According to the results of this important race Milan-San Remo we can say that the task was completed, our team mate Alexander Kristoff was the second.
As expected the race began under the rain and we have to ride 200 km in this nasty weather. The work was structured to let a group of 9 riders go ahead. Basically, it was planned and we reached it. Gatis Smukulis started working with some riders from Saxo-Tinkoff and Trek. They kept this gap under control, they had a good rhythm. The average speed of them was good enough.
At the end of the race it was planned that we had to start working: me, Sergey Lagutin, Jacopo Guarnieri and Luca Paolini. We were able to get forward to help Alexander Kristoff to hold the position in front of the main group, but then Team Sky decided to hold a special attack and it forced the group to stretch. I caught their wheel and rode behind them, but then one of the riders fell down. I tried to stop the bike, but unfortunately I crashed. The impact was direct and damaged my rear derailleur, and then I could not switch in the top gear, from the 17th sprocket up they just did not work. I waited for some help and lost much time. Later I could not join again the group of leaders because of it.
But I’m glad that Luca Paolini helped Alexander Kristoff greatly as he did it last year. Marco Haller and Sergey Lagutin also made a very good contribution for this victory, but unfortunately it was not my day.
The final spurt of Alexander Kristoff was rather long than other sprinters normally do it, and John Degenkolb took advantage of it and during his spurt managed to overtake. Kristoff’s bicycle reached the finish line the second. It is a pity of course, but in any case, this is a very good result for our team. This is another confirmation of the effectiveness and great capacity of Katusha Cycling Team.