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"I am so happy to give something back to the team. It’s a great feeling for once to switch places with Alexander Kristoff and I will enjoy this win very much. We had so much momentum coming into today and I had good legs."

Photo: Tour des Fjords






31.05.2015 @ 22:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

At the start of stage 5 in Hinna Park on Sunday, Marco Haller was in second place by 8 seconds and had vowed to try everything to gain the needed time and win the race. With the full backing of Team Katusha, Haller and teammate Sven Erik Bystrøm followed the move of Edvald Boasson Hagen on the second of two laps with only Daryl Impey able to join them.


This group came to the finish line in Stavanger after 186 km of racing with Hagen, Impey and Haller crossing the line in that order, 15-seconds ahead of the main field and enough time to give Marco Haller the overall win in the 2015 Tour des Fjords by twelve seconds.


"I am very proud. This win is absolutely deserved since Team Katusha has worked incredibly hard all week. I am so happy to give something back to the team. It’s a great feeling for once to switch places with Alexander Kristoff and I will enjoy this win very much. We had so much momentum coming into today and I had good legs. Sven was obviously great and it worked out perfectly. I tried to collect bonus seconds on the way to the sprint and I was able to do that in the first sprint. But I had strong legs today and I took my momentum on the steep climb and went for it with Impey, Boasson Hagen and my teammate Bystrøm. I had one of the best riders up there with me today and that’s how this win was possible. This was a very, very hard race. The quality of riders here are some real superstars in our sport. This victory ranks very high in my personal career," said Marco Haller.


Haller, age 24, came to Team Katusha in 2012 and has continued his improvement as a rider while spending most of his time working as a lieutenant for Alexander Kristoff and recently announced his renewed contract for 2016 with Team Katusha. Haller was joined on the final podium by Søren Kragh Andersen and Michael Olsson, both of Team Trefor - Blue Water, at 12- and 24-seconds.


"Marco Haller has been so loyal to me these past few years and now he has come up to a really strong level. I know if he was not always working for me that he could win many races for himself. After yesterday he was in a position that he could win the entire race and it gives me great joy to help him today. I didn’t have to do much for him – he really did so much himself. He went away with Bystrøm and everything worked out perfect for us with that arrangement. This morning in the team meeting we thought we would be leading out Haller for the win, but on the climb he was so strong I let a small gap develop to my wheel for the Trefor rider over the top and they could not close it," said Alexander Kristoff.


"Even though this wasn’t the exact plan we came with to this race, once we started winning that became the mood of the riders. They believed they could win and we should all appreciate this great mentality from our guys. They made this race fantastic for Team Katusha. We were in a perfect situation and the race was packed with action. The riders here are most of the classics group and we’ve done many races together. It’s such a pleasure to work with them. They operate as a unit on the road and I think the many victories show the strong ambitions of this group as a part of the entire Katusha team. We have seen so much development from these riders. Marco Haller is a perfect example of this," said team director Torsten Schmidt.


The win in the Tour des Fjords marks the 26th win of the season for WorldTour Team Katusha.



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