Alexander Kristoff barely needed any prompting when he stepped off the UAE Team Emirates bus at the end of Paris-Roubaix. Having won Gent-Wevelgem and finished third in the Tour of Flanders, he lined up for 'The Hell of the North' as one of the favourites but a costly tyre choice effectively ended his race before it really began. Far from angry - more disappointed - the Norwegian admitted that his mistake in equipment scuppered his chances of competing for the win.
Kristoff chose to stick with Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 25mm tubeless tyres in conjunction with Campagnolo Bora WTO tubeless-ready wheels that he had raced on throughout the spring. However, on the brutal cobbles of Paris-Roubaix the Norwegian felt that the combination had let him down and that he had made a mistake in selecting them.
"One thing just happened after the other and it was just one of those days. We lost Gaviria overnight to illness, Tom Bohli had a crash, Sven Erik Bystrom lost a contact lens, Alex had punctures and it was just one thing after the other. In the end we did what we could and we chased forever. Hats off to Alex for even finishing. He kept battling on but losing time, but that shows the champion he is just to come in even if you’re 10 minutes behind."
"That’s just how the sport goes and we just need to face up to it. It’s very disappointing. We expected more than this. It’s the ultimate opposite from two weeks ago."