"Maybe it was a wrong choice to let me swim between the groups alone" - Thibau Nys feels he could've held on better in the final with a teammate to help him

Thibau Nys is no longer the leader in the Tour of Norway. The Lidl-Trek youngster had to let go of the leading group on early slopes of the final climb of the second stage. His teammate Mathias Vacek was able to hold the team's flag up high, but it is Axel Laurance who'll start Saturday's stage in the leader jersey.

"I had a weak moment for a bit," Nys told Het Laatste Nieuws afterwards. "But I was able to recover better than expected," he added. "The moment the rest attacked, I really had to pass. My legs were filling up. But from the front they also had to temporise a bit. If I had just come through there, I think I could have survived."

"At that moment Mathias was still in front. We pulled his card because the finish did suit him, but I actually found my legs again. In the end I only finish at 26 seconds, while I rode alone for the last three kilometres or so. That wasn't too bad. Maybe it was a wrong choice to let me swim between the groups alone. But for the same money Mathias wins and we would have been right."

In his own words, Nys certainly did have a good day. "But just not good enough to really compete at the front. I was good, but the rest were better," admitted the 21-year-old rider. "The moment I exploded, I thought: 'it's completely done'. I did a bit of damage control after that. But on your own you just catch too much wind and then it's very difficult. Whether something is still possible in the classification? The overall victory will be very difficult, it's not going to be simple."

After the second stage, Nys is fifth in the general classification, 25 seconds behind Laurance, with teammate Mathias Vacek four seconds ahead. Two easier stages with expected bunch arrivals to follow. Saturday a sprint from a reduced group seems the most likely scenario, Sunday the puncheurs will have another chance.

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