Yesterday’s stage winner Michael Albasini has secured the overall victory today for Mitchelton-SCOTT in the 2018 edition of the Tour des Fjords.
The 37-year-old sprinted to second place on an uphill finish after strong teamwork from Mitchelton-SCOTT, who took control of the final 183km stage.
The Swiss rider took valuable bonus seconds on the finish line which was enough to give him the general classification victory to continue the team’s successful momentum.
First climb and no break
After an aggressive start, the peloton kept things all together not giving any riders freedom to breakaway. After 23kilometres of racing, the riders headed up a steep climb where Carlos Veronatook maximum KOM points to secure victory in the mountains classification.
The peloton eases
Finally, after the KOM, the peloton eased slightly and allowed a group of five riders to form ahead of the bunch and open up a two minute lead.
Julien Bernard (Trek Segafredo), Luis Mas (Caja-Rural), Nathan Earle (Yalla Academy), Khalilov Mihaylov (Delko MP) and Julian Cardona (EF-Drapac) eventually rode out to over three minutes with Mitchelton-SCOTT taking the responsibility to control the distance.
Mitchelton-SCOTT work to secure the win
With the overall victory up for grabs, Mitchelton-SCOTT worked relentlessly to bring back the remaining leaders in a hope for a bunch sprint and the chance to take bonus seconds.
The final 15kilometres saw multiple attacks fly from the peloton, but the Australian outfit remained in control and worked to neutralise all moves before the race was all back together again with just six kilometres to go.
Albasini powered in to second place to secure the 2018 overall victory by six seconds.
Michael Albasini – 2018 overall winner
“In the finish everybody in the team was up their giving their best to bring me in a good position and it was up to me to finish it off. It was tight but I just made it and I am really happy now.
“We knew I would have to finish on the podium again for the bonus seconds, so there was a bit of pressure on and because the team rode so well for me.
“The boys did an incredible job all day, it was a tough stage and at the start we tried to sneak out of the control but that didn’t work at all and we had to really control the whole race.
“Luke Durbridge had a big day out there and was super strong, he basically controlled the breakaway himself. Carlos Verona,Cameron Meyer and Lucas Hamilton were riding the last ones on the climbs, actually everybody was riding so well so we always took the control of the race.
“The team gave me the best chance to have a sprint then it was just up to me. It is good to know I am back and it was a confirmation for me personally that I can still be up there and I am really really happy for this.”
Tour des Fjords stage 3 results:
1. Bjorn Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal) 4:36:43
2. Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) ST
Final general classification:
1. Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
2. Bjorn Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal) +0:06
3. Pim Ligthart (Roompot) +0:10