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"Luca Paolini was a big loss and one of our strongest riders for the Classics."

Photo: Sirotti




15.12.2015 @ 11:00 Posted by Renaud Breban

This season Alexander Kristoff was the most successful rider. with 20 victories. He won the Tour of Flanders, the Grand Prix de Plouay and the general classification the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde. But now the Katusha rider is has turned his focus to next year. 


"I won 20 races and I had a perfect Classics season. I won during the whole year, more or less, but I missed out in the Tour and didn't win a stage there. To summarise the season, it was of course really good but there were of course some areas that could have been better", he tellsCyclingnews


He did a great season, but he did not win any grand tour stages. "I didn't have good feelings at the end of the Tour of Suisse and when I was at the Tour de France. I wasn't in a bad shape when I was at the Tour de France but I was maybe lacking that one or two per cent when everyone is at 100%. If you're not at your top shape then you're going to struggle against the best."


Now Kristoff knows that he has the legs for the Spring classics. "I've come into 2016 now full of confidence, especially for the Spring because I know that the programme that I have now over the winter really works. The Classics are my main goals and at the end, as a rider, that's where I get the more value and reward. I still want more results in the rest of the year but the Classics will be the main focus. I hope again that I can win a Monument but as a sprinter you've got to win more than one race in a year so we'll try and grab some sprints at the Tour as well.


"Roubaix might be the one I want most since I don't have it but Flanders are Milan-San Remo maybe suit me better. I've had better feelings in that race in the past but maybe that will change. I was top-ten in Paris-Roubaix last year and that's not a bad result, so there's room for me to improve but I've been up there."


He also told Cyclingnews about teammate Luca Paolini who tested positive for cocaine. "He was a big loss and one of our strongest riders for the Classics. He won many big races, including Gent-Wevelgem. It was one of his top career wins and also in some special race conditions. Since I've been at Katusha I've developed and he's really helped me get results. In Milan-San Remo he was pulling me to the line, so it's a loss that we don't have him. Of course you can't have people on party drugs in the pack either. We have to stay within the rules and you can't do what's not allowed."



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