Alexander Kristoff, winner seven days ago in Gent-Wevelgem, also finds a place on the podium in the Tour of Flanders, crossing the finish line in Oudenaarde in 3rd position. The Norwegian of UAE Team Emirates, already the 2015 Flanders winner, showed his qualities, experience energy conservation and interpretation of the race. In the chase group of 15, with all the big favourites, he sprinted to the front for third.
Alberto Bettiol (Ef Education First), who made an attack in the third and last passage on the Oude Kwaremont (-18 km), won and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step), anticipate the main group in view of the last kilometre. Bettiol won with an advantage of 14 “on Asgreen and 17” on Kristoff (photo Bettini, Kristoff and the winner).
Bystrøm and Gaviria rode in the leading group up until the final 20km (38th for the Norwegian, 78th for the Colombian). Jasper Philipsen crashed mid-race but managed to continue but could not finish.
Kristoff: “It could seem that the race was very tactical but, as far as I’m concerned, it was a race that was always run on the limit.
I came to the foot of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg for the last time with very tired legs and I was a bit surprised to see that I was able to stay with the main group, there I realised that they were all very tired. The situation worked better than I could have imagined and I tried to take advantage of it.
The result makes me happy, I have a good shape, I have high morale after these races, I can count on a team that is racing well and I hope that these conditions will recur in a week in Paris-Roubaix“.