Jakobsen retains Tour des Fjords lead
Our neo-pro kept all his distinctive jerseys after the most difficult stage of the Norwegian race.
Fabio Jakobsen will go into the final day of the Tour des Fjords – just his third multi-stage event of the season – in command of the general classification, at the top of which he remains after finishing in eighth place the demanding stage two, between Risør and Kristiansand (188 kilometers), now the fifth largest in Norway and one of the most important ports of the Scandinavian Peninsula during the Middle Ages.
Sporting the light blue jersey awarded to the leader of the overall standings, which he donned following his emphatic victory in Grimstad, Fabio Jakobsen relied again on his strong Quick-Step Floors teammates to control the trio who went up the road early after the start; Tim Declercq, James Knox, Davide Martinelli and Niki Terpstra showed the same quality and sheer power as on the previous day, reeling in the escapees inside the last 20 kilometers, before dully shutting down an attacks with 14 kilometers to go, on the local lap which included several short but testing hills.
A new series of accelerations split the peloton and made for a really chaotic finale, without any proper lead-out trains. Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) emerged victorious from the confusion that ensued in the last two kilometers, while both Davide Martinelli and Fabio Jakobsen concluded in the top 10, the latter retaining his first place in the general classification even though he didn't score any bonus seconds.
Despite the disappointment, the 21-year-old Dutchman looked on the positive side of things and showed the same motivation ahead of the final stage: "The boys were great again, keeping the breakaway around the two-minute mark before closing it down as we approached the final. The local lap in Kristiansand turned out to be harder than on paper and I succeeded in staying there, but lost Davide's wheel and couldn't do my sprint because the legs were a bit empty. I'm sad, but on the other hand I'm still first in the GC and we are very motivated to keep fighting and go for a good result on Thursday."
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images