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European Championships

Alexander Kristoff will try to conquer a second title

This Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be represented by four riders in the road race of the European Championships in Munich. Five years after his success in Herning, Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff will try to conquer a second title on a course suited for sprinters.

In addition to the recent winner of the Circuit Franco-Belge, Aimé De Gendt(Belgium), Barnabás Peák (Hungary) and Boy van Poppel (The Netherlands) are also selected to represent their nation in the Elite Men road race. 

The 209.4 kilometer race is divided in two parts. First, a trajectory of 144.4 kilometer will guide the riders from the start in Murnau am Staffelsee towards the urban circuit in the heart of the metropole. This entirely flat circuit of 13 kilometer will be repeated five times.

The peloton has to cover 1360 climbing meters in total. The Kesselberg (5km at 5.1%), the cobbles of Bad Tölz (0.4km at 5%) and the steep Schlossberg (1km at 10%) are the main difficulties before the entrance of the circuit. 

Since his title, Alexander Kristoff did not miss one edition. He finished eleventh in Glasgow in 2018 and fourth the following year in Alkmaar. It it the second consecutive participation for Barnabás Peák and a first time in national colors for Aimé De Gendt in the pro ranks.

« I am now benefiting from three hard weeks at the Tour de France. My condition is improving and this motivates me. Because after my third place in Leuven and my victory at the Circuit Franco-Belge, there are still a lot of interesting races on my programme. Starting with this Sunday, when I will line up for the European championships with ambition. Since my title in 2017, Italy has won all titles in the road race. I hope to challenge them in their aim to win a fifth consecutive title, however, I think the pure sprinters such as Fabio Jakobsen and Tim Merlier are the men to beat. The parcours is less difficult than the one of my two previous races in Belgium. In order to be able to win it, everything has to go perfect towards the sprint. I'll have to start the final 500 meter in an ideal position and therefore I have strong teammates in the Norwegian selection such as national champion Rasmus Tiller or Anders Skaarseth. We hope that we can use all our manpower in the final, because we won't have to take responsibilities in the peloton. »

« I'm honored with this first chance to represent Belgium in the elite category because I was aiming for it for several years already. This means that also the national coach noticed my work for the leaders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. When looking to the start list for this Sunday it is clear that most of the countries are expecting a bunch sprint in the streets of Munich. I'll be able to use the experience I acquired with the team in the preparation for the sprint in support of Tim Merlier, who will be one of the favorites. » « As an element of the sprint train you need to deliver a very intense effort in the final kilometers. This effort is quite different compared to what I'm used to in the classics, in which you need to survive as long as possible. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux attaches more and more importance to the preparation for the sprint and the team invested in three sprint trains this season. I often raced alongside Biniam Girmay, for example in the Tour of Italy, but also with Alexander Kristoff in one day races such as Eschborn-Frankfurt or the Brussels Cycling Classic. » « Each year I'm looking forward to this period of the season because there are so many races I love and which suit me very well. In 2019 I took my first professional victory in the beginning of September. And exactly one year ago I climbed on the podium in the Druivenkoers and the Brussels Cycling Classic. After the national championships I went to Livigno for an altitude training camp and I resumed racing in the Tour de Wallonie. I'm ready! »


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