Tour of Norway: Thibau Nys wins uphill finish on stage 2

Thibau Nys wins stage 2 at Tour of Norway
Thibau Nys wins stage 2 at Tour of Norway (Image credit: Tour of Norway. Tour de Fjords AS)

Thibau Nys (Trek-Segafredo) won the second stage at the Tour of Norway in an uphill sprint in Stavanger. 

The Belgian crossed the line one second ahead of runner-up Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Deceuninck), while overall race leader Ben Tulett (Ineos Grenadiers) finished third.

Tulett held onto the overall race lead ahead of the final day of racing on Monday, five seconds ahead of teammate Magnus Sheffield and 23 seconds ahead of Nys.

After the race, Nys said the stage win felt like a big relief.

“I’m so happy to finally get the win; I was so close a lot of times this year. The team did an amazing job to get me in the front and get me in position, keeping everyone together. Jasper (Stuyven) did a hell of a lead-out to put me in the front, and I knew that my finish was in the last corner. I felt when I accelerated that no one was able to come close," he said.

"I knew that when I came around the corner, I had to give it everything immediately and try to open up a gap because I’m quite explosive on a finish like this. Then I could explode a bit on the last 50m because the gap was big enough.

"I think it’s going to be difficult (to win the GC) tomorrow, but we’ll try. The last couple of days have been perfect already, so we’ll just try to make a nice end of it and try to go for the stage as well. I hope I can stay like this because I’m feeling great, I’m feeling super happy in the team, I’m living a good life at the moment.”

How it unfolded

Stage 2 at Tour of Norway offered the field a hilly 165.7km race from Valle to Stavanger. 

After the previous day's shortened stage due to weather conditions, the peloton was back to the full distance on a route that included two categorised ascents; Knuttjorn (21.9km at 3.6%), which was followed by undulating terrain and a descent into the intermediate sprint at Dirdal before the second and final climb over Seldal (5.2km at 5.7%). 

They then raced the last 36km into Stavanger, where they faced a one-kilometre uphill finish.

There were several attacks into the base of the daunting 21.9km Knuttjorn ascent, and a breakaway soon formed that included Dries De Pooter (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Zeb Kyffin (Saint Piran), Manuele Tarozzi (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Eirik Lunder (Team Coop-Repsol), Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM), Mathias Bregnhøj (Leopard TOGT), and Torbjørn Andre Røed (Above-Beyond Cancer Cycling).

Nicolau was the first to crest the Knuttjorn ascent, ahead of Bregnhøj and Røed, as the breakaway gained a minute on the Ineos Grenadiers-led peloton, protecting their overall leader Ben Tulett.

The breakaway remained largely intact as the race headed toward the second climb, Seldal, with Bregnhøj taking the points over the top ahead of Nicolau and Røed.

Inside 30km from the finish, Vermaerke, De Bont, and Kyffin attacked the breakaway, quickly putting in nearly 30 seconds as the others were swallowed up by the field.

Vermaerke was distanced from the move as De Bont and Kyffin carried on in pursuit of the stage win with 24km to go building out their lead to over one minute.

Bora-Hansgrohe pulled the peloton into the final five kilometres, but De Bondt and Kyffin still held 30 seconds into the base of the final uphill to the finish.

De Bondt pushed the pace on the final slopes distancing Kyffin, but with just six seconds ahead of the field, his day in the break was also finished with 2km to go.

Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) was the first to attack on the climb, splitting the field, but he was caught near the top as Thibau Nys (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the line with the win.


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Kirsten Frattini
Women's Editor

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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