LEUVEN / OSLO (VG) Alexander Kristoff (34) failed to get involved in the close match, but Markus Hoelgaard (26) impressed greatly and was the only Norwegian to take part in the gold match when Julian Alaphilippe (29) defended the Gold of the World Cup.
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After a tough ride, a group of 17 cyclists entered the destination city of Leuven for the last two laps. Towards the end of the penultimate round, Julian attacked Alaphilippe and quickly got a good hatch.
The Frenchman, who also won the joint World Cup start in 2020, stayed away in the final round and achieved his second World Cup gold. Thus, in Australia next year he will have the opportunity to do like Peter Sagan, who won the joint World Cup exit three years in a row from 2015 to 2017.
In the battle for the other medals, a group of four runners got away, and in the race, Dutchman Dylan van Baarle won silver just ahead of Dane Michael Valgren. Hoelgaard tried to collide with the group on the last lap but never made a full recovery and was picked up by several drivers again towards the end. The Norwegian finished in twelfth place, 1.18 behind Alaphilippe.
Alexander Kristoff finished several minutes ago and is currently not in goal.
Alexander Kristoff (34) was named leader of the Norwegian national team during the joint outing of the men’s World Cup in Belgium. The Norwegian had been in the top eight in the last five joint World Cup starts he had run, with silver at home in Bergen in 2017 as his best result, before Sunday’s race.
Rogalendingen has had a turbulent season, but has shown signs of moving up to the World Cup. However, there was another rogalending that was going to play the lead role on Sunday.
Already 180 kilometers from the finish, the first attacks came from the big teams, and finally a 15-runner break was established. Markus Hoelgaard did well with that, in a group that stayed in front of the field for forty miles.
Alexander Kristoff fell off the field at the time, but came back up. At nine miles, another large group left the field. Once again Norway was well represented, this time with Rasmus Tiller.
However, he had to escape on his way down the cobbled Moskesstraat with 66 kilometers to go. Just over a kilometer later, a group from the field, led by Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert, set off for Bekestraat. At the top, Hoelgaard worked his way up to the group and thus obtained a ticket to the gold match.
With 30 km, the drivers returned to the finish city, Leuven, where they had to run two final laps. Hoelgaard then sat in a group that numbered 17 riders, which included almost all the big favorites, including Wout van Aert (Belgium), Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands), Julian Alaphilippe (France) and Sonny Colbrelli (Italy). .
There, Alaphilippe proved to be the strongest and took the gold.