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"With 300 meters to go I was really in the first position. I started my sprint a little bit slowly and gradually motored up so I was happy no one could come past me," Kristoff says

Photo: Sirotti

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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BEMER CYCLASSICS

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24.08.2014 @ 19:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alexander Kristoff showed that he is almost impossible to beat in a sprint at the end of a long, hard race when he won today's Vattenfall Cyclassics in dominant fashion. The Norwegian benefited from strong Katusha teamwork before launching a perfect sprint that gradually got faster and faster.

 

Sunday brought another win for Team Katusha as Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff claimed his fourteenth UCI win of the season by taking the group sprint in the WorldTour race Vattenfall Cyclassics.  Working off his teammates Pavel Brutt and Marco Haller in the run to the line, Kristoff made his way to the front and ramped up his sprint from there, earning the win with a clean set of wheels. 

 

“I had Marco and Pavel to keep me safe in the closing kilometers," he said. "In the last km we were a bit blocked but I managed to get to the front. With 300 meters to go I was really in the first position. I started my sprint a little bit slowly and gradually motored up so I was happy no one could come past me.”

 

Coming along the right side of the barrier and then moving to the center of the course, Kristoff showed pure strength in his sprint, holding off Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEdge. The victory gives him sixth place on the UCI WorldTour rankings and moves Team Katusha into sixth on the Team classification for WorldTour teams.

 

“It’s so nice what the team did today,” said sports director Torsten Schmidt. “Before the race we decided to take our responsibility in controlling the race. We would let a break go but not too far.  Together with FDJ and Giant we controlled. Smukulis and Isaychev did an amazing job there for 200 kilometers!  We knew it would be hard since other teams would be attacking us.

 

"In the final Kuznetsov worked and then it was Brutt’s job to keep the bunch together; then the last 2 km were for Haller. They all did exactly what had to be done.

 

"Also Gusev and Tsatevich – if they had not brought Kristoff back when he had a mechanical at 25 km from the finish, we would be here with empty hands. It was so nice for the team today. Of course we knew Kristoff was in good shape. What a season he’s had!”

 

“I like racing here in Hamburg. I’ve done this race every year since I’ve been a pro and I’ve always liked this race even though I’ve never won before. But I finally made it, so for sure now it’s one of my favorite races,” said a happy Alex Kristoff.

 

The 247.2 km course in Hamburg gave Kristoff his 14th UCI win this year, making him the current rider with the most wins in the 2014 cycling season. Kristoff started his winning ways in February with a victory in the Tour of Oman before earning the win in the monumental Milano-San Remo in March. He continued with wins in Frankfurt and Norway in May and June before taking two stages wins in this year’s Tour de France. Soon after he took more wins in Norway’s Arctic Race before today’s success in Hamburg moved the total to fourteen. 

 

Alexander Kristoff rides full of confidence as he approaches the end of the racing season. He races again next Sunday in Plouay, then in Canada before ending his season in the World Championships.

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