Dubai, UAE, March 31, 2018: UAE Team Emirates’ European Champion Alexander Kristoff is hoping he can cause an upset at the upcoming Tour of Flanders and rediscover the form that saw him win the 2015 edition. The Norwegian has finished in the top 10 in each of his last five appearances in this race and goes into it with hopes of replicating his early season form that saw him pick up stage wins in the Tour of Oman and the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Kristoff will be joined by team mates: Ben Swift, Filippo Ganna, Marc Marcato, Oliviero Troia, Simone Consonni and Sven Erik Bystrøm. The riders have had the opportunity to gel over the past week, having competed in the recent classics in Belgium.
Commenting on Sunday’s race, Kristoff said; “I won't be the favourite for the Tour of Flanders, but in the recent classics here in the north I was able to push my level higher, so I hope to be one of the protagonists in the upcoming race. It doesn't matter that I’ll arrive in Flanders without any 'big' wins because this is 'the race' and anything can happen.'
The 2018 Tour of Flanders is one of the most prestigious races on the UCI World Tour calendar. This year’s 267km route from Antwerp to Oudenaarde has been increased by 7km compared to last year’s course, becoming the longest edition of the tour since 2001. Flanders is synonymous for its short but steep climbs across the challenging cobblestone roads, with 18 climbs – the majority of which come in the final 150km – almost identical to last year. As the race unfolds, the peloton will have to manage the breakaway carefully as history shows this race is most often contested in the final km’s by a group of three or less riders.
UAE Team Emirates’ participation on the UCI World Tour gives the local community the opportunity to come together and support world-class athletes as they aim to become one of the top cycling teams on the tour.