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Stagiaire Loïc Vliegen (seen here in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic), rode to his second straight top 10 finish for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Stagiaire Loïc Vliegen (seen here in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic), rode to his second straight top 10 finish for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Arctic Race of Norway, Stage 1: Vliegen Ninth

14. August 2014

BMC Racing Team stagiaire Loïc Vliegen rode to his second straight top 10 finish while teammate and fellow stagiaire Luke Davison was part of the day's breakaway on a chilly, wind-whipped stage of the Arctic Race of Norway.

Difficult Conditions
Davison was part of a five-man escape that led by nearly eight minutes at one point. Winner of a gold medal in the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games last month, Davison won two of the three sprints the breakaway contested before the last of the quintet was caught with 22 kilometers to go in the 204-km race. "It was a good situation for us – Luke taking the bonifications and making it easy for the team behind," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said. But that comfort level changed, Vliegen said, as the finish neared. "In the last 10 kilometers, the bunch exploded," he said. "And in the last five kilometers, it was very difficult, always up and down, with a lot of crosswind."

Moinard Finishes 11th
Vliegen, who with Davison came to the BMC Racing Team from the BMC Development Team, said he tried to follow the winning attack by Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin Pro Cycling). "I tried to jump on the wheel of Nordhaug, but he was a bit too strong for me," Vliegen said. "I am happy with my race. I was smart and I did a top 10, so it is good for me and for the team. Tomorrow, I think the stage will be easy and the third stage will be harder." Vliegen, who was seventh in Sunday's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, said he will keep an eye on the "best young rider" standings in the coming days after finishing ninth – 13 seconds back of Nordhaug. Teammate Amaël Moinard was 11th, a further 10 seconds back, and also remains in contention for the overall.

Hushovd Has Tough Day
Defending champion Thor Hushovd finished 56th, 1:38 after the stage winner, and said the challenging nature of the course did not play to his strengths. "It was a really hard final and the wind also made it tough," the past world road champion said. "I did not have good day, unfortunately. I was hoping I could do better than this, but I gave it everything. There are still two more chances for me (to go for stage wins), so it is not over." In winning the inaugural edition of the race last year, Hushovd scored two of his team-best nine victories on the season in his home country's race.

Listen to complete comments from Hushovd, Ledanois and Vliegen on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos of the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch videos on the BMC Racing Team's YouTube channel.