Dubai: UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff showed his form is coming to the boil nicely ahead of the UAE Tour by placing second in the Clasica de Almeria behind Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe).
In the closing stages Kristoff latched on to the wheel of Ackermann as the sprint opened up. Ackermann took a big lead and though Kristoff began to claw him back towards the line he was unable to come around the German rider.
Yousif Mirza and Velerio Conti were at the head of the race to close the five-man break in the first half of the route.
The team gathered around Kristoff in the final 40km with Laengen and Bohli tasked with leading out Kristoff in the final 10km which were marked by exposed roads and lots of wind from the coast.
Alexander Kristoff said: “The team did a good job today. When I needed them they were alert when it split up so we were at the front. Going into the final the guys put me into the right position. In the final kilometre I think I did a good job in positioning myself for the sprint and I came onto the wheel of Ackermann in the last 400m. In the end I had the speed but it took me too long to get to maximum speed so he got to the line first. Second place is a good result for me and I’m happy with it but I’ll be looking for the win next week in Algarve.”
1 Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgroe 4h 24m 04s
2 Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
3 Elia Viviani (Cofidis) s.t.