The rainy opening stage of the Norwegian Arctic Race fell prey to Axel Jingle (Cofidis). It was a grueling race, but a peloton sprint was unavoidable. Zingle clearly showed he was the strongest on the sloping finish line and also became the first leader.
The 186.8-kilometer opening stage was one on paper for the sprinters, but the rolling Norwegian roads and heavy rain proved dangerous. Undeterred, the five fugitives, represented by Aaron Van Poek of Belgium, set off on an adventure.
Sprinter team confirmed. Team BikeExchange in particular had their sights set on this ride with Dylan Groenewegen’s features. Just under 10km, the lead runner was logically ready.
In a tense final, several riders tried to avoid sprinting, especially the Uno-X home riders who showed themselves active, but none of them managed to get much space. A small platoon moved to the last sloping kilometer.
We waited a long time to see who would take on the challenge, but when Axel Zingle burst out of the pack, it was immediately clear who would win the stage. Thus, the young Frenchman (23) earned his second victory as a professional.
Astana trainees Siritza (2nd) and Burgodeau (3rd) finished on the podium, while Capiot became the first Belgian to finish 4th.