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Alexander Kristoff wins solo

Alexander Kristoff was author of a perfect tactical race in the Scheldeprijs (1.Pro) and offered Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux the sixth victory of the season thanks to a solo effort of more than 7 kilometer.

The Norwegian rider and his teammate Gerben Thijssen were among the fourteen riders who formed the first echelon when crosswinds split the peloton in the open fields in Zealand after only 20 kilometer. Unfortunately, Thijssen didn’t accompany the former European champion because of a crash with 135 kilometer to go.

Thanks to a good collaboration, the leading group managed to keep the chasers at a distance of more than 30 seconds until the local laps around Schoten. Behind the tenacity of the Kristoff group, the chase gave up hope with 40 kilometer to go, enabling the leaders to play a tactical game in the final race hour.

Alexander Kristoff was alone against several teams with stronger numbers and managed the several accelerations well, until he attacked himself on the cobbles of the Broekstraat (650m). He quickly dropped his competitors and started a solo effort of more than 7 kilometer in the rain. 

By crossing the line as a winner, the Norwegian rider broke with the tradition of « world championships for sprinters » in this Scheldeprijs. Kristoff added his name to the palmares of the oldest Flemish classic for the second time after his first win in 2015.

I felt good from the start and once the selection in de crosswinds was made, I never really had to dig deep anymore. I pushed hard in the breakaway to make sure there was no opportunity for other riders to come back. As the other represented teams in the front shared this intention, I was quite confident that we would stay ahead. It was a pity that Gerben Thijssen crashed in the first group, because he protected me well in the beginning of the race. The last lap was tactical with several attacks and I had to react three times to close a gap. In the end I accelerated myself on the cobbles of the Broekstraat, hoping to get away with two or three riders. But nobody followed, I gave everything I had and I won! This is a special victory for me, because it is the first time in thirteen years that I won solo and could enjoy the final kilometer. The team attaches a lot of importance to the Flemish classics, so I'm happy to offer them this success. We knew that we were well armed for the classics and we are proud of what we achieved so far. We work well and we pay attention to details. These small and valuable investments came together and lead to success in Ghent-Wevelgem and this Scheldeprijs. Our season might be a success already, but I'm convinced that Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will only get better and better from now on!

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