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VN news ticker: Ethan Hayter doubles up at Tour of Norway, Trek-Segafredo boss Luca Guercilena steps away with illness

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, August 21.

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Ethan Hayter makes it two in a row at Tour of Norway

Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) won the second stage and extended his GC lead at the Tour of Norway on Friday.

The young Brit punched past Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Mike Teunissen (Jumb0-Visma) in the uphill sprint in Sirdal. Hayter now leads the GC by 15 seconds over Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) after also winning stage 1 on Thursday.

“I can’t believe it to be honest. It’s amazing,” he said.

“It was crazy coming into the climb. I followed an attack that was dangerous coming into the finale which in the end positioned me well for the climb, even if it did come back. In the end I probably shouldn’t have gone with it but you have to defend the jersey, you have to try.”

Hayter, 22, moved into position late in the stage after Ineos Grenadiers caught the second of the day’s two breakaways at around six kilometers remaining.

“It got really crazy when the catch was made. I found my way through, worked my way up, kept my position. I sprinted with 50 meters to go which felt like it was crazy late, but it was enough to win,” he said.

“I was suffering today. I wasn’t sure if we’d bring the break back because they were strong. But it’s a bike race and you have to go for it. People started to help us at the end but for most of the day it was just three of our guys on the front – they were amazing.”

https://twitter.com/INEOSGrenadiers/status/1428759815011115024

Two hilly sprint stages remain at the Norweigan race.

Teunissen will be looking to strike over the weekend after coming close Friday. Although stage wins are the priority, Teunissen’s position in third overall at 29 seconds means his GC options remain open.

“I will now focus on tomorrow’s stage, and I will fight for the victory again,” Teunissen said Friday. “Beforehand it was not the plan to ride for a top result in the general classification. The intention is that I mainly focus on winning stages. We’ll see what position this will give in the final rankings.”

Trek-Segafredo boss Luca Guercilena steps away from duty due to illness

Trek-Segafredo general manager Luca Guercilena is taking a step away from his work with the team as he battles lymphoma.

Guercilena, 48, issued a statement via Trek-Segafredo on Saturday:

“After so many years traveling around the world, following the races alongside my team, it’s time for me to take a break. A few days ago I started to fight against a strong enemy, a lymphoma, which will require all my efforts and the warmth of my family, lifelong friends and Trek-Segafredo teammates.

It will take time, but I’m relieved that the team is in very good hands thanks to an experienced group of people that will lead until I am back.

See you soon,
Luca.”

Guercilena has been working with the men’s Trek team since its inception in 2011, and became manager of the women’s team on its formation in 2019. He previously held staffing roles with Quick-Step.

The team at VeloNews would like to pass Guercilena our best wishes.

Álvaro Hodeg edges out Tim Merlier at GP Marcel Kint

Álvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won the GP Marcel Kint by a whisker Friday. The Colombian sprinter edged out Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) in a photo-finish sprint in Kortrijk.

There was a nervy wait in the aftermath of the race when Merlier requested that the race jury check video imagery and finish line photos before confirming the win. The Belgian speedster had come up fast and late in the final 100 meters after Hodeg had kicked clear early in the fast finish.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d won. It took three minutes before I was told it was in,” Hodeg said. “I punched a gap, but sensed Tim Merlier was coming very quickly. But apparently, he was a little late. This win is a boost.”

https://twitter.com/AlpecinFenix/status/1428706450084356104

The Belgian one-dayer will be one of Hodeg’s last with Deceuninck-Quick-Step after spending four seasons with Patrick Lefevere’s crew. The 24-year-old will move to UAE-Team Emirates along with riders such as João Almeida, Marc Soler and George Bennett next year.

“Sometimes you have to make choices. But it does hurt,” he said of his decision to leave the team. “Deceuninck-Quick-Step is like a family to me. I wanted to give Patrick Lefevere and the team a nice parting gift. That’s done now, but I want to get some more wins. I will go all the way for this team until the last day. And who knows, maybe I’ll come back one day.”