On a cold and wet day in the Arctic Circle, Stevie Williams rode an intelligent race, timing his effort to perfection and taking the win in style, also moving into the overall lead of the race.
Today saw the race split apart by crosswinds and intermittent rain, so whoever went on to take the win would have to be highly motivated and have very strong legs. IPT took control of the race from the start, letting a breakaway gain five minutes on the peloton as Guy Sagiv led the chase for most of the stage. After other teams tried to split the main group apart, driving the pace in the crosswind sections, IPT remained calm and helped to diffuse the situation. As the peloton came towards the final climb of the day, the lone breakaway rider was caught and the race was on.
Marco Frigo set a scintillating pace on the climb, and soon riders were dropping from the back of the peloton, but Dylan Teuns and Stevie Williams had the legs to keep going. Five hundred meters from the line Teuns put in a dig, dragging a select group of riders with him, and as he faded towards the line, Williams came from the back of the group to take the victory.
Williams was delighted with his win, especially since the team had worked so hard all day to keep him in the best possible position:
“I’m really happy to win, obviously as everyone could see it was horrible weather conditions out there again for the last hour or two, so the main thing was trying to stay warm and trying to make sure we did all the basics right. All day the boys did a great job keeping us at the front, especially in the last couple of hours when there were crosswinds, bad weather, climbs and descents, so it was great teamwork today, and I’m really happy to finish it off like that, and going into the lead with Dylan also in the top five. It’s another tough day tomorrow, and hopefully, we can go all the way!”
Tomorrow’s final stage will see the riders take on another hard day with an uphill finish and the potential for crosswinds and more bad weather. With Dylan Teuns also in the top five, IPT will have a few cards to play come the finale.