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The Relentless Reign of Kristoff

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Apr 8, 2015 – Norway’s Alexander Kristoff continued his recent purple patch as he won Wednesday’s 200km semi-classic Scheldeprijs race from Antwerp to Schoten in Belgium.

AFP/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad

It was the 26-year-old’s third win in a week having triumphed in the prestigious Tour of Flanders on Sunday and won Three Days of De Panne last week, claiming victory as well in three of the four stages.

The Katusha rider’s season also saw him finish second in Milan-San Remo and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March, behind respectively John Degenkolb and Mark Cavendish. And although he himself has played down his hopes, he will likely be installed as the favorite for this weekend’s Paris-Roubaix cobbled classic.

Kristoff’s season has also seen him win three stages at the Tour of Qatar and one each at the Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice. A massive crash in the sprint finish took down a huge number of riders at high speed.

But Kristoff was amongst a small band of about 20 to avoid the carnage and contest the victory, with the Norwegian proving too strong for the rest. With the likes of Italian sprinter Elia Viviani going down in the crash, Belgian Edward Theuns took second and Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus finished third.

The previous three years Scheldeprijs had been won by the man widely believed to be the best sprinter of the moment, Germany’s Marcel Kittel, winner of four stages in each of the last two editions of the Tour de France.

Results
1. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/Katusha) 5hr 3min 52sec
2. Edward Theuns (BEL) same time
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR) s.t.
4. Marc Sarreau (FRA) s.t.
5. Danny van Poppel (NED) s.t.
6. Matteo Trentin (ITA) s.t.
7. Nicolas Marini (ITA) s.t.
8. Michael Van Staeyen (BEL) s.t.
9. Tyler Farrar (USA) s.t.
10. Christoph Pfingsten (GER) s.t.