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t-72

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Re: Eschborn - Frankfurt
« on: May 01, 2018, 19:28 »
This year some of the streets really looked like a festival, so I'll have to take back some words said earlier, wash my mouth etc
What does not change so much from year to year is the winner. It is

#uae ALEKSANDER KRISTOFF #champeu of course :D


This year, in pre-race interviews, when questioned about the route changes, Kristoff said something like as far as he could see, the organizers had done everything they could to make it impossible for him to win a 4th time (and 4 times in a row!) Yet he somehow managed to extract a win from a very challenging race situation in the last 60 km or so.

The start of the race was very much business as usual, a not-too-strong break spitze group was allowed to go after approx 30 km after a fall in the peloton  hauptfeld reduced the pace.  The gap stayed at about 3 minutes for 130 km oar so. On one of the rounds up the iconic Mammolshain climb the pace was up in the hauptfeld and the gap was cut by 2 minutes in 2 kilometers. This started a very intense tactical race where small chase groups became spitze and then dropped riders.
#katusha had Nils Politt and Simon Spilak up there, but Politt faded - and Kittel was long gone, as usual.
#sunweb was riding strong in the hauptfeld with Geschke, but probably made a big mistake by sending Matthews in a small group to chase down the spitze. That must have cost some.
#quickstep had Laurence De Plus in the spitze group and that was probably defining the final. It is good to see that LDP has recovered from his twin misfortunes in the Lombardia and South Africa, but he was unlikely to win the race and #quickstep would at some point start contributing to the chase in the hauptfeld. Now, there were others like #uae Bystrøm making significant contributions on the front, but #quickstep had Tim de Klerk and then it ended like it usually does, they caught the break, and put Gaviria in position.
:fp for Fernando Gaviria to start his sprint way way too early. He must have been geographically confused, thinking he was closer to the finish than he actually was? Anyway, that set an unusual sprint going with everybody looking a bit like "should we start already now?" look. Aleksander Kristoff usually starts the sprint too early, and benefitted from that kind of training today, as he held on all the way to the line, and got there first,  despite #sunweb Matthews obviously riding faster towards the finish line.


In honorable mentions - that's a good result for #wanty!


After a disappointing spring season that the Kristoff camp seems to think was due to the early season 3 week "grand tour" of sandbox races not being hard enough for Kristoff's preparations[1], and possibly also some weight loss struggles on requests from the team that Kristoff himself was not very much in favor of -  this victory was quite welcome both for Kristoff and #uae. Next year will probably see a tougher spring programme, I guess that means Omloop and K-B-K back on the menu for Kristoff.

 
 1. key races missing from his success years: Tour of Quatar and 3 dagse de Panne
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