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Volta ao Algarve

Kristoff third in a turbulent sprint

The first stage in the Tour of Algarve (2.Pro, 16-10/02) ended after 200 kilometer in a bunch sprint in Lagos this Wednesday.  The victorious sprint train from the Clasica Almeria from last Sunday was present at the start and again protected its leader Alexander Kristoff.

Aimé De Gendt represented Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the lead of the peloton chasing the four riders in the early breakaway. The escapees were caught with 30 kilometer to go and what followed afterwards was a nervous final with several crashes and splits in the peloton because of the crosswinds. But the selection directed by Hilaire Van der Schueren and Aike Visbeek were continuously positioned in the front and avoided the hurdles.

Thanks to the work of his teammates, Kristoff was again one of the contenders for the victory in the final hectometers. The former European champion launched his effort on the left side of the road and even though he was boxed in next to the barriers, the Norwegian rider finished on the podium in a turbulent sprint.

« I received a new important role within the team and this position in the sprint train of Alexander Kristoff gives me a lot of satisfaction. Today we extended our sprint plans with the goal of making the final hard, because we expected damage in the peloton on this parcours and with the presence of a strong wind. As we were well prepared and worked together as a team, we had no problem in the crosswinds and preceded several crashes. But not everything went perfect in the final, as a rider in front of us didn’t follow the sprint train of Fabio Jakobsen on the last roundabout. I made a nice effort to bring Alexander back in the slipstream of the leading four riders with 300 meter to go. I saw him sprinting faster than the others, until he flirted with a crash against the barriers. This Friday we will again line up with the clear ambition of winning the stage. »


1.Fabio JakobsenQuickStep - Alpha Vinyl5:16:44
2.Bryan CoquardCofidis+0

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