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U23 world champion Halvorsen invited to train with Sky and QuickStep

There has been no shortage of interest in Kristoffer Halvorsen in the wake of his victory in the U23 road race at the UCI World Championships last month, with Team Sky and QuickStep both inviting the Norwegian to train with them over the winter.

The 20-year-old highlighted his promise by winning a stage of this year's Tour de l'Avenir, after which his GP d'Isbergues title and two stage wins at the Olympia's Tour made him the man to beat in Doha, and he duly delivered in the bunch sprint.

He will continue to ride for the Norwegian Continental-level Joker team in 2017, but a pro contract in 2018 would seem a certainty, and WorldTour teams are starting to queue up.

According to Norwegian website procycling.no, Halvorsen will link up with the QuickStep team in Spain in January to get a taste of how an elite team trains and operates. He'll have the opportunity to rub shoulders with two of the peloton’s strongest sprinters in Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria.

He will also drop in on Sky in Mallorca for a few days, either in December or January, after being invited by the team's Norwegian directeur sportif Gabriel Rasch.

"It's a mixture of excitement and fear. It's a little outside my comfort zone, but you have to take these things in your stride," Halvorsen told procycling.no.

"It's mostly about seeing how they do things and getting a feel for it. I won't be there for longer than two or three days."

For Rasch, it was more than just the Norwegian connection; he sees shades of Mark Cavendish in Halvorsen's style, and hopes Sky will snap him up for 2018 once he becomes available.

"I called Dave Brailsford after the World Championships and asked if we could invite him to a camp, and he said yes," Rasch said.

"He has that extra gear. Although there are differences between U23 and elite, he has a great strength in the way he is able to pass competitors on the outside and win the battle. He may remind some of Mark Cavendish and other sprinters in that respect."

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