Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tour de Normandie: Joker strikes

Stage 3 of the Tour of Normandie will probably be the most straight forward of the stage race. The course was a mainly flat affair that saw high winds on the way to Argentan featured.

Breakaways tried to go throughout the day with varying success.

Nathan Van Hooydonck got away for about 20 kilometers early on before being brought back
Another group tried following the only real difficulty on the course but it wasn't until 110 kilometers gone that a breakaway was able to make an impact.

Tom Scully (Madison-Genesis) got into a move to try and get some time on his rivals
The group included Lennard Hofstede and Mitchell Cornelisse (Rabobank Development), Fabien Canal (Armee de Terre), Alex Peters (SEG Racing), Jeremy Cornu (Vendée U), Scully, Paulius Siskevicius (AnPost-Chain Reaction), Vegard Stake Laengen (Joker), Joachim Van Reyten (Lotto-Belisol U23), Jetse Bol and Ronan Van Zandbeek (both Join's-De Rijke).

The group was able to shake things up a bit but heading into the final city circuits the breakaway was hunted down and only made it through one circuit out of three before a reduced peloton caught up to them. The team that really made it well through the wind and splits was Joker, who had 5 riders in the front group, took to the front to keep the pace up and neutralize any attacks.

A tight sprint taken out by Hoelgaard (r) ahead of Vermeltfoort and Kruopis (c)
Joker put in a great leadout and redeemed themselves after their near win on Wednesday and launched their U23 sprinter Daniel Hoelgaard into a great position. Hoelgaard had a hard charging Coen Vermeltfoort (Join's-De Rijke) and ex-World Tour rider Aidis Kruopis (AnPost-Chain Reaction) on his heels but the Norwegian was able to take out his first UCI win of the year.

Dimitri Claeys held onto the overall lead while Hoelgaard vaulted to 2nd overall just 6 seconds down while former leader Tom Bohli, Tom Scully and Nathan Van Hooydonck fill out the rest of the top 5 and are all within 15 seconds.

The race continues into Bagnoles-de-l'Orne with a course that has a very undulating profile and could be very rewarding for a well-timed attacker.

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