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Alexander Kristoff of Katusha was preparing in Harelbeke for Gent-Wevelgem on Friday. He did not want to clash with Fabian Cancellara of Trek Factory Racing and Peter Sagan of Cannondale at E3 Harelbeke. However the organizers of the race wanted the Norwegian winner of Milan-San Remo to participate in the sprint challenge and made him a late addition.
This challenge witnessed groups of four riders combat each other in a knock-out series. They were one-kilometre races which were innovated to entertain the masses of Harelbeke’s Market as they waited for Cancellara, Sagan, Boonen etc. Just as he was meant to be the star, Kristoff was victorious in the challenge.
At Gent-Wevelgem it is easier to get in the front since it’s such a large group but it is harder at E3 Harelbeke since the group that participates is usually small. He will try to attempt both in the coming year. . He was more focused on the vent to take place on Sunday though he was extremely pleased with the occurrence in Harelbeke. He stated that it was his own decision to miss E3 Harelbeke. He hopes to win but will be satisfied with a good performance says the Milan- San Remo winner.
Kristoff has had a very calm air about his victory. Though he claims it was a surprise, a glance through his records will prove that it really wasn’t anything of a surprise. He is aware of the fact that his strengths and weaknesses remain the same. However, the expectations of him have radically increased. He claims he is used to pressure from the team and can bear the external pressures as he really doesn’t think about it all that much. He claims nothing has changed and he is still the same person he was before winning Milan- San Remo. He states that he isn’t the strongest guy in peloton just because he had a good sprint.
Amazing news for Gerrans’ fans- the star Aussie cyclist his once again made his fans proud by winning on his 3rd Down Under Tour title yesterday. Gerrans is the first rider to bag 3 Down Under Tour titles.
Before the 2014 title, Gerrans impressed everybody as Down Under Tour champion twice- one in 2006 & the other in 2011.
The final stage of the race showed up with Gerrans taking a 1-second lead crossing over former Tour France champion Cadel Evans & 5 seconds lead over Italian rider Diego Ulissi.
Gerrans won the prestigious title for his Aussie squad Orica-GreenEDGE and the win was more special given that it came on national day of Australia. The 33-year-old cyclist is naturally elated for his recent feat and more excited as he had the achievement in his own country.
“This is my 3rd Down Under Tour title thanks to my outstanding team”, remarked a very jubilant Gerrans while asked to speak about his latest title. “It’s an Aussie team, an Aussie day & an esteemed WorldTour championship- what more could anyone ask for?”
Ulissi and Evans both required time bonuses for taking over lead from Simon yet a 3-man breakaway took up the additional seconds available for 2 intermediate sprints across the 85.5 km racing stretch.
Orica Green-EDGE showed tremendous control during the race which has been highly admired by their star rider.
“It was quite a tough race both for me & my mates. It was really hard to reclaim the coveted Ochre jersey once again- what a difficult week”, stressed the new Down Under Tour champion from Adelaide. “I was pretty confident that my mates would be able to wrap up safely and they did it today. I was suspicious that Ulissi might do something until I could cross the line, but thankfully it went just all right.”
Post an amazingly successful 2013, Katie Archibald is all set to try for the winning crown at the upcoming World championships. The young Scot rider has recently shifted her base from Edinburgh to Manchester and is hopeful that her teaming with Brit Cycling would be able to achieve her dream of life.
Apart from the Words, the 19-year-old red head is also on plan to compete in Common wealth Games to be hosted by Glasgow. Archibald has been showing quite a success in the later half of 2013, with 2 medals at Brit Track Championship hosted at September & also set a Scot record in individual pursuit the next month.
However, her 2013 achievements do not end here. The Edinburgh cyclist has also assisted all-conquering Britain team pursuit team to land up with gold medal in European Championships as well as achieve silver & bronze medals at Manchester World.
“The greatest thing is getting selected for World Championships. Besides, since it’s a year of Commonwealth Games, it would be tough to ignore it”, noted Archibald. The Scot was declared as SSE Next Genre Ambassador in summer last year.
Currently Katie is in Manchester as a participant of British Cycling Olympic Academy program & apart from Glasgow Commonwealth, the young Scot is insistent on riding in team pursuit at world Championships for Britain. The World Championship is to be held at Colombia soon.
The Olympic Program is surely something really phenomenal for Archibald as she is getting a wonderful opportunity to train alongside British cycling stars like Dani King & Laura Trott.
“To represent my country at that premier level had always been my goal since my initial years with cycling. But they won’t be making any announcement about the team till the month of May”, remarked Archibald stressing on her lifetime dream to represent Scotland at Worlds.