Great news for the fans of Alexander Kristoff- the bright Katusha rider out-sprinted Terpstra (Niki) to emerge as the Tour Flanders champion this year.
However, Geraint Thomas, one of the much speculated favourites of the race, unfortunately faded in the last finishing kilometers of the race and ended up with the 14th position.
Kristoff & Niki escaped from the pool of favorites in the last 8 kms & held on till the finish at Oudenaarde post surviving a series of sharp late climbs. The Katusha rider comfortably rode clear in last 200m of the race, claiming his 2nd win in a Monument race. It has been a fantastic season for him so far and the Flanders win marked his 10th victory in this ongoing season.
Greg Avermaet from BMC Racing came up in the 3rd position while Niki was in the 2nd place. Sir Wiggins suffered a bad crash early in the race that bogged him down temporarily with a wrist pain but again he was able to finish the race in 9 minutes 17 seconds in the 87th position.
Kristoff first ever Monument win was last year’s Milan-San Remo.
“I’m really glad to win the race”, stated the thrilled winner.
“It was one of my biggest dreams & one among my major goals this very season & I have been able to fulfill it.”
‘Yes, I did come with Niki”, he continued. “But certainly he did not wish to work in the final stage with me. I feel that I could have beaten him still & I am really glad with my victory. It’s a fantastic feeling. Terpstra went & I am aware that he is one among the dangerous-most guys & I followed.”
Unfortunately, Tour Flanders started with a slightly bitter mood this year given 2 bad crashes wit neutral cars.