Degenkolb earns first stage win of season, Moscon claims overall victory at Arctic Race of Norway
John Degenkolb completes comeback with stage 4 victory over fellow classics champions, while Gianni Moscon takes overall win at the Arctic Race of Norway…
BODØ, Norway—The fourth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway wrapped on Sunday, August 14, with German sprinter John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) winning the fourth and final stage over fellow Milan-San Remo (MSR) winners Alexander Kristoff (2014) and Arnaud Démare (2016), while Italian Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) held on to his overall lead to claim the final general classification (GC).
As for the 2015 MSR winner and Paris-Roubaix champion, who signed a three-year contract on Friday to ride for Trek-Segafredo next season, the win marks the end of a remarkable comeback that began after being one of six Giant-Alpecin riders struck in a head-on collision with a car during a training camp in Spain to start the year.
“Such a good relief to get this win,” said Degenkolb, who also finished the race atop the final points classification. “It was a very hard time for me this year. I’m very excited and happy to get this victory for the team, but also show myself that I am still capable of winning.”
The 193km route started in Polarsirkelen on the boundary of the Arctic Circle and worked its way up to the seaside township of Bodø after passing numerous fjords and scaling three categorised climbs along the way.
A day after claiming his first stage win, Team Sky neo-pro Gianni Moscon (ITA) takes first race title of his career at the 2016 Arctic Race of Norway - Photo: Pauline Ballet/ARNEurosport
Not only were the most recent MSR winners on the start, the race also featured defending champion Rein Taaramäe (Team Katusha) and 2012 world road race champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), both of whom were fresh off the Rio Olympics.
In the end, it was the 22-year-old Moscon who took home the blue and orange leaders jersey, as well as the white jersey for best young rider after lifting both off of his teammate and stage 2 winner Danny van Poppel (NED) following claiming the queen stage on Saturday.
“This is my first professional victory,” said Moscon, who finished fourth at the UCI under-23 world road race championships last year. “I can’t find the words to explain how I feel, but it’s very nice.
“This is my first time to win a white jersey as well, but my focus was on the leaders jersey and a stage win. I did a lot of training before I got here and I’m very happy to take this victory.”
Stage 4 Classification
1. John Degenkolb, GER, Giant-Alpecin, 4:17:40
2. Alexander Kristoff, NOR, Team Katusha, s.t.
3. Arnaud Démare, FRA, FDJ, s.t.
Final General Classification
1. Gianni Moscon, ITA, Team Sky, 17:13:57
2. Stef Clement, NED, IAM Cycling, 0:15
Race Leader (Blue Jersey): Gianni Moscon, ITA, Team Sky
Points Leader (Green Jersey): John Degenkolb, GER, Giant-Alpecin
Mountains leader (Salmon Jersey): Tom van Asbroeck, BEL, Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Best Young Rider (White Jersey): Gianni Moscon, ITA, Team Sky
Teams classification: Team Sky, 51:43:27