This Sunday, the apotheosis of the Arctic Race of Norway (2.Pro, 5-8/8) took place between Gratangen and Harstad. It was the ultimate chance for Odd Christian Eiking, 2nd in the provisional classification, to close the 4 second gap with Ben Hermans and conquer the Midnight Sun leaders jersey. Nine riders attacked during the first few kilometers. As it was a strong group, with Aimé De Gendt, the peloton stayed attentive. Nevertheless, the nine riders still had a 1’13 gap when crossing the finish line for the first time. During these final 25 kilometer, Aimé De Gendt hang on on the Novkollen Summit (2km at 4.3%). But on the last of three ascensions he had to let go Philipp Walsleben and Niki Terpstra. While the German rider defeated the Dutch rider, De Gendt was absorbed by the peloton in sight of the line. In that remaining peloton, the other riders from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux surrounded Odd Christian Eiking. With an impressive acceleration, the Norwegian rider sprinted to the back wheel of Alexandre Delettre, a third survivor from the early breakaway. This 4th place left Eiking out of the bonus seconds, but he managed to distance the rest from the peloton. In the end, the 2 second gap was not enough to conquer the final victory.
Photo: Arctic Race of Norway – Gautier Demouveaux