Weening sealed the solo win with Gerrans sprinting hard to hold onto third place.
Tour of Norway stage three results:
1. Pieter Weening (Rompoot-Nederlandse-Loterij) 04:23:13
2. Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal) 00:00:01
3. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:03
General Classification after stage three:
1. Pieter Weening (Rompoot-Nederlandse-Loterij) 13:40:57
2. Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal) 00:00:06
3. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com