Copyright: Team Katusha

It was a flat out fast sprint in Arlanc for Monday’s stage 2 in the 69th Critérium du Dauphiné, with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Alexander Kristoff in the hunt for a big win. The Norwegian rider came off the wheel of teammate Rick Zabel in perfect position, but FDJ’s Arnaud Démare was just a little faster on the 171k course, taking the win by two bike lengths.

“I must be happy that I took a second place. The team did a really good job. Zabel got the lead the last kilometer. I felt quite good despite having had a cold which still lingers. My shape was good before I got sick, but today I felt a bit better and my results prove I’m not that sick now,” said team leader Alexander Kristoff.

Lone breakaway rider Alexey Lutsenko was brought back with 3km to go and the sprint trains went to work for the final. KATUSHA ALPECIN came to the front in fine form, with Zabel the last in the lead-out before Kristoff headed for the line. Today’s results bode well for the remaining chances in the 8-day race.

“In the end this was a good result for Alex. He’s been a little bit sick in the days before this race so he doesn’t start with his best condition. He woke up feeling better today. This is why during the day we did not assume any responsibility for the race. The team did a good job, putting up a perfect lead out but in the last meters Démare was just faster. We will try again tomorrow,” said general manager José Azevedo.