Mørkøv signs for Katusha at the request of Kristoff

Dane will leave Tinkoff-Saxo to become a support rider for Norwegian sprinter

After seven years at Tinkoff-Saxo, Michael Mørkøv will leave at the end of this season to join Katusha in a move instigated by Alexander Kristoff, who personally asked the team to sign the Dane. 

Kristoff, who has won 18 races already in 2015, wants to bolster his lead-out train for next season and marked Mørkøv out as the man who best fits the bill.

Mørkøv has been a world champion and Olympic silver medallist on the track but doesn’t have a long list of victories to his name on the road. He won a stage of the Vuelta a España and was crowned Danish national champion in 2013 but his only other win came just over a week ago at the Tour of Denmark.

"After seven years in the same team it was time for me to move. I heard that Alexander Kristoff wanted to have me on the team. For many years I’ve dreamed of working for a pure sprinter. I am fast myself but not fast enough to win the big races," said Mørkøv. 

"I want to be part of a winning team. I prefer to help a teammate win a big classic than to win a smaller race for myself. It was not hard to make this choice. Team Katusha was rocking this year. I have always been happy in my current team but now I am already looking forward to next season."

The move signifies continued investment in Kristoff as Katusha’s most prized asset. General manager Viacheslav Ekimov said that the Norwegian and his 14 wins saved the team’s season last year and this time out he has surpassed that total already. 

The 28-year-old won the Tour of Flanders this year and Mørkøv is being brought in to lend support across the board - in the classics as well as the straightforward bunch gallops.

"First of all, for Team Katusha the arrival of Michael Mørkøv is a significant strengthening of the sprinters group around our leader Alexander Kristoff, both in the classics as well as in the stage races," said Ekimov. 

"Alexander proved this year that he is the right man to build a team around. We continue on the path we have chosen. Moreover, Mørkøv is not only a strong, loyal and tactically superb rider, he is also able to reach top results for himself as well."

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