Fabio Jakobsen wins sprinters' competition of The Challenge of Stars
May 24 2020 05:25 am CET

Fabio Jakobsen wins sprinters' competition of The Challenge of Stars
Fabio Jakobsen wins sprinters' competition of The Challenge of Stars
Photo of Fabio Jakobsen © Deceuninck-Quick-Step Cycling Team / Getty Images

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Fabio Jakobsen has taken the victory at the sprinters' competition of The Challenge of Stars.

The sprinters' challenge of the competition organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with the virtual cycling platform Bkool with partners Tissot, Enel and Vizual, started with the quarter-final matches in which Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) beat Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic), Jakobsen beat World Champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal) beat Tim Merlier (Fenix-Alpecin) and Filippo Ganna (Ineos) won against Matteo Trentin (CCC Team).

In the two semifinals Jakobsen was stronger than Ackermann and Ganna beat the Belgian of Lotto-Soudal. In the final, the Dutch national champion showed to be the strongest in the last part of the 1.2-kilometre course in the Tuscan countryside. "I am very happy for this success," he said.

"1200 meters is longer than a normal bunch sprint and my legs are very painful right now! I tried to check the screen and stay close to my opponents and give everything I have in the last 500 meters. I have been training indoors a lot recently, especially when it’s bad weather, definitely a few hours. It’s fun to have a new format of race like this, I clearly miss the Giro d’Italia right now but have to admit I was a bit nervous approaching each of the challenges."

Ganna was pleased with his sensations in the different races of the event. "It was a nice day, a little bit unlucky in the finish as I had a mechanical, but well played to Jakobsen!" the Italian explained.

"I had a good feeling in my legs, this format with short explosive sprints suits my characteristics well, I have to admit it hurts even if it’s just 1200m. It’s clearly different from racing outside; in a normal race you know better what is happening around you, here you need to constantly check your screen but what is definitively similar is the pain in the legs at the end of the race."

The Challenge of Stars continues on the 24th of May with the Climbers in which eight riders will face a 2.9-kilometre ascent on the Stelvio climb with an average gradient of 8.69% that peaks at 12.75%. These are the matches for the climbers’ quarter-finals:

- Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) vs Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)
- Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) vs Simon Geschke (CCC Team)
- Rafa? Majka (BORA-Hansgrohe) vs Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
- Chris Froome (Team Ineos) vs Warren Barguil (Team Arkéa Samsic)

For information on where to watch the event on TV, check this article. The stream starts at 16:30 CEST.



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