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Circuit Franco-Belge

Kristoff wins with panache and determination

Alexander Kristoff offered Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux an impressive victory at home this Wednesday in the Circuit Franco-Belge. After the start in Tournai, the riders had to accomplish 75 kilometer before arriving on the local lap in La Louvière, which had to be covered four times.

It was at the entry of the local circuit that the battle began in the peloton and the early breakaway was caught with two laps to go.

After the crash of Biniam Girmay, the World Team was represented by the six other riders in the reduced peloton. Loïc Vliegen then escaped with Baroncini on the Côte du Bois de Breucq.

A group of around twenty riders joined Vliegen with 20 kilometer to go, among whom Alexander Kristoff. The Norwegian rider then attacked alongside Van Gestel and De Buyst.

The trio fought with a 15 second gap, with the presence of the teammates of Kristoff slowing down the pursuit in the peloton. Only Victor Campenaerts managed to join the leaders on the last climb 3 kilometer before the finish.

With courage, the former European champion answered an ultimate attack just before the red flag. The Norwegian rider managed to overtake Campenaerts, with power, achieving his 85th professional victory. It is the 21st victory of 2022 for the team.

« I had to dig deep when Campenaerts made the junction and immediately attacked 2 kilometer before the finish and also when he launched the sprint from far. But I still had the power to follow him and to pass him in the final meters. I'm so happy to offer this victory to the team, the sponsors and the fans, because we're at home. Since the Tour de France, my condition is improving and this resulted in a third place last Sunday and a victory today. Now I'm traveling to Munich for the European championships. The parcours will be less challenging than today and the pure sprinters will probably fight for the starred jersey. In my opinion, riders like Merlier and Jakobsen are the men to beat, and that's what I'll try to do. »

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