Mezgec makes the top ten on stage two at the Tour of NorwayWed 29 May 2019
Slovenian sprinter Luka Mezgec finished in ninth place today on the second stage at the Tour of Norway, after the day’s breakaway was finally caught in the closing three-kilometres.
Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-QuickStep) took the stage honours sprinting to the victory with Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) remaining as the overall race leader after his stage win and bonus seconds yesterday with Mezgec the highest for Mitchelton-SCOTT overall with 16th position.
In the opening kilometres of the 174km second stage, seven-riders took their chances and broke away from the main peloton and opened up a lead of over three-minutes. The day remained much the same with the leaders maintaining a healthy distance over the peloton before the race headed towards the final finishing circuits in Mandal.
The bunch closes in
Team UAE did a lot of the work at the front of the bunch to reel back the leaders, with the gap plummeting down to just one-minute 20seconds with 15kilometres to go, making for an exciting finale.
As the finish line drew closer, Team Deceuninck-QuickStep also began helping with the chase and the gap continued to decrease, quickly dropping under one-minute.
Last minute catch
As the peloton passed under the finish line banner with just one-lap of a 9.5kilometre circuit remaining, the remaining breakaway escapee’s gap was down to just 30seconds but they continued to fight on ahead.
Eventually the chase was too much and the leaders were swallowed up in the final three-kilometres as the sprint began to take shape. Mezgec surfed the wheels, trying to find a good position himself and opened up his sprint to eventually finish in ninth place.
"It was a much harder day than we expected today, the final lap was technical and hard and it was very important to be on a good position last 30kilometres. During the day we were altogether and I was very well protected but in the final a team we didn’t do very well, we should have been much more towards the front.
"In the final I had to position myself on my own which cost me some energy and a top ten finish was the maximum that I could sprint for considering where I still was in the final corner with 500metres to go.
"The boys are still young and for sure this was a good experience and a good learning curve for the future. So we have to talk over it and pull out positives, and tomorrow we have another chance to try."
Tour of Norway Stage 2 Results:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 4:09:18
2. Krosoffer Halvorsen (Ineos) ST
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension-Data) ST
9. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after Stage 2:
1. Cees Bol (Team Sunweb)
2. Michael Grosu (Delko Marseille)
3. Jacob Ericsson (Team Coop)
16. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:10
Photos courtesy of Getty Images