Alexander Kristoff, winner of Milan-Sanremo in 2014 and the 2015 Tour of Flanders, will focus again on the monuments in cycling, especially hoping to defend his title in Belgium.
Kristoff: “The Classics are very important to me. I like Flanders the best and perhaps I will focus mainly on defending my title there. I hope I can repeat my success in 2016.”
“I raced a lot in Belgium as a young rider and winning there was a great moment for me. I believe I can do well again in Flanders as those short climbs suit me quite well. I can do them many times. They are not very many minutes long but they are hard. If a climb goes on for more than 10 minutes then I struggle more.”
“The landscape in Belgium suits me quite well. I’ve always been good there, even as a young rider, and if things go right in my career perhaps for ten more years I can race in Flanders. It would make my season to win another monument, but, of course, you cannot win a monument every year.”
The Norwegian is also ready to change his programme in 2016, where he’s considering riding the Amgen Tour of California in May instead of Italy’s Giro d’Italia.
“I’ve raced it before and I really liked it. It’s actually the first race where I had some good results as a professional in 2010,” Kristoff says about California.
“I have good memories from this race and we have some sponsors that want to be present in the U.S. so I was very happy to hear that we are racing in the biggest race there. I’ve raced the Tour of Norway for many years now and I think I’ve always tried to be in too strong of shape there because it is my country and I didn’t want to perform badly on home soil.”
“In the end it’s possible that this early preparation took away a little from being ready for the Tour de France. Maybe the pressure in California will be a bit less but it takes a long time to travel there and I won’t go there for nothing, so I will bring ambitions to that race.”
“If I can get a stage win I will be very happy. I will still do the Tour des Fjords and the Arctic Race of Norway so I hope my Norwegian fans will not be too mad at me.”