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"The very explosive riders really have an advantage here but, like in Amstel, today is a confirmation that my shape is good."

Photo: Tonkoff-Saxo/BettiniPhoto©2015

CHRIS ANKER SØRENSEN

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FLECHE WALLONNE

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RAFAL MAJKA

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ROMAN KREUZIGER

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22.04.2015 @ 21:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

La Flèche Wallonne was once again decided amongst the favorites on Mur de Huy after a nervous and crash-marred race. Roman Kreuziger finished 11th for Tinkoff-Saxo behind race winner Alejandro Valverde and now turns his attention to Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
 
After the race, Roman Kreuziger asserts that although Flèche Wallonne is a less draining race than its two Ardennes Classic counterparts, the flat-out effort up the iconic Mur de Huy made for a grueling race finish.
 
“You might not feel as exhausted after Flèche Wallonne as you do in the other Ardennes races but in the minutes after the finish up Mur de Huy, you have lactic acid in the entire body and especially arms, since we pull the handlebars so hard. We rode at a hard pace until the last 200 meters, where the moves came. The very explosive riders really have an advantage here but, like in Amstel, today is a confirmation that my shape is good”, says Roman Kreuziger, who adds that the race finale was harder with the addition of Côte de Cherave 5.5 kilometers before the finish:
 
“It’s a hard climb especially the first part and today we also saw that several riders used it to launch attacks. I followed to some degree, but decided to stay in the favorites group, as it’s vital to arrive as fresh as possible at the bottom of Mur de Huy”.
 
For Roman Kreuziger it’s now all about Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which, according to the Czech, suits him better.
 
“It’s a matter of recovering and optimizing ahead of Liège. It’s different than Flèche since it’s longer and more tiring. After 200 kilometers many riders start to drop off, which means that it’s not a race that comes down to positioning but pure legs. I look forward to Sunday as my main objective during the Ardennes Classics.

La Flèche Wallonne took the riders from Waremme to Mur de Huy along a 205.5km parcours. In the end a decimated bunch arrived at the bottom of the 1.3km climb, where Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) prevailed after a final burst for the line. However, the race was affected by numerous crashes, which brought down Michael Valgren but fortunately left him unharmed. Teammate Chris Anker Sørensen, with eight participations at Flèche Wallonne under his belt, noted that the race was at times scary.
 
“It was a very nervous day with nearly 200 riders wanting to position themselves at the front. I must admit that in some of the hectic situations it wasn’t pleasant to sit in the bunch with a fight for positioning taking place at 60km/h and cars parked at each side of the road. But it comes with the territory as a rider and you have to keep cool and continue to perform your best for the team”, says Sørensen, who spent energy in the final part of the race bringing Rafal Majka back to the front after a puncture.
 
Sports Director Sean Yates recognizes that Majka’s mechanical came at a bad time.
 
“It was a tough race. Roman was strong, Kiserlovski was up there and Rafal Majka had some bad luck, which cost him quite a lot of energy in trying to get back into the bunch. Valgren and Chris Anker did a good job in bringing him back, while Rovny gave his spare wheel. But Rafal probably spent too much energy on getting back and he wasn’t there in the finale”.
 
“Now we are looking forward to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where Kreuziger indeed stands a good chance. The finish today didn’t really suit him but he got a good result and he showed that he is very fit and very strong. I’m sure that he can perform and he’ll get help along the way from the likes of Majka, Kiserlovski, Boaro and the rest of the group”, finishes Sean Yates.

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