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"If I could choose, I’d choose to win on the Champs-Elysées but of course, it’s nice to beat Kittel here. It gives me the confidence that I can beat him."

Photo: ARN/P.Perreve






15.08.2014 @ 22:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

A month ago Alexander Kristoff was beaten by Marcel Kittel in the final stage of the Tour de France. Today he got his revenge in the second stage of the Arctic Race of Norway but admitted that he would have preferred the victory in Paris.


Team Katusha controlled the race on Friday in stage 2 of the Arctic Race of Norway, setting the stage for a perfect sprint from Alexander Kristoff to take the win and move into fourth place overall.


"It was an uphill finish during the whole final km. Of course it was not really a hard climb, but anyway the finish was tough enough. I had good legs today as well as yesterday. The team worked very well and the guys did everything they could for me. Marco [Haller] led me into the final km, but with 400 meters I still was a little bit inside because of the uphill. But later I found my way on the right side and I started my sprint. Yeah, I am happy to win here in Norway again. Every time it is a pleasure for me. I still have one more chance on the final day because tomorrow will be too hard for me. Anyway I will try to do a strong race, because it could be like training for upcoming races. After some rest after Tour de France step by step I am coming back into good shape," said Alexander Kristoff.


“It was almost a perfect sprint for me. It was pretty chaotic but on the corner Sven [Bystrøm] did a good job. He had to keep me in the front. The team had controlled the race earlier. In the end I was the fastest. With 300 metres to go, I was actually not in the best position so I was a little bit nervous but I could take it. I’m happy. If I could choose, I’d choose to win on the Champs-Elysées but of course, it’s nice to beat Kittel here. It gives me the confidence that I can beat him."


"We knew this stage suited Alex, so the entire team worked hard during the day to lead the peloton, to control the break and to bring Alex to the final km. For us the main thing was to bring Alex to the point at 600 meters to go, because the first 400 meters of the final km were uphill and there were a lot of dangerous corners. We accomplished our mission and with 400 meters to go Alex had a good position. As he prefers, he started his sprint very early, but in the end took a perfect victory. Of course we all are very happy. Tomorrow is a stage with a summit finish. We hope Simon Špilak will attack there for a stage," said sports director Dmitry Konyshev.


Saturday brings a difficult hilltop finish. At 132 km it’s the shortest stage and begins in today’s finish town of Alta, ending in Kvænangsfjellet.



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