Arctic Race of Norway – Stage 1 – Martin Elmiger – I like this kind of muscular finish; I know I can do great things –

13 August 2015

IAM Cycling

Arctic Race Of Norway 2015 - 13/08/2015 - Stage 1 - Harstad - Harstad - Peloton

It was almost obvious, even too easy for Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Team).  Unquestionably the sprint king early in the season, the Norwegian rider was once again able to impose his authority, and in front of a home crowd, too.  On the line, he beat another compatriot Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN – Qhubeka).  Not to be overshadowed, IAM Cycling had their own Norwegian in the top-10 thanks to their young rider, Sondre Holst Enger.   But the Swiss team can be proud of another great result courtesy of the 8th place that Martin Elmiger secured on this Thursday, the first stage of the Arctic Race of Norway.

Tour de France 2015

In his element on this type of terrain that offers a selective, undulating finish, Elmiger was happy to speak about his day.  “It was a long stage with 213 kilometers ticking past,” Elmiger explained.  “The final circuit that we raced was really technical.  Basically, I was working for Sondre Holst Enger, but the finish line was at the top of a small bump of maybe 4-5%.  I did my job, but I think this final might have been just a little too hard for him at the moment, so I kept going to try my luck.  I like this kind of muscular finish, and I know I can do great things.  The peloton was nervous; everyone wanted to test their sprint.  And I launched my sprint from very far out, so my power was not enough.  That being said, I am not unhappy with my result.  This is my first race since the Tour de France finished, and I am pretty satisfied with my condition.”

IAM Cycling Mallorca Holst Enger Sondre illustration

Judging by his explanations about the stage, Kjell Carlström is also satisfied with how his team performed.  “I am happy because the boys did everything I asked them to do this morning in the briefing,” the directeur sportif Carlström explained.  “Everyone had their eye on Katusha because of course we knew that they would be riding for Kristoff and the win.  We had put our strength behind our young sprinter Sondre Holst Enger.  But a final as hard as this, and in spite of the fact that he was perfectly placed, it proved too difficult for him, and he didn’t have the legs. Martin Elmiger was still with him when the sprint went into overdrive.  Martin went from far out, maybe too far.  It is possible that he would have won had the climb been a little longer.  But with two IAM Cycling riders in the top-10, Thursday was a very good day for us.  The only small irritation is that Mathias Frank and Marcel Wyss finished in a group that had a small gap of nine seconds behind the winners.  That could mean that we will have to change our plans as far as the general classification is concerned.  But that remains to be determined in the following stages.”