Alexander Kristoff has put pen to paper on a new contract at UAE Team Emirates, keeping him there until the end of the 2021 season. Fellow Norwegian Sven Erik Bystrom has also signed a two-year extension.
Kristoff, 31, joined UAE in 2018 after six seasons at Katusha, and has won 10 races with them so far, including Gent-Wevelgem and a stage of the Tour de France, arguably the biggest victories in the team's two-and-a-half year existence.
"I’m happy to have renewed for two years,” says Kristoff, “I feel at home here and the atmosphere in the team is great. I hope that the next two years will bring good things both for me and for the team."
There were question marks over how Kristoff and new signing Fernando Gaviria would combine this year, but the Norwegian has sacrificed himself for the Colombian in bunch sprints while enjoying his own opportunities in the Classics. This year he rediscovered some of his spring form of old, winning Gent-Wevelgem and finishing third at the Tour of Flanders.
"We are setting out an important growth path for the team, but big projects need strong roots and for this reason we strongly wanted the renew both Kristoff and Bystrøm," said UAE Team Emirates CEO Mauro Gianetti
"Alexander, besides being a very good person, has achieved very important results and has plenty more ahead of him we believe. Sven, a proven under-23 world champion, is a great future prospect and like Alex, he is a guy who knows how to work as part of a team unit both on and off the bike – principles that are fundamental for this team."
Kristoff began his career at BMC Racing in 2010 and spent two years there before joining Katusha, where he enjoyed his greatest success so far. In 2014 he won Milan-San Remo and two stages at the Tour de France, and the following year he won the Tour of Flanders, Scheleprijs, and GP Ouest France-Plouay. His first season with UAE was subdued, with five wins, but was a success given his victory on the Champs Elysées on the final day of the Tour. This year, he already has five to his name, the pick being Gent-Wevelgem, his first spring classic since 2015.
Kristoff will head to the Tour de France next month, and could find himself as the team's lead sprinter given Gaviria is struggling with a knee injury.
Bystrom, 27, is close to Kristoff and joined Katusha in 2015 following his victory in the U23 Worlds road race before following him to UAE in 2018.
"In this team, I feel like I am at home and therefore I am particularly happy to be able to continue racing with UAE Team Emirates," he said.
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