Lemmen finishes second in the general classification of the Tour of Norway after a collective top performance in the final stage, in which Van Aert rushes to third place

Lemmen finishes second in the general classification of the Tour of Norway after a collective top performance in the final stage, in which Van Aert rushes to third place

Bart Lemmen finished second in the general classification of the Tour of Norway. The Dutchman from Team Visma | Lease a Bike did not relinquish the podium spot in the final stage. Wout van Aert finished third today after a strong sprint, won by Norwegian Kristoff.

At the start of the final stage, the interests were high for the team. Bart Lemmen was defending his place on the podium in the general classification and the team of team leaders Frans Maassen and Arthur van Dongen was also not without chances for the stage win.

That became clear in the first of many attacks the team mounted. Menno Huising tried it three laps from the end on the ascent of the Grisabakken. Unfortunately, without success. Koen Bouwman suffered the same fate moments later. The pace in the peloton remained high and a little later a group of fifteen riders got away. This included Wout van Aert and Per Strand Hagenes.

At the start of the last lap everything came together again and Per took off alone. Just before the ascent of the Grisabakken the peloton came back and again three riders managed to create a gap. This time Lemmen jumped along, but it soon became clear that the depleted peloton would come back.

‘It's a pity the peloton came back, because with Bart in the leading group it was the perfect situation for us. He was second in the classification and didn't had to ride,’ said the sprinting Van Aert.

"‘I had a very good day today and could also count on an incredibly strong team'"

Bart Lemmen

‘At about 300 metres from the finish I got boxed in, so I couldn't quite ride the sprint I wanted to ride. It was my own fault,’ Van Aert reflected.

The other main rider of Team Visma | Lease a Bike, Bart Lemmen afterwards: ‘I didn't specifically have a plan to keep the later winner Laurence from the final victory. I did want to see what would happen if the race was made tough and we could get away with some strong riders,’ Lemmen said.

‘I had a very good day today and could also count on an incredibly strong team. It was the first time I rode with Wout and it's really incredible how strong he is. A pleasure to ride with,’ Lemmen concludes.

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