Santaromita third on first selection day of the Tour of Norway

Fri 22 May 2015

2013 Italian champion Ivan Santaromita has claimed third position on the third day of racing at the Tour of Norway today.

In what was the first selection day for general classification at this year’s Tour, Santaromita finished the 185km stage into Rjukan one-minute and four-seconds behind Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo) who claimed a solo victory.

“Ivan had a fantastic ride,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “He was able to follow the best guys there on the climb and even had a bit of an attack at one point.”

“There was just the one rider from Saxo who was too strong and rode away but Ivan set himself up well and only lost (Edvald) Boasson Hagen on the decent. It was a really hard decent and he got a bit nervous and lost the wheel, which is understandable.”

The result has moved the Italian into seventh overall, one-minute 24seconds behind Hansen who claimed the lead from stage one and two winner Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha).

“He is in a good position but I’m not sure there is more opportunities for him to make up the time,” Wilson said.

“Tomorrow he may be able to, but Tinkoff – Saxo have a strong team here and I think it’ll come down to the final category two climb.”

How it unfolded

After 15km of racing a break of Marcus Karlsson (Tre Berg - Bianche), Sindre Lunke (Team Joker), Adrian Gjolberg (, Ole Forfang (Ringeriks-Kraft) and Vegard Bugge (Sparenbanken Sør) formed at the head of racing.

The group quickly extended their advantage, a relaxed peloton allowing them almost nine minutes by just the 45km mark.

From that point on the reaction began as general classification teams proved keen to see the gap dramatically reduce ahead of the category one climb that peaked with 20km remaining.

Their objective was achieved as the race came back together on the ascent and the overall players began to feature at the front.

Trading blows, eventually Hansen broke clear with a kilometre to the summit and crested the peak 30seconds ahead of David Lopez (Team Sky) and 40seconds to a chase of three, including Santaromita.

In an elite display of descending, Hansen extended his lead to almost a minute as those behind battled for minor positions. Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN Qhubeka) crossed the line for second, Santaromita third.