“The plan all day was to try to manage on the climb as best as possible, and then try to come back in the last five kilometres because the road was flat. The tactic from us was for the whole team to stay around me,” Kristoff said. “At the end, if it’s a big group ahead they won’t always work too well together. They might look at each other and that way we had a chance to come back. Everything worked out perfectly for us, because we also had a headwind on the hardest part of the climb today. A lot of factors went our way.”
He took the victory ahead of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).
In seven days, it is time for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Kristoff downplays his chances of winning, and instead suggested that new signings Baptiste Planckaert and Tony Martin might lead the Katusha challenge.
“In Omloop I’m never good,” he said. “We have Baptiste, who has this as a main target. Ok, if I’m there at the end, he can do a lead-out for me, but until that point, he can do what he wants.”