Kristoff: Quite a few teams want to sign me

Norwegian coy on future, with Astana in the wings

He has been linked to a number of teams, with Astana reportedly leading the way to sign him, but Alexander Kristoff is still mulling over his future with his current contract winding down at Katusha-Alpecin.

The 29-year-old has won six times in 2017 but failed to land a major Classics win in the spring. Cyclingnews understands that his current deal at Katusha is worth 2 million Euros per-season, before bonuses, and, although the team are willing to negotiate a new deal with the Norwegian, they are reluctant to offer a similar deal to a rider who has not won a Classic since the 2015 Tour of Flanders.

"At the moment I don't know my plans. Maybe I'll continue with Katusha. We're in negotiations but there are also other teams interested," Kristoff told Cyclingnews at the start of the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

"I look for a team that's going to give me opportunities and one that's going to help me be competitive in the sprints and in the Classics, as I've been doing here in Katusha."

The relationship between Kristoff and Katusha appeared strained in May when the rider told the press that the team were not happy with his weight. At the time he told that the atmosphere within the team had slipped. "I do not see why they are going to be mad at me, because I'm the only one who has performed in Katusha. Of seven victories in the team, I have six. But there has been a stressed mood in the team this year," he said. 

According to the Norwegian there are several teams in the hunt for his signature. However, he remains open to re-signing with Katusha if they can table an offer that meets his demands. Astana already have a strong Scandinavian presence on their roster but lack a true Classics contender. They signed Norwegian Truls Engen Korsaeth at the start of 2017.

"There are quite a few but I don't really know the number in my head. I like it in Katusha and if they come with an offer that I'm happy with them for sure I'd like to stay. For the moment we're in negotiations but for sure other teams have shown their interest so we have to see."

Katusha also have Grand Tour leader Ilnur Zakarin out of contract this year, while Astana are also negotiating a deal with their GC hope, Fabio Aru. The Italian was forced to skip the Giro d'Italia in May but is racing the Tour de France in July.

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