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"I have not been feeling good these last few days. There have not been many possibilities for the sprinters but once again Greipel showed he is the best in this Tour. I did the best that I could."

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ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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26.07.2015 @ 23:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The final stage of the 102nd Tour de France came to a conclusion in Paris on the Champs-Élysées Sunday evening with a massive sprint bringing home the peloton after a slow-moving stage of 109,5 km. Team Katusha’s fast man Alexander Kristoff went long to try for the sprint, coming off the wheel of Jacopo Guarnieri and heading for the finish line, finally taking third in the last stage behind 4-stage winner Andre Greipel. 

 

"I have not been feeling good these last few days. There have not been many possibilities for the sprinters but once again Greipel showed he is the best in this Tour. I did the best that I could. We came a little bit fast in the last ‘S’ corner and Jacopo lost his chain so we lost a little bit of speed there but in the end I didn’t really have the legs to beat Griepel. My next big goal is the World championships in September with some big races along the way to that. I will race Hamburg, where I won last year, but now I will take a week off, try to get healthy and then begin my build up again," said Team Katusha sprinter Alexander Kristoff.  

 

Greipel (Lotto Soudal) posted a winning time of 2:49.41 with Bryan Coquard of Team Europcar taking second just in front of Kristoff. 

 

"Of course we originally came here with ambitions to fight for the GC so we won’t say here at the end that we are 100% happy. We come away with two stage wins from Joaquim and some close calls for Alex. I know they prepared at 100% and gave their best. We always want more, of course, but that’s always the way it is with a team. We trust in Alex and he has already given us 18 victories this season. He had some bad luck on first few days of the Tour, but that’s cycling. He always gives the maximum and we give back to him our support at 100%. We are happy with the lead out we have for Alex and are always looking to make it stronger as well as for the rest of the team," said team director José Azevedo.

 

With 2 stage wins from Joaquim Rodriguez, his fight for the polka dot climber’s jersey and Alexander Kristoff contesting for every sprint stage, Team Katusha put up an exciting and successful Tour de France. 

 

Stage 21 rolled out from Sèvres to make its way slowly to the City of Light and ten laps on the famous Champs-Élysées, complete with cobblestones and the false flat up to the finish line. With rain falling for most of the day, the race for the yellow jersey ended the first time the peloton rolled across the finish line, although the stage win was still up for grabs. A slow pace finally gave way to some real racing with Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) the first to try his luck. Three riders chased him down to establish a break of some 25-seconds that lasted for several laps. Rohan Dennis (BMC) took flight on the next-to-last lap, catching the three in front to make a break of four riders. More attacks came just before the bell lap, as the French air force flew formation overhead with red, white and blue contrails flowing behind them but on the last lap the teams of the sprinters took the race in hand to set up the mass sprint. Team Katusha hit the front as they went under the tunnel and then through the red kite, putting Kristoff in position to fight for victory. 

 

After 3366 km and three weeks of racing, the 2015 Tour de France is finished for another year. From a glorious start in the Netherlands in front of enthusiastic fans to the massive crowds lining the streets of Paris to bring home the peloton, this year’s race has been filled with drama, excitement and success.

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