Evenepoel takes overall title while Kristoff wins stage 6 at Tour of Norway

Remco Evenepoel won GC at 2022 Tour of Norway
Remco Evenepoel won GC at 2022 Tour of Norway (Image credit: Tour of Norway)

Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) won the sprint in his hometown of Stavenger on the final stage of the Tour of Norway.  

Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), who won three stages at the six-day stage race, held on to the overall title with Australian's Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) and Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers) rounding out the overall podium. It was Evenepoel's ninth GC career victory, and second of the season, having won Volta ao Algarve earlier in 2022. He became the first Belgian winner of the Tour of Norway.

Kristoff launched his sprint early and was never challenged on the closing 150 metres. Ethan Vernon (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) came around Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) to secure second place, while the Dane took third.

“Overall, it was a very good week for the team. We can be proud of ourselves, of the way we rode, of the Wolfpack spirit we put on display every single time and of how we always believed in ourselves," Evenepoel said. 

"It was my first race since Liège–Bastogne–Liège, so I didn’t know how I would fare, but I returned at a high level, which is encouraging as we kick off the second part of the season and my road to the Vuelta a España." 

Seven riders got away and grabbed 2 minutes after 20 kilometers on the 149.3km stage 6 - Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost), Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech), Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Rhobbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Joshua Gudnitz (Team Coloquick) and Louis Bendixen (Team Coop).

Joel Nicolau took the mountain classifications after crossing the line first at the first categorized climb of the day to Undheim. The riders preparing for the strong winds at the rest of the stage.

The a double dose of winds and a crash blew the peloton to pieces. The crosswinds with 51.7km to go seemed to be the cause of a large pileup at the front of the peloton and created a big split. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) was involved, as well as Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) and Uno-X Pro Cycling riders Tobias Johannessen and Anders Johannessen, all put into chase mode after being caught in the crash, while Evenepoel escaped in the front group.

Once the race got to the closing circuits, the breakaway made the catch of most of the break, with Strong and Vermeersch stretching their time at the front for a short time. The two riders were joined by Timo Roosen after a surprise attack on the downhill from Grisabakken, but they were eventually caught. 

The stage was decided in a bunch sprint where home favourite Kristoff took the stage win.

"The stage almost passed in front of my house today, I'm so happy to take the win here in Stavanger," Kristoff said. "I don't only know the final because the roads are familiar to me, but also because I already won a couple of times here. But last year I didn't manage to take the victory and that's why my happiness is even greater today."

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