Fighting to the very end in Nordkapp, Matt Dinham and Kevin Vermaerke took fifth and ninth on the stage respectively; seeing Team dsm-firmenich leave the Arctic Race of Norway with third and sixth on GC, alongside winning the best young rider’s jersey.
From the flag drop on Sunday afternoon in Kvalsund the action was hot with an early intermediate sprint ensuring that no breakaway would form before that, with a GC fight expected for those precious bonus seconds. The team worked really well as a unit and could set up Vermaerke who would take two vital bonus seconds. A dangerous move forged on past the intermediate sprint but that was brought back before a counter attack with Jonas Iversby Hvideberg gained a gap. The 15 riders worked well together and increased their lead to almost three minutes before it was slowly closed down as the kilometres ticked by.
Heading into the hilly final, Romain Combaud and Alberto Dainese did some good positioning work to bring Dinham and Vermaerke towards the front as the gradients began to bite. With the breakaway disintegrating all but one rider was caught inside ten kilometres to go, and Vermaerke and Dinham rotated either following or making the attacks. Yet, into a strong headwind it was tough to break the elastic and like in previous stages the day would be settled in a leg sapping uphill sprint. Dinham and Vermaerke both gave their all with the former taking fifth place and the latter ninth in Nordkapp. It sees the duo take their best ever GC results as professional riders, and rounds off a successful week of racing for the team with Dainese’s stage win on the opening day too.