Lars Petter Nordhaug solos to Trofeo Deià victory
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lars Petter Nordhaug solos to Trofeo Deià victory

by Ben Atkins at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Mallorca Challenge
Norwegian Sky rider escapes a select breakaway to win third Challenge Mallorce race

lars petter nordhaugOn a double day for Team Sky, shortly after Mark Cavendish had taken the third stage of the Tour of Qatar, Lars Petter Nordhaug escaped alone to win the Trofeo Deià, the third race of the Challenge Mallorca. The Norwegian was part of a eight-man move that got away with 15km to go, along with Sky teammate Sergio Henao, Jakob Fuglsang and Tiago Machado (both RadioShack-Nissan), Jose Herrarda and Rui Costa (both Movistar), Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol); he escaped after the final climb and managed to hold off the chasers all the way to the finish.

The group split in the chase of Nordhaug, with Costa leading it home 26 seconds later, two seconds ahead of Henao.

“It kicked off from the gun with a five kilometre climb so it was full-on racing from the start,” said Team Sky directeur sportif Marcus Ljungqvist. “We had Alex [Dowsett] and Luke [Rowe] looking at the early breaks and they did really good. Luke got into the break and took the sprints so he got onto the podium too.

"A couple of teams controlled the pace and then entering the second to last climb Lars Petter attacked together with Henao. They went away in a group and it was a little bit back and forth. The group had a minute, then slightly over a minute and on the last kick up Lars-Petter attacked and managed to stay away."

After two consecutive sprint victories from British neo-pro Andy Fenn, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider elected to sit out the far hillier Trofeo Deià. The 151km course was to feature six 2nd category climbs, close to the Balearic island’s north coast, with the highest being the 935 metre high Puig Major after 94.6km.

With the climbing starting almost at the first kilometre, the attacks began immediately, with several different groups escaping over the classified climbs. The peloton was never more than a minute and a half behind though, and the composition of the escapes was in constant flux.

Only on the final climb was the breakaway to look decisive, when the eight-man move got clear; Nordhaug escaped the others and managed to solo to the finish.

"He went for six or seven k’s alone so he did a great job,” explained Ljungqvist. “Henao finished third in the sprint so there was some great team work. I’m happy to see how things are coming together with the new guys but these wins will give lots of confidence to the whole team.”

Result Trofeo Deià
1. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky
2. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar Team @ 26s
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky @ 28s
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan @ 35s
5. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan @45s
6. Salvatorre Puccio (Ita) Team Sky @ 57s
7. Xavier Florencio (Spa) Katusha Team
8. Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step


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