UAE Team Emirates’ fine season continued as riders Alexander Kristoff and Rui Costa simultaneously achieved podium finishes at Eschborn-Frankfurt and the Tour of Romandie.
Kristoff secured another podium finish at Eschborn-Frankfurt, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be a fifth successive victory for the sprinter.
A breakaway ruled the early hours of the race, but they were eventually caught by the ferocious pace of the chasing group in the final kilometres. Approaching the closing meters, Kristoff began his sprint, but with 200m to go he bumped against Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe); the collision forced the Norwegian to reset and move towards the centre of the road.
He battled hard with the other sprinters to cross the line in third behind eventual winner Ackermann and second placed John Degenkolb (Trek- Segafredo).
Commenting on the podium finish, Kristoff said: “Today my feelings were not perfect, so much so that on the undulating section, I slipped behind a couple of times.
“I was able to return to the group thanks to the support of Rory Sutherland and (Stake) Vegard Laengen. On the final circuit, I tried to hold on to the sprint, but I wasn’t brilliant.
“It was a pity we didn’t manage to prolong the winning streak in this race but given the feelings I had today, the podium is a good result.”
There was also a podium finish for former world champion, Costa, who is currently competing at the Tour of Romandie.
After a good performance in the prologue – where he picked up 10th place – Costa secured another strong result, placing third on Stage 1; the result promoting him to second place in the General Classification (GC) standings.
Costa said: “I am satisfied with today’s result that came after battling with high-level rider. I tried to make the most of the good work done by my team-mates, who were very alert and kept me protected the whole stage.
“In the sprint, I gave my best, but (Tom) Roglic was very fast. Still, I take a lot of morale from the first two days of the Tour de Romandie.”
UAE Team Emirates has announced it will host an open day as part of its ongoing Youth Academy programme on Saturday, May 4, at Yas Marina Circuit.
The free Youth Academy sessions are aimed at boys and girls aged 8-11 who are interested in learning to ride a bike or improve their bike handling ability.
Lessons are being provided by qualified British and Arabic instructors, covering three core areas of bike familiarisation, bike confidence and bike skills and will culminate in a short time trial course for any riders who wish to race against the clock.
Children are welcome to bring their own bikes and helmets, though all the equipment needed will be available to borrow free of charge.
Representatives from Abu Dhabi Cycling Club will also be on hand to provide any promising young talent with information on how to continue their cycling journey with group rides, fitness training and racing advice.
Date: Saturday, May 4, 4pm-6pm
Location: Yas Marina Circuit (West Gate entrance, Gate 20)
For more information, contact UAE Team Emirates via [email protected]
UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff will look to retain his Eschborn Frankfurt title on Wednesday as he captains a strong line-up of riders hoping to continue the team’s fine run of form.
Kristoff has been one of the team’s best performers over the past two seasons and will be looking to build on his top spot at Gent-Wevelgem and podium place at the Tour of Flanders when he arrives in Germany this week.
Tasked with supporting Kristoff are teammates Roberto Ferrari, Rui Oliveira, Oliviero Troia, Rory Sutherland, Sven Erik Bystrom and Norwegian National Champion Vegard Stake Laengen.
The 58th edition of the race will see the peloton tackle eight categorised climbs over a 187.5km route.
Starting out in the Eschborn suburb of Frankfurt, the riders will head North-West and start the ascent to the first climb at just over 32km.
From there on, it’s a hilly route with relentless climbs for over 100km.
However, should the peloton come over the final climb in a bunch, spectators can expect another thrilling sprint finish, in which UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff has emerged victorious in four of the past five seasons.
Speaking ahead of the race, Alexander Kristoff said: “Four successes in a row make this race a special event for me. I have many great memories that are added year after year. I think I can be so competitive in this race because we usually reach the sprint after a very intense event. I can’t ask for anything better given my characteristics.”
Whilst Kristoff and the team fight for one-day honours in Germany, former world champion Rui Costa will lead a UAE Team Emirates line-up across seven stages at the Tour of Romandie, which gets underway on Tuesday.
The Portuguese man has finished in the General Classification top-10 a remarkable five times, and will be counting on the support of his teammates Simone Consonni, Edward Ravasi, Simone Petilli, Aleksandr Riabushenko, Manuele Mori and Tom Bohli to propel him to another positive result.