Report – Kristoff wins Vattenfall Cyclassics


Alexander Kristoff takes second classic of the season in Vattenfall Cyclassics, Mark Cavendish is fifth in bunch kick

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Report – Kristoff wins Vattenfall Cyclassics

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Sunday brought another win for Team Katusha as Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff claimed his fourteenth UCI win of the season by taking the bunch 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, winning decisively from Nizzolo and Gerrans.

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The day’s three-man escape group was little worry to the ProTour teams targeting a bunch run-in, especially with the sheer distance of the parcours that included the steep Waseberg climb (800m and 15%) the peloton negotiated four times.
The breakaway was absorbed the penultimate time up the Waseberg with 29 kilometers remaining, and the steep slope became the launch pad for opportunists.

A small five-rider group slipped off the front, gained 20 seconds, but the peloton was not willing to let the move go. The quartet was brought back in time for the final ascent with 15 kilometers to go, and the fireworks set off again.
The Waseberg was the decisive point of the race, and the fight for the front positions leading into the climb followed by a tricky descent was fierce.

Attacks flew left and right until the final kilometres before the sprint teams began to assume some sort of control. Alexander Kristoff: “I had Marco and Pavel to keep me safe in the closing kilometres. In the last km we were a bit blocked but I managed to get to the front. With 300 meters to go, I was in the first position and so 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 road, 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.

“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.

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Giacomo Nizzolo “Before the last climb, the whole team helped me to stay in the first positions. Danilo was there in the final kilometers, and he did a really great job. In the end I took the wheel of Kristoff, who for me was the favorite for today. I told the guys yesterday, and the day before, that the best guy who is in the best condition for this race was Kristoff, and in the end I was right because he won”.

“What can I say, I always find somebody that is stronger than me, in the Giro, now here. If any of those were a victory, my season would change a lot. But okay, about the legs I can only be happy because two weeks ago I was really dead. When I look back 15 days ago after the virus I got in Wallonie, I can be only happy about the result of today.”
Simon Gerrans – 2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Simon Gerrans rounded out the podium after finishing third. “I felt pretty good from the start which I was surprised about,” Gerrans said. “I had a few days off after San Sebastian just to recover from the Tour de France and that whole block of racing and then did a couple of weeks training up in the mountains. “Hamburg was my first race back since then so it was a really good test actually.”

“I came back down from the mountain only on Thursday so I thought I might be a little bit sluggish for the first half and hope to come good for the final but my sensations were pretty good right from the beginning. I was waiting for the sprint with hopes on maybe finishing top five,” Gerrans said.

“We thought that would be a pretty good result. But we really hit it from the front and the guys did a really good job of putting me in a position to try and run a good place, so I was pretty happy to run third in the end.”

1 Kristoff AlexanderTeam Katusha 5:24
2 Nizzolo GiacomoTrek Factory Racing
3 Gerrans SimonOrica GreenEDGE5
4 Farrar TylerGarmin Sharp
5 Cavendish MarkOmega Pharma – Quick-Step
6 Kittel MarcelTeam Giant-Shimano
7 Cimolai DavideLampre-Merida
8 Lobato Juan JoséMovistar Team
9 Dillier SilvanBMC Racing Team
10 Kreder RaymondGarmin Sharp

20 Thwaites ScottTeam NetApp – Endura
79 Yates SimonOrica GreenEDGE
91 Bauer JackGarmin Sharp 1:30
117 Swift BenTeam Sky

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