On one of the windiest days he could remember, Rally’s Colin Joyce was already several echelons back midway through stage 2 at the Arctic Race of Norway. The combination of tricky conditions and a lumpy profile blew the peloton apart early in the afternoon.
“I’d find myself in the gutter and then off the gutter into the ditch, luckily not crashing,” Joyce says. “I was like fourth echelon back pretty early on and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m screwed.’”
With so much ground to make up approaching the day’s final climb, Joyce was close to accepting his fate, but he didn’t. Instead, he kept his head down and relied on some help from teammates like Matteo Dal-Cin and Robin Carpenter to work his way through the groups. Somehow, he ultimately found himself in the main chase group on the day’s final climb behind a small late escape that included Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang.
When the chasers swept up the move, there was Joyce, in with a chance at a stage win in a European race against some big-name WorldTour talents. He didn’t let the opportunity pass him by. On the finishing straight, Joyce sprinted to the win ahead of Israel Cycling Academy’s Dennis van Winden.
It may not have scored front page headlines, but the victory marked Rally’s first UCI HC-rated win in Europe this season, and Joyce’s first pro win in Europe. He would cap it all off with a third-place overall finish in the race.
That result gave Rally something to hang its hat on in a season that saw the American Pro Continental team invest in expanding its European calendar. It was evidence that Joyce had what it took to win across the pond, and it came in the middle of transfer season, boosting his profile for prospective suitors. At the same time, it also gave the 24-year-old American reasons to stick with Rally into the 2019 season — Joyce told VeloNews this week that he has re-upped for a third season with the team.
In short, stage 2 of this year’s Arctic Race of Norway was worthy of an inside look.
Read the full story at VeloNews.