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Tour des Fjords 2016 Stage 2

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photo credit @ Team Katusha

Team Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff claimed stage two of the Tour des Fjords yesterday, beating race leader Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling) in a mad dash to the line.

Meanwhile, Tinkoff’s Nikolay Trusov rounded out the podium in third place. 

“That was a hard climb at the end and the attacks came quite early,” Kristoff said of the tricky finale in Odda. “I should have tried to follow earlier because afterwards it was more flat, but I ended up doing it at my own speed.

“Nils Politt was the only guy left for me and he was pulling and pulling on the climb. He did an amazing job – he literally pulled for the entire climb. We finally got some help on the downhill, but he was pulling until 2km to go. He did a job by himself equal to a full team; it was amazing.”

“In the sprint I felt quite strong, but I want to emphasize that I never would have come to the sprint without Politt pulling like he did. He brought me into perfect position. To do that alone was impressive. Without him today I would not be standing here as the winner. But also, I want to thank all the team for support today.”

Howard continues to lead the race by two seconds over Kristoff, with stage 1’s runner-up Jesper Asselman (Roompot) in third at 12.

excerpts from Team Katusha…

Perfect work from a teammate and a solid sprint up the middle of the course gave Alexander Kristoff his tenth win of the 2016 season, this one coming on home soil in the 2016 Tour des Fjords with a finish in Odda.

All Team KATUSHA did a great job during the day, protecting Alexander Kristoff from the start. In the second part of the distance Dmitriy Kozonchuk started to work in front of the group, chasing hardly the daily breakaway.

With the break caught at under 10 km to go, attacks came often in the closing kilometers, but coming into the sprint, Kristoff felt plenty of power to take the win on the long 212,5 km stage beginning in Stord. Joining him on the daily podium were Leigh Howard of IAM Cycling and Nikolay Trusov of Tinkoff. Howard leads the GC by 2-seconds to Alexander Kristoff.

In the sprint I felt quite strong, but I want to emphasize that I never would have come to the sprint without Politt pulling like he did. He brought me into perfect position. To do that alone was impressive. Without him today I would not be standing here as the winner. But also, I want to thank all the team for support today, said Kristoff.

The third stage on Friday is the longest of the five-day race. It begins in Ulvik and ends in Suldalsosen at 221 km.

Top 20 Finishers

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 4:46:57
2 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling
3 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
4 Alexander Kamp (Den) Stölting Service Group
5 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Team Roth
6 Jonas Koch (Ger) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
7 Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Oranje Peloton
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
9 Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
10 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
11 Nicolai Brochner (Den) Riwal Platform C.T.
12 Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot – Oranje Peloton
13 Bjørn Tore Hoem (Nor) Team Joker Byggtorget
14 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
15 Benoît Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo – Vital Concept
16 August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Øster Hus
17 Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
18 Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group
19 Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
20 Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team

General classification after stage 2

1 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling 8:13:57
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:02
3 Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot – Oranje Peloton 0:00:12
4 August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Øster Hus 0:00:14
5 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
6 Bjørn Tore Hoem (Nor) Team Joker Byggtorget 0:00:15
7 Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group
8 Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sør 0:00:16
9 Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
10 Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:17
11 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Team Roth 0:00:18
12 Jonas Koch (Ger) Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
14 Alexander Kamp (Den) Stölting Service Group
15 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
16 Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
17 Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Team Joker Byggtorget
18 Benoît Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo – Vital Concept
19 Michael Schaer (Swi) BMC Racing Team
20 Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Oranje Peloton

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