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World Championships

The indestructible Alexander Kristoff finishes sixth

Alexander Kristoff took sixth place at the Road World Championships in Wollongong this Sunday, the best result ever for a rider of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the elite category. 

The race started in a traditional way with an initial early breakaway, until the French team accelerated on Mount Keira, isolating a group of 30 riders with Lorenzo Rota (Italy), Tadej Pogacar or Wout Van Aert.

Thanks to the work of the teammates of Georg Zimmermann (Germany), the dangerous counterattack was caught after the entry of the local circuit in Wollongong. Taco Van der Hoorn (The Netherlands) then took the lead of the peloton, controlling the gap to the breakaway of sixteen riders for more than two hours.

With three laps to go, or 75 kilometer, a new counterattack of twenty riders with Rota, Quinten Hermans (Belgium) and his compatriot Remco Evenepoel managed to escape. This group rapidly took a one minute gap on a disorganized peloton, that kept on loosing time.

With Evenepoel making his decisive attack, Lorenzo Rota battled in the first chasing group in the final race hour. He was in contention for a medal for a very long time, but in the end the peloton caught the Italian rider in the final kilometer. Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff managed to sprint to sixth place.

« In the final of this hard race we were convinced that we were racing for the top 30. In the final kilometers the French team did a lead out for Christophe Laporte, followed by Matteo Trentin, Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews and myself. In the last hectometers we caught several groups, riders were literally everywhere so there was no room to sprint. My sixth place came out of nothing, because only after the finish I heard that we sprinted for the medals. It’s a pity that I couldn’t do the sprint as I wanted, with some more luck I maybe could have won a medal. But I’m satisfied about my performance. Also here on this hard course in Australia I showed that I’m able to achieve a good result at the World Championships. I’m now looking forward to my next race, Binche-Chimay-Binche, a race which is equally highly regarded by the partners of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux! »

« It is difficult to describe what happened in the final. Without radios nobody in the chasing group really had an idea about the time gaps. So each of us played a little, we waited. In the end, the peloton came back in the final kilometer. It is regrettable because a medal was within reach. It is even more a pity because my legs was good. Despite everything, with two riders in the top ten we showed that Italy is always stronger when we race united. After seven years as a professional rider I finally received the chance to represent the Squadra Azzurra. I think I honored this confidence today. »

« I'm very happy that together we managed to offer Belgium the world title, that's what we came for! The Belgian team did a fantastic race. We even almost finished with two riders on the podium. We were always there where we had to be. First, when the French team accelerated on Mount Keira like we predicted. We had three riders in the front and from there, Stan Dewulf took control. With three laps to go, Remco Evenepoel and I accelerated on Mount Pleasant, catching Pieter Serry. We continued showing to the other countries that we had everything under control. Finally Remco showed what he had in his legs and behind I only had to neutralize the counterattacks. I'm happy that I accomplished my mission! »

General Classification


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