117 riders started stage 2 of the 7th Arctic Race of Norway in Henningsvær at 14.08. Erik Nordsætter Resell (Uno-X Norwegian Development Team), Henrik Evensen (Joker Fuel of Norway), Viking of the Day Håkon Aalrust (Team Coop) and Tobias Mørch Kongstad (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) got clear off the peloton after two kilometres of racing.
Former Belgian champion and double winner of the Tour of Flanders Stijn Devolder did a lot of work at the head of the pack to maintain the time gap at a maximum of three and a half minutes lead.
Several teams interested in a bunch sprint finish in Svolvær took over from Corendon-Circus before the last hour of racing: Vital Concept-B&B Hôtels, Delko Marseille, Wallonie-Bruxelles, Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert all had an interest in the final sprint.
It was all together again two kilometres before the end. Danny van Poppel, second on stage 1, was diverted to the grass by a wave in the peloton with less than two kilometres to go and that meant one top sprinter was out of contention.
Cofidis gave a strong lead out to Christophe Laporte but it was Coquard who timed it to perfection and didn’t give room to van der Poel to overhaul him. It was the eighth victory of the 27 year old French rider this year while the Dutchman has now nine seconds lead over Alexey Lutsenko and Hoelgaard.
Live coverage of the 2019 Arctic Race of Norway Stage 3, Saturday 17 August at 9:30pm AEST streaming at the Cycling Central website and SBS OnDemand apps.