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"It starts later than the Giro which makes it possible to do a strength block  between Paris-Robuaix and the Tour of California. That's a way to remedy what is a record long season."

Photo_ Sirotti


07.11.2015 @ 14:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

2016 was the year when Alexander Kristoff was finally set to do two Grand Tours in the same season.


However, things can change quickly and now it is up in the air whether Kristoff will do the Tour of California or the Giro d'Italia in May.



The reason is a new sponsorship deal for Katusha. The new - and yet unknown backer- is reportedly American. That puts pressure on the management to select a roster that is able to achieve result in the American races.



That gives the Russian team different options in May. Because of its German equipment supplier, they are obliged to do the Bayern Rundfahrt.


That makes it less likely that the team will again do the Tour of Norway.


For Kristoff's coach Stein Ørn, the situation is difficult. He admits that the desire to see the 28-year-old in action at the Giro is heartfelt. However, Kristoff's stepfather also sees positive aspects from riding in the United States.


"It starts later than the Giro which makes it possible to do a strength block  between Paris-Robuaix and the Tour of California. That's a way to remedy what is a record long season," Ørn tells



Another factor is that the Tour of California can be an opportunity to fine-tune the lead-out for the Tour de France.


This year showed the train was often strong enough but it missed coordination and timing.


"If we can get the whole train to California and ride together there, it will be very good for Alexander, says Ørn who now acts as a kind of training consultant at Team Katusha.



That means that Michael Mørkøv, Marco Haller and Jacopo Guarnieri should all ride with ristoff the United States. This year Peter Sagan was among the riders to do the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse. He did not manage to win any stages in the Tour but the reward came at the Worlds in Richmond.



The main challenge for the 2016 season is that the Worlds have been moved to October 9-16 due to the heat in Qatar. However, that could affect the 2017 more.


"The biggest problem is that the winter season will be too short. We need the time we've had up to now to run make our preparation for the classics. It involves rest and some time off before the period of basic training starts. Next autumn we may have to shorten the training program because the recovery is necessary."


The race schedule will be discussed later this month as everything has to be ready for the gathering in Spain in December.


According to, A rough sketch of Alexander Kristoff's race program looks like this:

Tour of Qatar 
Tour of Oman 
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 
E3 Harelbeke 
Three Days of De Panne 
Tour of Flanders 
Giro d'Italia or Tour of California 
Tour de Suisse 
Norwegian Championships 
Tour de France 
Arctic Race of Norway
Tour des Fjords 
Eneco Tour 
World Championships


** Other possible races are Eschborn Frankfurt City Loop, GP Canton d'Argovie and the WorldTour races in Montreal and Quebec



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