Team News – Kristoff 2nd in Kuurne


Alexander Kristoff is second in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for Katusha winning the group sprint

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Team News – Kristoff 2nd in Kuurne

It was a strong and powerful sprint easily won by Alexander Kristoff at the end of the 200 km Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, but unfortunately it was for second place this time behind a solo win from young Belgian Jasper Stuyven.

– Last year I was also second but I was sprinting for first that time, so this is very different. Stuvyen was very strong out there alone. I thought he would come back but he wanted something else. We did a great chase with other teams, but unfortunately for me we did not catch him, – said Alexander Kristoff after the race.

With 16 km to go, Stuyven put in what looked like a trial attack, but with no strong immediate response the Trek-Segafredo rider committed to his effort and time trialed to the finish line to win by 17-seconds. Kristoff’s group was quickly closing the gap, but it was too late to earn the victory when Alexander came around the group to claim second place in front of Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis. The winning time was 4:53.50.


– It was a very hard race, maybe a little harder than usual because the wind was quite strong. When the attacks came in the last part I was not in ideal position so I had to chase from behind, which was OK because many teams were in the same situation as we were. There was just one guy too strong for us today. I found myself always a little bit too weak in the important moments until the end in the sprint, when I felt good. But, of course, it was not for the win, – continued Kristoff.

The cold and windy day saw a break go clear near the race start with various groups forming up behind for the chase, including the group with Kristoff. Alexander put his men on the front: Sergey Lagutin, Vladimir Isaychev, Alexey Tsatevich and Nils Politt joined at times by other teams with similar interest in seeing a sprint finish, doing a great job in front and hoping for a final bunch sprint. But the solo attack from 23-year old Stuyven mostly went unanswered and gave the motivated young rider enough of an edge to take the win and lay claim to the traditional stuffed donkey presented on the podium.

– I’m still a little bit behind in my race form, but I will race in Paris – Nice and then the week after that I hope to be in top form, – concluded Alexander Kristoff.



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