Kristoff: Stressing out won't win me a Tour de France stage

Katusha sprinter shut out again on stage 4

Fifth on stage 4 of the Tour de France demonstrated that Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is closing in on his first win of the race but the Norwegian's timing is still not on song.

In two of the previous sprints Kristoff found himself too far back to contest the win but on stage 4 to Limoges the situation was reversed as he found himself at the front too soon. It forced him to open his sprint from too far out and he faded before the line.

"I can't be stressed. That won't help," he told Cyclingnews as he tucked into a post-race snack consisting of rice and chicken.

"Not many guys have won yet either so it's not only me. For sure I want to be up there but I'm getting closer and I showed for myself that I can win if it all comes together and it goes perfect - but if it's not perfect in the Tour de France then you don't win either."

Kristoff has had to race with a leadout missing one its main assets in Michael Mørkøv. The Dane crashed into the barriers on stage 2 and has spent the last two days recovering at the back of the bunch. He crawled over the line in last place in Limoges and Kristoff is hopeful that his second-to-last man can return to full health by stage 6 – the Norwegian's next opportunity to win.

"Sure, Mørkøv is missing from the leadout at the moment. He's not ready yet but hopefully he can recover soon and we can use him again."

If Mørkøv enters the frame then Kristoff will be hoping that the timing and execution that have so far been missing from his sprint will return, too.

"On the other days I was too far back and today I was too far forward. Today I was strong but again with 100 meters to go I was finished. I hoped that Etixx's leadout would last a bit longer and that would have been perfect but in the end it was just too long.

"It's hard to say. In the end it was just me and Jacopo Guarnieri and we were in a good position but then Dimension passed us and we jumped on them and then we jumped onto Etixx but I was maybe a little bit too eager because when I went onto Richeze's wheel and he stopped, I felt that I had to go. If I stopped then it would have been too hard to accelerate again."

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