Seventh place for Slovenian sprinter Mezgec on stage three at the Tour of NorwayThu 30 May 2019
Yesterday’s eighth place finisher Luka Mezgec, sprinted to one place better today for Mitchelton-SCOTT on the third wet and lenghy stage at the Tour of Norway.
After a rainy day of racing, it was local Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) who took his chances, attacking with two-kilometres to go to hold off the other sprinters and take the stage victory which also moved him into the overall race lead with Mezgec now up to 14th place.
Four fight ahead
Like yesterday’s second day, a breakaway group jumped away in the opening kilometres and worked well together to establish a gap over the main peloton. Hovering between three and four minutes ahead for the majority of the 180kilometre race, the day in general was pretty straight forwards for riders in the main bunch.
Reeled in, ready for local laps
As the finish town approached, the pace picked up behind with multiple teams contributing to a steady chase and with 25kilometres to go, all of the leaders were caught as the bunch began their way around the final finishing laps.
A short drag on the circuit made for some hard racing with small gaps opening within the strung out peloton, but despite some strong attacks, the winning move came in the final kilometres when Boasson Hagen jumped away with Ben Swift (Ineos) in a last minute attempt.
Enough to hold on
Mitchelton-SCOTT worked to position Mezgec coming into the final corner, and with around 500metres to go, Swift was swallowed up by the fast chasing bunch and it was just Boasson Hagen left in front as he powered on ahead towards the line for the stage win, with Mezgec and the rest of the sprinters having to settle for the minor placings.
“The boys were fantastic today, they brought me safely to the bottom of final climb and then I still had Callum Scotson left to positioning me in the final kilometre.
“Two guys attacked on the climb and honestly we didn’t have legs to go with them, so we were left to sprint for third place.
“I had something left for the sprint but should have been a bit more in front in the final corner but all in all, we are slowly progressing here and as far as a teamwork goes, we made a big step forward today compared to yesterday’s stage.”
Tour of Norway Stage 3 Results:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) 4:25:47
2. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Team Sunweb) +0:01
3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE) +0:02
7. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:02
General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data)
2. Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) +0:07
3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE) +0:09
14. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:17
Photos courtesy of Getty Images