A 239.2-kilometer challenge awaited the cyclists on Thursday during the third stage of the Tour of Denmark. For Nickolas Zukowsky and Pier-André Côté (Human Powered Health), it was the longest assignment abroad of their careers.
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Côté (35th) and Zukowsky (39th), who both work for Dutch teammate Arvid De Kleijn, finished the race in the leading group after a hard day’s work.
“The stage became physically difficult in the last 60 kilometers, it felt like a one-day race. I’m very happy, not only with today’s stage, but also with what I’ve been able to achieve since the beginning of our stay in Denmark. It’s encouraging to have a good race today in such a tough peloton,” Côté commented in an interview with Sportcom.
“It was exhausting both physically and mentally. It was a long stage with an additional eight gravel sectors. On the other hand, it’s the kind of stage I like. I made a small mistake that cost me several seconds and I fell behind in the last two sectors. I had to work hard to get back in the top flight,” added Zukowsky.
While they’re pleased to see teammate De Kleijn breaking the day’s top 10 in eighth, the two Quebecers would have loved to see him on the podium at the end of the day.
“We did a good job Nickolas and I to put Arvid De Kleijn in eighth place. He said he made a little mistake in the last corner, we totally forgive him, that’s for sure! Côte mentioned.
“We would have loved to push Arvid onto the podium and even towards a stage win. I had put a lot of energy into coming back from the back earlier in the race and it cost me a lot in the end, I still managed to help him but there was one small thing missing,” added Zukowsky
Guillaume Boivin (Israel – Premier Tech) also crossed the finish line in the same time as the winner in 43rd place.
Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) won the sprint just ahead of his French teammate Christophe Laporte. Third place went to Denmark’s Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost).
American Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) retains his top spot in the standings but he is closely followed by Laporte, who climbs up to second on the bonus seconds he gets with his second place finish of the day. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen from Denmark (Trek – Segafredo) is third (+3 seconds).
On Friday, cyclists visit the Salling Peninsula on a 167.3-kilometer loop.