Here’s a video with highlights of the men on the Lysebotn hillclimb at Norway’s Blink Festival. Courtesy of Norway’s NRK. Manificat and Gailard finish one-two for France.
After a flat start, the race turns uphill, winding through a tunnel and endless switchbacks. The bunch gradually thins out as the race winds uphill. Around 3:27, Gaillard moved into the lead of a five-man group. There are a couple of stragglers maybe 30 seconds back.
At 6:16, Gaillard makes a move, opening a little gap and extending it. All of a sudden, it’s a five- to ten-second gap back to second, and he doesn’t look like he’s working hard. At its height, Gaillard looks to be 20-30 meters off the front. Manificat is comfortable in third place at this point.
Right around the time you think he’s got the race in the bag, watch out for Magnificat. At 7:45 he drops the two guys he’s with – Perl and Sundby? – and reels in Gaillard on an impossibly steep slope. Having chased down Gaillard, he lets Gaillard pull until making a Northug-like move 30 meters from the finish.
Unfortunately I haven’t yet found a video of the women’s race, where Liz Stephen and Kikkan Randall had fabulous results.