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"I never expected this before the race. I have to be honest, after Paris - Roubaix I took a well-deserved break and these past few days I just did long distance trainings plus I had a travel day yesterday," Kristoff says

Photo: Sirotti

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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RUND UM DEN FINANZPLATZ ESCHBORN-FRANKFURT

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01.05.2014 @ 23:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alexander Kristoff surprised himself when he won today's Rund um den Finanzplatz in a sprint finish. Having just come back from a post-classics break, the Norwegian didn't expect to have the form to contend for the win but gradually got better as they day went on.

 

Thanks to the great work of the whole Team Katusha, Alexander Kristoff took a group sprint win ahead of race favorite John Degenkolb to claim his third win of the season and first since his historic Milano – Sanremo victory in March. 

 

"I never expected this before the race," he said. "I have to be honest, after Paris – Roubaix I took a well-deserved break and these past few days I just did long distance trainings plus I had a travel day yesterday. 

 

"On the bike I even did not feel so good in the beginning. But then when you see your teammates doing a perfect job, the only thing I had to do was to follow. So in the end I started to feel better and better.

 

"Moreover I never start in a race with the idea that I will not finish. I will always do the sprint and when I had such a perfect train in front of me, it was my duty to try to win. I am really happy to put my name on the winners list."

 

Kristoff outkicked Germany’s John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Jérôme Baugnies of Wanty-Gobert to earn the win in the 1.HC Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn – Frankfurt (202 km).

 

"I started my sprint at 300 meters from the finish,” explained Kristoff. “The last 200 meters I was already in pole position and constantly taking all the wind, but I felt strong. 

 

"Most likely John Degenkolb was a bit more tired. He was the local favorite and everybody was watching him. In the end he had to work himself too, thanks to the perfect job of Alexander Kolobnev who attacked earlier. 

 

"A perfect day and again a win in the rain. The roads were sometimes very slippery but we managed to survive. We even did more..."

T

he race was characterized by the big breakaway group of 10 riders, among them was Katusha’s rider Eduard Vorganov. The breakaway worked well, but in the final part of the race it was caught by the peloton. Right after that moment Katusha’s Alexander Kolobnev did two powerful attacks. He could stay in front of the race until 9 km to go, where the peloton neutralized his action.

 

In the final sprint Team Katusha, Vladimir Isaychev and Gatis Smukulis as well as Vladimir Gusev and Aleksandr Porsev did a perfect work for its sprinter Alexander Kristoff, who started his rush with more or less 300 meters to go, taking the second victory in a row for the Russian team in this race.

 

"Our team was the best and I am so proud of all our guys,” said team director Claudio Cozzi. “They all had a part in the success of Alexander. We played it tactically very well and let Giant-Shimano do the big chasing work in the peloton the entire day, since we had a strong Eduard Vorganov in the break through the Taunus mountains.

 

"Once that break of ten riders was caught, Alexander Kolobnev did a marvelous job of attacking twice. The first time it took Giant 5-6 kilometers to catch him. The second time they caught him at less than 9 km from the finish and then Kristoff was already well surrounded by teammates.

 

"First we brought Kristoff in a perfect position for the last 600 meters. Alex did a perfect sprint and won. And just as last year with Simon Spilak, we have the winner on a strong Frankfurt palmares."

 

Aleksandr Porsev, who was the last led-out man of Alexander Kristoff also did a good sprint and finished 9th.

 

Alexander Kristoff will next race two stage races in Norway and then take part in the Tour de Suisse before heading to the Tour de France. 

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