Alexander Kristoff: “This was an incredible win. I wanted to win in Stavanger so much as I live here, and I knew the victory is possible today even if the stage was really hard. In the end there were so many attacks that put us under great pressure, but fortunately I was able to win in the end. It was a quick downhill and I started my sprint from the front. To win from the front shows that my form has come along in the Tour des Fjords.”
The main action of the 4th stage of the Tour des Fjords in Stavanger (179 km) started as the riders entered the final circuit in the city. Team Katusha went in front of the peloton just before the first of three main climbs of the day and started to push hard. On the narrow and very steep part of the climb Katusha attacked will all its forces to split the group and to get some space. Finally, a small group of leaders was created around of Alexander Kristoff.
On the descent the leaders were caught by the peloton, but after that, at every new climb the main group was exploded into several pieces. Near 9 km to go the peloton caught Manuele Boaro from Tinkoff-Saxo, the only rider remaining in front of the race from the early breakaway. More attacks split up the group further. Katusha tried to answer to every attack to bring its leader in a good position. With a few kilometers to go after a number of attacks, a new group of 15 riders with Alexander Kristoff and Magnus Cort Nielsen was created.
Just before the finish some riders tried their luck, but finally, everything was decided in the sprint, where Alexander Kristoff took the situation under his full control to get his second victory at the Tour des Fjords 2014.
“We had a plan for today’s stage – to attack with the whole team at the first climb and to try to surprise the rivals. Partially it worked as the group split in several parts”, – added Alexander Kristoff. – “At the second and third climbs our team also was in front and we worked hard to get a gap. There were a lot of attacks – we attacked, our rivals attacked. The final of the race was very tough. But we won, and this is the main thing. Tomorrow we will have the last stage, and the fight for the yellow jersey is still open.”
– I am really happy with the team and with Alexander, who proved to be the real fighter. We had a strategy for today and we tried to do everything possible to follow it. We’ve got a very nice team, which motivates us for further successes, – said sports director of Team Katusha Torsten Schmidt.
After the 4th stage Magnus Cort Nielsen saved his yellow jersey, while Alexander Kristoff moved up to 3rd at just 9 seconds behind the leader. Jérôme Baugnies from Wanty is currently second, 8 seconds down.
Alexander Kristoff holds the green jersey of the points classification.