Wednesday Winners: Two Victories in One Day for Canyon

Alexander Kristoff wins the second stage of the 2014 Tour of Oman / Photo: Tim De Waele

When you’re only halfway through the week and your riding plans at the weekend still seem a way off, it’s easy to see why people refer to Wednesday as the “hump” day.

Nevertheless, Canyon got a mid-week boost yesterday with not one, but two victories coming from our UCI ProTeams. No sooner had Norwegian Alexander Kristoff opened Team Katusha’s 2014 victory account at the Tour of Oman when Alejandro Valverde blasted through the streets of southern Spain to take the win in the prologue of the Vuelta a Andalucia.

First win in the bag for Katusha and Kristoff 

Kristoff has clearly bounced back well from the bad luck that plagued him at the Tour of Qatar, where he crashed heavily. After finishing in the top 10 on stage one in Oman, at the end of stage two he was able to show his good early season form and tactical nous by sprinting into a block headwind in a bunch kick against a strong field.

Kristoff now sits in second place in the overall standings with the situation looking good for the coming northern classics, which the Norwegian has set among his main 2014 objectives.

Alexander Kristoff on the podium after the second stage of the 2014 Tour of Oman / Photo: Tim De Waele

TT Prep pays off for Movistar Team 

Further west in sunny southern Spain, the Vuelta a Andalucia kicked off yesterday with a technical 7.3km prologue through Almeria. Fresh from a training camp to hone their positions aboard their new Speedmax CF time trial machines, Movistar Team was able reap the rewards by placing three riders in the top 10 with Valverde now leading the race. In an exhibition of supreme bike handling, Valverde ripped through the corner-strewn course and at one point even overtook the race commissaire’s motorbike.

The Spaniard was clearly pleased with his new bit of kit, stating, “It was the first time on my new TT bike and this debut was impossible to improve. We are very satisfied with how it works.” Teammates Jon Izaguirre and Javier Moreno now sit in 3rd and 7th position respectively as the squad looks in fine nick heading into the remaining four stages.

Alejandro Valverde on his way to winning the opening prologue of the 2014 Vuelta a Andalucia / Photo: Graham Watson

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