Arctic Race: Corendon-Circus CX tandem takes top two spots on Hammerfest road stage

Arctic Race: Corendon-Circus CX tandem takes top two spots on Hammerfest road stage

18/08/2018 at 20:15Updated 18/08/2018 at 20:22

Czech Adam Toupalik and Dutch teammate Mathieu van der Poel finish one-two on penultimate stage of Arctic Race of Norway, while Russian Sergei Chernetski remains overall leader with one day to go …

“Last kilometre I looked behind and there was the peloton,” Toupalik explained to media after the stage. “It was time to start at the beginning of the last climb. I tried to attack and they didn’t catch me — I was full gas to the finish line.

“Last 50 metres I looked behind and there was nobody, just the peloton coming with my teammate and I then I crossed the finish line,” the 22-year-old continued. “This is my biggest win so far,” he continued. “I’m really happy, and I hope it’s not the last one.”

After Rally teammate Adam de Vos dropped off the lead group, eight riders remained until the last lap of the two-lap Hammerfest circuit with only Toupalik and American Robin Carpenter left sprinting uphill toward the finish 500 metres away with a reduced chase barrelling down on them.

“I thought we had a little more time to play with at the end there, it kind of evaporated in that run-in to the second to last KOM, but then we kept racing and seemed to have a gap at the finish,” the 26-year-old Carpenter told Eurosport. “Probably one of the most heartbreaking catches for me,” I just didn’t have anything left to go with that guy with 300m to go.

“He was definitely the strongest, the lap before he dropped everybody else beside me on the climb and I was just grinding my teeth trying to hang on the wheel in a headwind,” continued Carpenter, a stage winner at both the USA Pro Challenge and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. “I got caught with 50m to go by the reduced pack. But that’s OK, good to animate the race.

“I am pretty stoked for this team and what we’ve been able to do this trip. I think we’ve made a lot of progress this year.”

Only Sunday’s final stage remains, a 145.5km route in and around the city of Alta with four circuits up and over the final 600-metre finish with an average gradient of 6 percent.

Photo: Pauline Ballet