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press releases 25.05.2014, 20:52
Tour of Norway. Alexander Kristoff takes final sprint victory

Team Katusha ended the Tour of Norway 2014 with a very nice victory, taken by its leader Alexander Kristoff, who took the win in the sprint from the leading group in the final stage of the race.

- It was a very tough and unpredictable stage. When Paterski and some other riders attacked on the final climb, I tried to answer, but I couldn’t catch them immediately. I spent a lot of power to get to this leading group and I did it with 500 meters to go. I was unsure about my possibilities in the sprint after that, but finally I found enough energy and gave my all at the finish line. It was enough for the victory, - explained Alexander Kristoff.

The 5th stage started in Gjovik and finished in Eggemoene 167 km later. Almost the entire stage was in the rain, which added some difficulties for the riders. For a long time the breakaway did not manage to go away. Only after Alexander Kristoff won the first intermediate sprint, the break of 7 riders finally was created, taking a good advantage.

The peloton started working well and almost all riders from the break were caught by the main group entering in the final circuit at the airport of Eggemoene near of Honefoss. With two laps to go on the penultimate climb it was Lars-Petter Nordhaug from Belkin who attacked. He was able to get some space, but on the final lap the peloton with Alexander Kristoff and the yellow jersey Marc De Maar caught him.

On the final climb the attack of Maciej Paterski from CCC Polsat together with some more riders was the crucial one. Katusha’s leader tried to follow them, but was only able to get to the leaders inside the final kilometer. Kristoff did his best and taking a good position in front he did the perfect sprint to take the victory at stage 5. Second place went to Jean-Pierre Drucker from Wanty; third was Gerald Ciolek from MTN-Qhubeka.

- I was strongly motivated for this stage. But it was hard to predict it. Today once again our team did a very good job, especially Marco Haller, who provided me a lot of help in the final part of the race by neutralizing the attacks of the rivals. The finish was a tough one, but I somehow I found some power for the sprint. I am very happy with this victory and it is very pleasant for me to win again at the Tour of Norway. I am in a good shape, exactly at the point I would like to be in my preparation for the Tour de France. Now the Tour des Fjords, my home race, is my next aim, - added Alexander Kristoff.

The winner of the Tour of Norway was Maciej Paterski after his attack in the final kilometers. He won by 3 seconds to Marc De Maar and 9 seconds to Bauke Mollema from Belkin.

Alexander Kristoff finished 27th. In addition, Katusha’s leader won the green jersey of the best sprinter of the Tour of Norway.

- It was a really good race for our team. We won 2 stages, took 2 podium places and the green jersey. I think this is strong result. We have the Tour des Fjords in front of us and we will do everything possible to be successful there too, - said sports director of Team Katusha Torsten Schmidt.

Photo credit: (c) Tour of Norway and Tim De Waele