The SRAM RED-2012 rider who has worn the Tour de France Mountain’s Classification Polka Dot Jersey for eight days, and speaks four languages, is the Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana Pro Team). Kessiakoff first captured the jersey on stage 7, wearing it stages 8 through 10, and regaining it on stage 11. He has been one of the most combative riders over the mountain stages, attacking and taking part in two key breakaways through the Alpes, and we don’t expect that to change in the Pyrenees… he’s said his dream is riding into Paris as the Mountain’s Leader.
Kessiakoff is one of several former MTB pros making his mark on the road. The four-time Swedish MTB National Champion previously raced for several SRAM-equipped MTB outfits in the mid-2000′s. He made the leap to road in 2009, his biggest success coming with a win at the Tour of Austria in 2011. Obviously a gifted climber, Kessiakoff can time trial as well, beating TT heavyweight Fabian Cancellara on his home turf at the Tour de Swiss. Before the Tour his stated goal was to contribute to the team and get into breaks. Carrying the Polka Dot jersey has exceeded his (and the team’s) expectations.
Like the entire Astana Pro Team, riding on the world’s lightest groupset has only helped on the uphills. When asked about his SRAM RED-2012 Freddy said, “The new groupset is awesome, it has evolved in every way. The brakes are better, the levers are more comfortable and the shifting is smoother and more precise. It even looks better!
Here is a photo gallery of Fredrik, his bike and his Polka Dot Jersey: