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Clasica de Almeria

Alexander Kristoff rewards exemplary teamwork

Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff concluded exemplary teamwork in the Clasica de Almería (1.Pro, 13/02), this Sunday by taking his first victory of 2022 in a bunch sprint and offering the second win of the season for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. 

During the whole race, the Belgian World Team stayed together as a group in the peloton, behind three escaped riders. Frenchman Théo Delacroix and Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn set the pace in the peloton during the first part of the race which contained three climbs: the Alto de Celin, Alto de La Alqueria and Alto de Fuente Marbella. 

The gap with the leading trio remained stable around 4 minutes, until Barnabás Peák and other teams interested by a sprint increased the rhythm. The breakaway was caught with 18 kilometer to go and the teammates of Kristoff started the three local laps close to their sprinter.

Dimitri Claeys and Taco van der Hoorn guided the sprint train towards the front until the final kilometer.  Andrea Pasqualon started his effort with 400 meter to go and made room for the last element of the lead out, Adrien Petit. The Frenchman launched the former European champion to the victory in Roquetas de Mar, his 82nd career win but the first one on Spanish soil.

« I'm very proud on my first victory of the season and the first of my career in Spain. I owe it to the whole team, my teammates were fantastic from the first to the last kilometer. First, to control the gap with the breakaway and then in the technical final. The approach towards the sprint was chaotic because of the headwind. Nevertheless they managed to bring me to an excellent position to start the sprint in the final straight. Sprinting from the lead wasn’t easy with this wind, but luckily my legs were strong enough to take the win and reward my teammates. Last season I won twice, so this gives me a lot of confidence for the classics and other races, starting with the Volta ao Algarve next week. »

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