Mike Teunissen takes his first win for Intermarché - Wanty - Circus
Cold weather and rain couldn´t stop the dutchman, as he crossed the line first on a shortened stage 1.
Challenging weather conditions led to the 206km stage from Jondal to Hovden being shortened to 85km. The start was moved to Røldal, and the shortened stage offered a fast-paced and intense race. Ben Tulett (INEOS-Grenadiers) started the stage as the leader of all jerseys after winning yesterday's prologue up to Fløyen.
The riders set off from Røldal in rainy weather, and when the official start was given, several ambitious riders wanted to break away. Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma), Julien Moreno (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Bradley Symonds (Saint Piran), and Trym Brennsæter (Norway) managed to break away eventually, but they only had a gap of 15 seconds at most and were quickly caught by a chasing peloton. INEOS set a high tempo over Haukelifjell, causing trouble for several riders, including Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team).
INEOS continued to control the peloton until the riders reached the Bykleheivegen climb with 29 kilometers to go. At that point, Jumbo-Visma took the lead and tried to put extra pressure on the peloton. Lorenzo Milesi (Team DSM) launched an attack up the climb and crossed the summit first, earning 6 points in the King of the Mountains competition. Mathias Vacek (Trek-Segafredo) and Ådne Holter (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) also bridged the gap to Milesi after attacking over the top and claimed the remaining climbing points. Several riders in the peloton felt the effects of a fast pace, and a split field with INEOS at the front quickly reeled in the breakaway.
In the final kilometers, Bora-Hansgrohe positioned their riders in front for their sprinter, Jordi Meus (Bora-Hansgrohe). It was a hectic finale on the challenging finish in Hovden, where a close duel ensued, and Mike Teunissen (Intermarché - Circus - Wanty) emerged victorious. Behind him, Tobias Lund Andresen (Team DSM) and Jordi Meus (Bora-Hansgrohe) followed to take 2nd and 3rd place. The best Norwegian finisher was Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) in 6th place. Ben Tulett (INEOS Grenadiers) still holds the overall lead in the race heading into tomorrow's stage from Valle to Stavanger.