News: Home win for Kristoff


Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff takes close sprint on home soil after stage 1 of the Arctic Race of Norway

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News: Home win for Kristoff


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Team Press Release

KATUSHA’s Alexander Kristoff opened up the 4th Arctic Race of Norway with an exciting sprint win in Rognan, marking the 20th win of the 2016 cycling season for the team. Just edging out John Degenkolb by half a wheel width, it was a solid return to form for the Norwegian sprinter on his home soil.

– I was hoping to win and I managed to get it but I think I was a bit lucky because at the end I lost my teammates. I came on the wheel of Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) and he timed the sprint perfectly but lucky for me he had some technical issues with his gears jumping and I managed to pass him. I think actually I would have had trouble passing him if he had a smooth sprint, – said Alexander Kristoff, who chalked up his ninth win of the year, his most recent victory coming last May in the Amgen Tour of California.

Coming into the technical finish, Kristoff found himself without his lead-out men, but managed to place himself behind Degenkolb for the sprint. Kristoff came around to Degenkolb’s left to earn the win with Danny van Poppel of Team Sky rounding out the daily podium. The reduced group sprint for the 176km stage from Fauske to Rognan averaged 42.234km/h for a time of 4:10:01. … continued after advert


“I felt quite good today. After the Tour I was sick for one week so I’ve only done one week of training so I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but my body felt quite light. I lacked a little bit of speed in the sprint but I hope it will come and I will be ready for tomorrow, – said Kristoff.

With the win he also takes the first race lead and will wear the leader’s jersey for Friday’s stage 2. He currently leads Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo) by three-seconds and Degenkolb by 4-seconds on the classification. Kristoff also leads in the points competition.

A break of six riders were the breakaway of the day, holding almost seven minutes along the way. Eventually teams worked to bring them back with the last rider pulled in near 5km to go to set the stage for the mass sprint won by Kristoff. “We didn’t want to use the team to pull for the entire day, so we used a few guys to help control. When I saw other teams come forward the gap came down fast and with 30km to go I felt confident we had it under control and would bring them back” said Kristoff.

“Normally this race is a little bit too hard for me on stage 3 and we have Rein Taaramäe here who won last year so I think he will be better come stage 3, but I will try to win the stage again tomorrow and then on the last day. For stage 3 I will try to minimize my losses. If it’s a head wind on the climb it’s possible” explained Kristoff.

Stage 2 on Friday is the longest of the four days at 198km. It begins in Mo I Rana and ends in Sandnessjøen. Along the way are 3 rated climbs but it should end in a group sprint.



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