A four rider breakaway animated the beginning of the opening stage at the Arctic Race of Norway (2.Pro, 5-8/8). It was waiting for second race half of the 142.4 kilometer stage for hills and fireworks. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux managed to keep the gap with the breakaway small. The Belgian team was ambitious with former stage winners Odd Christian Eiking and Danny van Poppel. In the end, the triple ascension of the Holtevegen hill (1.1km at 7.7%) was too difficult for pure sprinters. Baptiste Planckaert followed the breakaway moves, Odd Christian Eiking waited until the final climb to attack. But it was another Norwegian duo who reached the top first and dived towards the finish in Tromsø, Paris of the north. Markus Hoelgaard finished 2 seconds ahead of the chasing peloton with Alexander Kristoff. Aimé De Gendt and Odd Christian Eiking finished in the top 10.
This Friday, the 177.6 kilometer parcours leads the peloton to Finland. There are almost no flat sections between Nordkjosbotn en Kilpisjärvi, but steep parts are missing meaning the race might finish in a bunch sprint.