CYCLING Preview: Kristoff going for fifth straight Eschborn-Frankfurt title Wednesday

Norway's sprint star Alexander Kristoff (Photo: Filip Bossuyt via Wikipedia)

Founded in 1962 as a way to promote the Henninger Tower in Frankfurt, the Eschborn-Frankfurt race has one focus: can anyone beat Alexander Kristoff?

The 31-year-old Norwegian sprinter has won the last four races in a row, the most of anyone in the 58 prior editions. He has had a good spring in the Classics races, winning Gent-Wevelgem at the end of March and a third in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. He’ll be one of six former medal winners in the field:

● Alexander Kristoff (NOR) ~ Winner in 2014-16-17-18
● John Degenkolb (GER) ~ Winner in 2011; third in 2017
● Michael Matthews (AUS) ~ Second in 2018
● Jerome Baugnies (BEL) ~ Second in 2011; third in 2014
● Oliver Naesen (BEL) ~ Third in 2018
● Andre Greipel (GER) ~ Third in 2013

The route is a punishing 187.5 km route, which has a massive climb up the Feldberg dominating the first 48 km of the course – from 130 m to 841 m! – and then three more climbs up the Mammolshainer Stich (377 m) in the remainder of the race. However, the final 42 km are a descent and then a long, flat stretch into Frankfurt, perfect for another sprint finish.

Kristoff has won all four of his races in close, final sprints. Mathews, Degenkolb, Naesen, Dylan Teuns (BEL), Dane Michael Valgren and others will all be watching him to gauge where they have to be to win at the line.

Look for results here.