Alexander Kristoff loves racing the Tour of Flanders. He won the monument in 2015, and he has finished in the top-five no less than seven times out of his nine starts at the race.
On the heels of his teammate Biniam Girmay winning Gent-Wevelgem, Kristoff comes into Flanders Sunday as the team leader for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.
At Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, VeloNews spoke to Aloïs Gevaert, mechanic for Intermarché and owner of Geal Cycling, about Kristoff’s bike and how the team uses not only wax on the chain, but sometimes a bit of oil on top of the wax if there is rain in the forecast.
Normally it is only one or the other with wax and traditional lubricants.
In order to apply wax to a chain, the chain must be exceptionally clean and dry. Chain lube is less finicky in how it can be applied, but professional mechanics always clean drivetrains, religiously, regardless.
For the Intermarché drivetrains, the wax is a given — applied first — and then a wet lube may be added right before the start.
“For Sunday [at the Tour of Flanders] we will start with a wax of Finish Line,” Gevaert said. “If and when it rains we put a small layer of wet oil from Finish Line to defy the rain because with wax we find that the gear shifting in rain is not ideal.”
Having been racing since 2006, Kristoff is not a favorite for Sunday, but the 34-year-old Norwegian shouldn’t be counted out. He found his way to the win this year at the Clasica de Almeria.
Alexander Kristoff’s Cube Litening C:68X at the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen Wednesday. Like his teammate Biniam Girmay, Kristoff has a pro-only ICR Aero Cockpit System that measures 140mm by 38cm. (The longest stock cockpit is 120mm with a 44cm bar.)
Kristoff might not be the first name on the favorites list for Flanders, but he shouldn’t be counted out.
Prologo’s Scratch M5 saddle comes in a variety of configurations, including those with tiny grippers on the shell and a cutout. Kristoff prefers the basic model.
Kristoff’s 54-tooth big ring bears a bit of wax residue ahead of the Dwars start.
Wax is a faster option than an oil-based lube because it operates with less friction, but it’s not as long lasting. Gevaert said Intermarché will add oil on top of the wax when it rains.
CeramicSpeed provides its oversized pulleys to further reduce drivetrain friction.
Wax or oil? Both, says Intermarché.
The 5’11” Kristoff races a 54cm frame.
Continental’s new Grand Prix 5000s TR tubeless tire has quickly found popularity in the WorldTour peloton. Like many teams, Intermarché is racing 28mm tires for the classics.
Kristoff slams his saddle forward on his Litening C:68X.
The German Newmen wheels are the stock Cube option.