UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff Narrowly Misses Out on a Stage Win in a Tight Sprint Finish
Dubai, UAE, July 21, 2018: UAE Team Emirates set off amongst a depleted peloton of 154 riders for Stage 13 today, taking on a flat 169.5km route from Bourg d’Oisans to Valence. It was a day for the sprinters - who had survived the Alps - to demonstrate their power, and a day for the GC contenders to stay safe and minimise any time loss. Alexander Kristoff did the team jersey proud with a powerful sprint into the wind that earned him a respectable second place finish.
The race unfolded as expected with a breakaway forming after 22kms and being allowed to stretch its lead to 2:20” before gradually being reeled in. Leading the chase was UAE Team Emirates who controlled the peloton by taking on over 35% of the workload from the 70km-90km mark. Alexander Kristoff used the team’s efforts to snatch 11 more green jersey points as he contested the intermediate sprint at Saint Quentin Sur Isere, winning the battle, but crossing the line fifth behind the four man breakaway. The European Champion continued to fight until the end, ensuring he was in good position for a technical run in to the finish line. With 5.6kms to go the final breakaway rider was absorbed into the peloton, the pace increased and the sprint trains began to form. Kristoff saw the moves and sprang into action, bullying his way to the front of the pack. With 200m to go he illuminated the race by forcing a three way sprint with Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ) and Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe). Kristoff timed his attack to perfection, but narrowly missed out on first place by a matter of inches after the World Champion Sagan came round him to cross the line first in 3:45:55.
Commenting on his sprint finish Alexander Kristoff said: “I had a good finish, but unfortunately it was not enough. I tried to keep Sagan behind me, but he’s an unbelievable guy. He’s beaten me like this before and did it again today so I am of course disappointed. I timed my attack perfectly and kept my pace until the finish line, but he [Sagan] was just faster.“
UAE Team Emirates leader, Dan Martin, crossed the line safely with no time loss and has now moved up into 9th position in the overall standings.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s stage, Dan Martin said: “After two weeks of racing tomorrow will be hard, but we’re going to give it a go. It’s always really hot in that area, which suits me as well. That said, I don’t think the GC guys will be racing for the stage win tomorrow. I think it’ll be one for the breakaway.”
Stage 14 sees the peloton ride from Saint Paul Trois Chateaux to Mende - a 188km hilly route that features four categorized climbs. The final 3km climb leads up to the finish and averages 10%, which will be a punishing finale for the puncheurs looking to take stage glory.
Stage 13 Results
1. Peter Sagan (Slo) – BORA-Hansgrohe 3:45:55
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) – UAE Team Emirates “
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) – Groupama FDJ “
29. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates “
General Classification Standings
1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) – Team Sky 53:10:38
2. Chris Froome (GBr) – Team Sky +1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) – Team Sunweb +1:50
9. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates +5:11
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