Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) presented with the winner's trophy on the podium at the GP Frankfurt
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Norwegian spoils Degenkolb's home race
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) notched his first win since claiming victory at the Milano-San Remo in March by beating John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) at the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt.
Kristoff had enjoyed a small period off the bike after a long Classics campaign and spoiled the party in Frankfurt for Degenkolb whose wife, Anna, organises the race.
"I never expected this before the race. I have to be honest, after Paris-Roubaix I took a well-deserved break and these past few days, I just did long distance trainings plus I had a travel day yesterday. On the bike didn't even feel so good in the beginning," Kristoff said.
Praising his team, Kristof added: "But then when you see your teammates doing a perfect job...the only thing I had to do was to follow. So in the end I started to feel better and better.
"Moreover I never start in a race with the idea that I will not finish. I will always do the sprint and when I had such a perfect train in front of me, it was my duty to try to win. I am really happy to put my name on the winners list."
It was in the rain that Kristoff won his first monument when he beat Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) at La Primavera and in Frankfurt, Kristoff once again prevailed in the tough conditions with a well-timed sprint.
"I started my sprint at 300 meters from the finish [and] the last 200 meters I was already in pole position and constantly taking all the wind, but I felt strong. Most likely John Degenkolb was a bit more tired. He was the local favourite and everybody was watching him," said Kristoff.
"In the end he had to work himself too, thanks to the perfect job of Kolobnev who attacked earlier. A perfect day and again a win in the rain. The roads were sometimes very slippery but we managed to survive. We even did more..."
For team director Claudio Cozzi it was another good day racing that culminated in the team’s fifth victory of 2014 and Kristoff’s third.
"Our team was the best and I am so proud of all our guys," said Cozzi. "They all had a part in the success of Alexander. We played it tactically very well and let Giant-Shimano do the big chasing work in the peloton the entire day, since we had a strong Eduard Vorganov in the break through the Taunus Mountains.
"How nice is this to beat John Degenkolb in his home country. And just as last year with Simon Spilak, we have the winner on a strong Frankfurt palmarès."
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