Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) claimed the second stage of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde after a day full of echelons. The Norwegian outsprinted Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) in Koksijde.
Philippe Gilbert leads now Matthias Brandle (Trek-Segafredo) by 50 seconds with Kristoff third overall at 1min07s.
The win came from a reduced group of riders who broke away on a windy day for the 192.9k course that began in Zottegem. Second and third places were earned by Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Marcel Kittel of Quick-Step Floors, all on the same time of 4:37:29.
“I sort of led out myself for the sprint. I was afraid with the headwind I would be too slow so I sped up slightly all the way and when I saw the others guys coming I was able to sped up more. It was a hard sprint in the headwind but in these smaller sprints without the trains it is more man-against-man and they usually suit me quite well,” said Alexander Kristoff.
“It’s nice to win today. The parcours was a little bit easier so the sprinters were better. I was there with Marcel Kittel in the first group so I was not sure I could beat him as he is usually a bit faster than me. But after a hard race and without the big lead outs, we had our chance today and I was happy to see that I could hold them behind me and take the win today. You take what you can in cycling. If I cannot win on Sunday I will still always have this nice victory from today but I hope I have the shape on Sunday and I can fight for something”.
Three Days of De Panne 2017 – stage 2 results (Zottegem – Koksijde):
|1||Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|2||Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)|
|3||Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)|
|4||Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|5||Andrea Guardini (UAE Team Emirates)|
|6||Maxime Vantomme (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect)|
|7||Adrien Petit (Direct Energie)|
|8||Coen Vermeltfoort (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij)|
|9||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept)|
|10||Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport)|
General classification after stage 2:
|1||Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors)|
|2||Matthias Brandle (Trek-Segafredo)|
|3||Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|4||Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)|
|5||Pim Lightart (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij)|
|6||Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)|
|7||Maxime Vantomme (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect)|
|8||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept)|
|9||Boy Van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo)|
|10||Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)|