Alexander Kristoff “surprised” to take Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde lead
  April 24, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alexander Kristoff “surprised” to take Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde lead

by Ben Atkins at 1:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Norwegian champion leads both overall and points classifications but would have preferred a stage victory

alexander kristoffAfter his fourth place on stage one, and second place on stage two, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) finds himself in the leader’s jersey of the Driedaagse De Panne after stage one winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) sat up in the final kilometres. The Norwegian champion shares the same overall time as stage one second place Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana), but with the Italian only managing fifth on stage two, Kristoff has the lead by virtue of one finishing position.

While he leads the race however, Kristoff is still searching for his first victory of the season. His only victory in the professional ranks so far has been the national title that he took last June and, after a series of near-misses and podium finished, the 24-year-old is hoping to raise his arms across the finish line soon.

“Actually I'm quite surprised with this leadership,” said the Norwegian after the stage, “anyway I'm obviously very happy to be in first position both in general classification and points ranking.

“I would have been even happier if I won,” he continued. “I went very close to the victory, but Kittel is a great sprinter; he did a perfect sprint while maybe I started a little early, losing some power in the last metres.

“However, today was a really good day for us,” he addd. “All the team was great; we proved we can work very well together, and we can reach some good results. Tomorrow in the morning we will have another chance to try to win and keep the jersey, waiting for the afternoon ITT.”

With so many riders clustered just a few seconds apart heading into day three, the sprinter knows how hard it will be to keep the jersey in the 14.7km De Panne time trial tomorrow afternoon.

“It will be hard to take the overall victory,” he conceded. “We're all very close in general classification, but I'll do my best.”

For Katusha’s directeur sportif Gennady Mikhaylov, today’s stage was another satisfying one for the Russian team, whose riders are going very close in the tough Belgian races. Kristoff’s De Panne performances follow three-time World champion Oscar Freire’s second place in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, and fourth place in Gent-Wevelgem, while Alexander Porsev and Mikhail Ignatiev both took podium places in stages of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen at the beginning of the month.

“I'm pleased with the team's performance,” said Mikhaylov. “Today all our riders worked well for Kristoff, imposing our pace in the last part, so we're satisfied with it.

“It's a pity we didn't take the victory,” he continued. “Maybe Alexander started his sprint too early, but anyways Kittel today was strong and hard to beat. Now we have the leader's jersey; tomorrow in the morning stage we will try to keep it, while in the afternoon ITT…”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC