Mads Pedersen sprints to 2nd in Stage 4 as Mattias Skjelmose cements the Best Young Rider to conclude a successful Tour of Norway for Trek-Segafredo
Mads Pedersen showed he has returned to top form with another top result in the Tour of Norway. Pedersen sprinted to a close second place in Stage 4 behind Matthew Walls (Bora hansgrohe), a day after claiming victory in Stage 3.
While the stage winner benefited from his team’s lead-out, Pedersen free-lanced the final kilometers after his teammates did the lion’s share of the work in bringing back the day’s breakaway.
It did not seem to hinder the former world champion too much as he worked his way into top position but ran out of steam to overtake Walls before the line.
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) August 22, 2021
“Another pretty tough day today; we started right away to pull to make sure of a sprint,” said Mads. “Everyone did a good job to keep me out of trouble and support me as long as possible into the finale. The last seven kilometers were pretty hectic. I had to cruise from one train to another train, and I got caught a bit behind with 2k to go.
“I had to dive-bomb a little bit with 400m to go and then open the sprint from there. Today was not enough to win, but it was enough to still be on the podium and pay off the work from the boys.
“Of course I would have liked to win another stage, but today one guy was faster; that’s how it is. I am really proud of how the boys rode today, and the work they did all race.
“Mattias did a good job the first two days and also winning the young jersey after a tough race. And for myself, it was nice to continue the rhythm I had in Denmark and go away from Norway with another win.
“In general, it’s been a really nice race here in Norway, and really nice to see the shape still gong up – a perfect week – and a good rhythm for the next races in Belgium in a few weeks.”
Neo-pro Mattias Skjelmose has shown big promise this year, and in Norway was handed a leadership role as the team’s GC rider.
The 20-year-old Dane finished in 7th overall and won the Best Young Rider classification, taking home the white jersey for the four-day race, a first as a pro.
“I don’t know if I expected this, but I know that I came into the race in good shape,” said Skjelmose. “The boys were there from kilometer zero of Stage 1. They brought me safely home every stage, and even when I was struggling, they kept believing in me, and that was just amazing.
“Mads (Pedersen) was the last or second-last guy all race for me, especially in Stage 2 when he brought me into perfect position. I was so happy to pay him back on Stage 3 – it was probably the proudest moment I had on the bike when I led him out. I was so happy for him, and also being a part of the victory meant so much to me. He’s just an amazing guy, and I am so happy I could help him as well.
“I don’t know what to expect when I come into races, so yes, I am surprised [with the jersey],” he continued. “This was just a good week for the team, and I learned something every day.”