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"We had a plan for doing it in the hardest part of the climb. After winning with Kristoff yesterday, we agreed that the team would work for me today. It's beautiful. I am happy to bring the victory to Team Katusha,”

Photo: A.S.O.




16.08.2014 @ 18:14 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The climb to Kvænangsfjellet was an exciting challenge for Team Katusha’s Simon Špilak in Saturday’s Arctic Race of Norway. The Slovenian rider attacked in the final for the win, making it two victories in a row for Katusha.


“I wanted to attack today. We had a plan for doing it in the hardest part of the climb. After winning with Kristoff yesterday, we agreed that the team would work for me today. It's beautiful. I am happy to bring the victory to Team Katusha,” said Simon Špilak.


Špilak was joined on the podium by Steven Kruijswijk and Jonathan Hivert (Belkin). Kruijswijk took over the race lead on the classification with one stage still to go. Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff and Simon Špilak are fourth and sixth respectively on GC.


“We planned this action in the final of the stage, because Simon feels quite good in this race. He attacked with 5 km to go. The climb was not too hard, especially in the last 2 kilometers, so Simon found the hardest place to go away. It was a strong head wind on the climb, but Simon was able to take some advantage. Kruijsvijk followed him, but in the end Simon won the sprint and took the stage. We are very happy - this is second victory in a row for our team. Tomorrow is the last stage and it’s not as easy as some might think, but we are ready for the fight,” said team director Dmitry Konyshev.


The early break of the day included three riders with a maximum advantage of 2.50 with the last rider finally brought back with 13,5 km to go. Špilak waited for his moment and with 5 km to go put in his attack on the last climb, followed only by Kruijswijk. Špilak outsprinted his challenger for the win. Teammate Alexander Kristoff took fourth on the climb and consolidated his lead in the points competition.


Racing comes to a conclusion on Sunday with 165 km in Tromsø. The final stage is on the radar for Alexander Kristoff who hopes to make it three in a row for the Russian Global Cycling Project.



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