Gerrans the gentleman seals second overall at the Tour of NorwaySun 21 May 2017
2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Simon Gerrans finished strongly on the final stage of the Tour of Norway today, taking second on the day and sealing second on the general classification after a classy display of chivalry left the crowds applauding.
A crash in the final kilometres involved second place Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension-Data). And Gerrans, at the head of the peloton took it upon himself to slow down the race and allow Boasson-Hagen the chance to get back into the peloton.
The gesture did not go unnoticed and the race duly came back together for a bunch sprint that was won by Boasson-Hagen who also took the overall victory with Gerrans a commendable second.
Consistent performances from ORICA-SCOTT over five days of competition saw Gerrans claim two third place finishes and fourth on the penultimate day whilst Rob Power held the best young riders white jersey for two stages before finishing second in the category at the close of competition.
“It was a strange stage,” said sport director Matt Wilson. “The course didn’t end up being as hard as we had anticipated and as a consequence the aggressive racing we had hoped for did not materialise until the final circuit in Oslo.”
“Hats off to Boasson-Hagen he was the clear winner in the sprint, but I can’t fault our performance either today or over the last few days. Simon and the team have been great and we can go away happy with our result and the way we have ridden.
“The teamwork and motivation has been exemplary I am really pleased with the condition of the guys, they are in great shape and we are looking forward to the next races and the rest of the season.”
How it happened:
As had been the case over the previous four days of racing an early breakaway forged clear out of the neutral zone and started to develop a lead over the peloton.
After 70kilometres of racing five riders held around three minutes on the bunch and with the general classification at stake we saw a peloton somewhat less willing to let the quintet gain much more of an advantage.
Dimension-Data led the chase for much of the stage with Rompoot and ORICA-SCOTT in close attendance, as the field entered Oslo for four finishing circuits of 15kilometres, the gap to the leaders was down to two minutes.
The break was finally caught on the penultimate circuit with 25kilometres left to race and Lotto-Soudal immediately going on the offensive.
A crash in the peloton disrupted proceedings ahead of the last lap with Gerrans managing to stay out of trouble and hold his position near the front alongside Pieter Weening (Rompoot) and in a display of exemplary sportsmanship slowing down the peloton to wait for Boasson-Hagen who was involved in the crash.
The final ascent of the Ekeberg came with ten kilometres to go and sparked fresh attacks from Lotto-Soudal and Cannondale before a group of around 50riders came back together for the anticipated bunch sprint.
It was Boasson-Hagen who ran out the stage winner and sealed the overall victory with Gerrans in second.
Tour of Norway stage five results:
1. Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension-Data) 03:31:44
2. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) ST
Final General Classification:
1. Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension-Data) 21:39:20
2. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:04
3. Pieter Weening (Rompoot-Nederlandse-Loterij) 00:00:10
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com