Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Alexander Kristoff came motivated to the one-day Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday and rode away with a win in the sprint with the help of a dedicated team.
“We weren’t able to win at all in the Tour, so we wanted to bounce back today. Today we showed we still have a good level and everybody was committed. I knew this course and knew it suited me quite well,” said Alexander Kristoff, who took third here in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Joining Kristoff on the podium for the 185.9k road race were Magnus Cort Nielsen (ORICA-Scott) and Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb, all on the same time of 4:05:42 (45.397 km/h).
With little cooperation from others and a 15-second gap still in hand at 10k to go, team rider Nils Politt was a driving force at the front of the peloton. Work from KATUSHA ALPECIN finally reeled back the last two survivors of a breakaway with only one kilometer to go.
“The team did amazing work today, especially Nils to pull back those guys. There were not many teams who wanted to work with us so we did the main job and pulled it off at the end,” said Kristoff.
Alexander Kristoff has recovered well from a serious crash in the last week of the Tour de France. With the Tour now in the rear-view mirror, he and his teammates set out to get the win on Sunday. Teammate Mads Würtz Schmidt was part of an early break, allowing KATUSHA ALPECIN to sit in for a time while the race unfolded, with the King of the Mountain classification awarded to him for his efforts. Later when a small gap was holding and the finish line was drawing closer, the team riders went to the front and delivered Alexander Kristoff to the final with precision.
“After my crash in the Tour I did not feel so good and not in training either, but today it was ok. I could not really follow on the climb, but I felt much better than I did at the Tour. I knew I had a good shot and at the end Michael Mørkøv placed me very well for the final and I just had to take it from there,” said team leader Alexander Kristoff.
Photo credit © Tim De Waele