Kristoff secures 13th victory of the 2015 season in Norway
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) secured his 13th win of the season and second in a row at the Tour of Norway during stage 2 on Thursday. For the second consecutive stage, the Norwegian out sprinted Australia's Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge). He is currently leading the overall classification by eight seconds with three stages remaining.
"Sven Erik [Bystrøm] was in perfect position for the last few kilometres and then we had Marco [Haller] and Jacopo [Guarnieri] after him – at these speeds they were more than enough," Kristoff said. "I think I started my sprint at 150 metres to go at 70km/h so there was no problem. There were many teams interested in bringing up their guys. I had a perfect lead out and could control it but these downhill sprints are a little bit dangerous to be in the front. We were the first team into the finish line but I was happy no one else came really fast from behind."
Kristoff's long list of results this season includes stages at the Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice. He also won the Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs and the overall title at Three Days of De Panne.
CCC Sprandi and Wanty-Groupe Gobert secure Tour de Suisse wildcards
Tour de Suisse organisers announced on Thursday that they have granted wildcard invitations to Professional Continental teams CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Wanty-Groupe Gobert for his year's WorldTour event from June 13 to 21.
In an official press release, organisers noted that CCC Sprandi Polkowice could field Poland's Maciej Paterski, who won a stage at the Volta a Cataluyna, and veteran Italian racer Davide Rebellin. "Tour de Suisse is one of the most prestigious stage races in the calendar," said director Piotr Wadecki. "It belongs to the UCI WorldTour, and for many riders it is the final test prior Tour de France. That's why we can expect that the level of racing will be extremely high. We had a chance to take part in this event last year, and we are very proud that we will be able to race in Switzerland also this season."
Wanty-Groupe Gobert could field Belgians Bjorn Leukemans and Jérôme Baugnies as well as Italians Enrico Gasparotto and Marco Marcato.
The rosters have not been finalised and will be announced in early June.
Defending champion Theo Bos sidelined from World Ports Classic due to injury
MTN-Qhubeka will line up at the start of the two-day UCI 2.1 World Ports Classic on Saturday without defending champion Theo Bos. The Dutchman recently crashed during the third stage of the Tour of California and had to abandoned the race all together.
Last year, Bos was third in the opening stage of World Ports Classic from Rotterdam to Antwerpen, and then placed second in the second stage from Antwerpen to Rotterdam, where he won the overall title and the points classification.
At this year's World Ports Classic, Andy Stauff will lead the team, which also includes Gerald Ciolek, Matt Goss, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Youcef Reguigui, Adrien Niyonshuti and Matt Brammeier. Stauff was fifth overall last year.
"We must score this weekend as a lot of our riders need a result," said director Michel Cornelisse. "The Tour of California did not go as well as what we had hoped and so now it is time that we take our revenge. Our boys our hungry and ready to race."