In a repeat performance from 2014, Team KATUSHA?s Alexander Kristoff won again on Sunday in the one-day Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt, sprinting in for the victory after just over five hours of racing. It was the seventh win for Kristoff in the 2016 racing season.
– This was my first race in some time and I was not quite ready for it, just like in 2014 when I also won. I am in the process of building up my training for later results, so it is logical that I had it hard in the first part of the race. I suffered from cramping on some of the local laps and was dropped on the climbs ? and two times Slava Kuznetsov brought me back, one time all by himself. He did an amazing job. In the end, I was still there and could be patient. Slava brought me to the front in the last kilometer and then Alexey Tsatevich took over. He did a perfect lead out for me. It was hard with the head wind. I was afraid I had started too early, but I kept my speed until the end, – said team leader Alexander Kristoff.
Joining Kristoff on the podium in Frankfurt were Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (Etixx ? Quick Step) and Sam Bennett of Bora-Argon. KATUSHA teammate Tsatevich was 12th.
– This was a nice race for the team. Everyone stuck to the plan we made before the race. There was a lot of pressure on Alexander so it was an important day. Matvey Mamykin did a great race. He showed us the perfect attitude for such a young guy and went away in the hilly German region with 9 others. In the end the race was like we hoped with a maximum of 30-40 riders left to sprint. Tsatevich and Kuznetsov did a great job in the last 5 km. It was nice to work with this group, ? said sports director Torsten Schmidt.
At 206,8 km the route began in Eschborn and featured four local laps to include the Mammolshain climb. Team rider Matvey Mamykin was part of the early break of six riders. The group was allowed an advantage, but never more than 1:30, before escapee Bjorn Thurau (Wanty) tried his luck in a solo attack. The move wasn?t long-lived under the control of Team KATUSHA, who worked to put Kristoff in position to sprint. Many attacks came in the final hard laps, including a final try by David De la Cruz (Etixx ? Quick Step) that was finally brought back with 13 km to go. A reduced field remained for the final sprint won by Kristoff.
Alexander Kristoff will next race in the Amgen Tour of California. Asked if he feels a lot of pressure for California, the successful sprinter claims he has it under control.
– No, on the contrary. I prefer to have the stress now rather than later in the season, – concluded Alexander Kristoff.