Terrific Thibau Nys dominant in uphill finale to stage 1 of Tour of Norway; Wout van Aert doesn't feature on return to racing

The terrific Thibau Nys has continued to impress in 2024. On a punchy finale to the opening stage of the Tour of Norway, the cross-discipline star in the making was a clear winner, thanks in part to a brilliant leadout by teammate Mathias Vacek.

With seven riders getting themselves into the breakaway of the day, including notable names such as Timo Roosen of Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL and Abram Stockman of the TDT - Unibet Cycling Team, the peloton weren't giving the riders too much leeway, keeping the gap at around the 1:30 mark and refusing to allow a big gap to form.

Heading into the final 30km that gap was still at 1:23. With the break also down to just six with Roosen first dropping back to the peloton, then dropping out of the race altogether, there hopes of taking a stage win looked unlikely. With 5km to go, the six riders were still managing to hold off the peloton, although now just 20 seconds ahead.

Finally, the day of the break was over with just 3.6km to go. With a punchy uphill finale to come, there was then a frantic battle for position at the front of the bunch ahead of the final climb. Uno-X Mobility, working with Alexander Kristoff won that battle and arrived at the foot of the climb, but once the climbing began, they were soon swamped by the Tudor Pro Cycling Team.

On his much-anticipated return from injury, Wout van Aert was still near the front heading into the finale, but with just over a kilometre to go, the Belgian was seen dropping away from the peloton, just as he predicted he would be pre-stage.

When Lidl-Trek's Mathias Vacek took to the front, Thibau Nys was glued to his teammates wheel and the duo began ride completely away from all their rivals, getting clear distance as Nys entered the final 200m solo to take another big victory in what is becoming a real breakthrough season ahead of Adne Holter and Axel Laurance.

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