Nordhaug shows Canadian class
Landmark win for Team Sky in Montreal
Last Updated: September 9, 2012 11:33pm
Nordhaug: Decisive display
Lars-Petter Nordhaug claimed Team Sky’s 100th UCI victory with a dominant display at the GP de Montreal.
The 28-year-old Norwegian thinned out the peloton when he set a blistering pace up a climb inside the final 10km, and then chipped off the front with 4km remaining.
A three-man group containing Moreno Moser (Liquigas), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) temporarily pegged him back as the race reached its conclusion, but in the last 150m, Nordhaug kicked again and battled on to seal his victory by several bike lengths.
Moser and Kolobnev took the two remaining spots on the podium, with Nordhaug’s Team Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen fifth.
Immediately after the race a delighted Nordhaug said: “That was incredible. I was riding for Edvald originally because we thought it was going to come down to a sprint. I just tried to sit on the front to cover the counter attacks, but felt so strong in those last 4km that I just rolled off alone.
“When I saw those three guys were coming I waited a bit and then joined them. I didn’t think I would take the sprint because the other guys in that group were very fast, but I just had unbelievable legs today, so to win was fantastic.
“I only realised I’d won inside the last 30m. I’m really pleased because I’ve taken some big steps this year and had two victories already. To win this race though is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.
“As a team, we’re having an unbelievable season and it’s good to have been a part of that success. Winning the Tour de France gave us all motivation and everybody’s been riding well all year long.”
The second race of the Canadian double-header had got off to a brisk start with various riders trying their hand off the front before Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel) made their move stick on the third of seventeen, 12.1km laps.
Simone Ponzi (Astana) and Kristjan Koren (Liquigas) also attempted to bridge that gap, but it was a feat they would never achieve, and when the leaders’ advantage had stretched to almost seven minutes, various teams took their turn on the front to reel them back in.
Boaro was the first of those breakaway riders to fall off the pace, but his two accomplices would also be thwarted within 25km of the finish line after a gradual and sustained pursuit.
When everything came back together, Team Sky were well positioned towards the front, and after witnessing various failed attacks, Nordhaug produced his first decisive burst inside the last 11km, and went again as the race neared its conclusion.
His days had initially looked numbered when he was caught by Moser, Kolobnev and Björn Leukemans, but Nordhaug bided his time at the back of the quartet and then produced a brilliant turn of speed to overhaul a last-gasp move from Kolobnev before wrapping up the first WorldTour win of his career - and a landmark result for Team Sky.