Alexander Kristof (35) probably signed the last decade of his career. For the next three years, he will be riding with the Norwegian professional Uno-X team.
Uno-X reports on it Twitter Monday morning.
“One of the best Norwegian riders of all time is coming home. A truly professional model,” the team writes.
It’s time to go home and I can’t wait for 2023 to start, says Christophe to his new team.
And mathematically speaking, it takes the step up to a second level in cycling. There, teams count on getting invited to the biggest races. Uno-X has been invited to a number of major races this year, but was not allowed to take part in the Tour de France.
– I think I’ll get the program I want. The Tour de France is a big question mark. You’re not sure you’ll get it, but the classics are the most important to me. The Tour de France is important to the Norwegian people, so the dream is for Uno-X to enter the Tour de France. It could have been completely insane. It’s not impossible, but then we have to give up one of the French teams,” Christophe tells VG.
He himself says that it was tempting to ride for a Norwegian team after so many years as a professional for foreign teams.
– When Uno-X started taking steps now, it was at least a small ulterior motive to finish with a Norwegian team. I didn’t dream about it when I was young, but it tempted me and it is now a reality.
Team Principal Jens Haugland is very pleased with the signing.
– He’s a world-class racer, both in terms of the accomplishments that he himself represents, but not least the way he goes about training is totally unique. Haugland tells VG he has a much-needed efficacy.
Christophe rode for the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux last season, having been with the UAE team for three years prior to that.
From 2012 to 2017, he was a huge success for Team Katusha, winning three stages at the Tour de France, the Tour of Flanders and the Milan-Sanremo trails.
After the current season ends, he will be looking for new victories for the Norwegian-Danish Uno-X for the next three years.
– Do you think this will be your last contract?
– I think it’s probably the last decade, but you never know. I expect to be finished in three years. The wife was reasonably clear that this would be the last decade, he says with a smile.
Haugland at Uno-X is clearly a big problem for the team.
– But in everything we do, we want to work for the long term. We have faith that the house will rise stronger and stronger, and when we say we are not looking back, we mean it in every sense of the word.
Many of the riders Christoph trains with daily are Uno-X riders, and he has also worked closely with sport directors Jenno van Odenhof and Stig Christiansen in the past. In addition to having a lot of valuable experience to add to the team, he clearly has ambitions to perform in the next three years as well.
He will maintain a world class level. There is hardly anyone in this field who has more integrity and is solid in training. He is meticulous in everything he does. Those who talk about pension agreements and such things, Hoagland says, if not disrespectful, at least shows limited insight into him as a player and us as a team.
I’ve always had a good attitude in coaching work, and I think I’ve helped raise the coaching culture at Intermarché quite a bit, says Christoph, and he and Haugland hope to make a similar impact in Uno-X.
The team boss hopes that signing Christophe will make the team more attractive to organizers of the bigger races, so that they can, for example, get an invitation to attend the Tour de France. In addition, he will be an important point picker for Uno-X, in his quest to take a step up to the next level in cycling (Uno-X is currently the so-called “ProTeam”, at the second level. Depending on receiving invitations to all the major games).
Since its inception in the 2017 season, Uno-X has invested heavily in young cyclists, and 35-year-old Christophe will be their oldest rider on the men’s team.
We want to get into his riding mind and the thoughts of his coach, Stein Oren, regarding the philosophy surrounding the pre-season. If you get the quality right, says Haugland, everyone rises to a new level.
– I think things will go well, I feel young in my heart, says Christoph of the age differences.
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