Fredrik Kessiakoff’s efforts on stage 8 of the Tour de France were rewarded with the lead in the king of the mountains competition and the red dossard of most combative rider. The Astana climber broke from the main peloton and was first at the top of the Cote de Saulcy and Cote de la Caquerelle. Although he could not hold Thibault Pinot on the ascent of the Col de la Croix he still picked up 8 points and at the finish in Porrentruy leads Sky’s Christopher Froome by a single point in the mountains competition.
Two years ago it looked as though Fredrik Kessiakoff’s career on the road was all but over. Having been released one year into his deal with Garmin-Transitions the Swedish rider found himself scrambling for a contract with little time to spare. Having only turned to the road in 2009 and with only a few minor results to his name Astana came to the rescue, although Garmin were helpful in his search.
Last year Kessiakoff reminded everyone of his talent with overall victory in the Tour of Austria and briefly looked like a GC contender in the Vuelta until illness ruled him out of the running.
Competing in his first Tour and with Astana still searching for a stage win in the Tour since Alexandre Vinokourov Revel stage win in 2010, Kessiakoff’s performance briefly looked good enough. In this video for Cyclingnews Kessiakoff talks about his solo bid for the stage, his chances of keeping the polka-dot jersey and his Astana team.