After what he admits was a disappointing Tour de France, Alexander Kristoff sprinted to his first victory since May in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.
“It was great to win here,” said Kristoff. “After the disappointment of the Tour it’s really nice to bounce back and win in London.”
Kristoff’s Katusha-Alpecin team worked tirelessly to bring back a two-man breakaway, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step). They barely made the catch in time, waiting until the final kilometer of the 187km race.
“The team did amazing work today, especially Nils [Politt] to pull back those guys. There were not many teams who wanted to work with us so we did the main job and pulled it off at the end,” Kristoff added.
Then, the Norwegian accelerated off of Sam Bennett’s (Bora-Hansgrohe) wheel and sprinted to victory.
Behind, Magnus Cort Neilsen (Orica-Scott) rode a tenacious sprint to come past Sunweb’s Michael Matthews to claim second place. Matthews ended up third on the day.
“It was a really hard race today,” said Cort Neilsen. “I felt I was close at the end, and I really wanted to win, but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll feel pleased with second.”
Matthews, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as satisfied with his podium result.
“To be honest I felt really bad out there all day,” said the 26-year-old Aussie. “It was not my best day on the bike; I couldn’t do anything.
“I tried to have an easy week after the Tour and I wanted to be really good this weekend, but I guess I’ve still got it in my legs.”
1. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Katusha-Alpecin) in 4h 5min 42sec
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN/Orica-Scott) s.t.
3. Michael Matthews (AUS/SunWeb) s.t.
4. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/Cannondale-Drapac) s.t.
5. Wouter Wippert (NED/Cannondale-Drapac) s.t.
6. Jempy Drucker (LUX/BMC Racing Team) at 0:01
7. Zakkari Dempster (AUS/Israel Cycling Academy) s.t.
8. Sam Bennett (IRL/Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
9. Rudy Barbier (FRA/AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
10. Oliver Naesen (BEL/AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.