With his contract set to end after the 2019 season, UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff is weighing up his options for 2020, and has been talking to other teams, despite having been offered a contract extension by his current team.
"There's interest from a number of other teams," Kristoff told Norwegian website procycling.no, "so I'm sure that it'll work out. I haven't come to an agreement with anyone, but I have had an offer from UAE, which I don't think is good enough yet.
"That's why we [he and agent Joona Laukka] are talking to other teams – to see whether there are any better offers, which we can then go back to UAE with. I have a figure in mind, so we're trying to see if we can get it," he said.
The Norwegian sprinter told procycling.no that UAE's current offer is better than his current salary, but that he believes his performances this spring – which include a win at Gent Wevelgem, a stage at the Tour of Oman and third place at the Tour of Flanders – have raised his value.
"The offer is better now than the last time I signed a contract, but back then I was on a slightly downward spiral – at least in terms of the results I was achieving. I think that I've shown this spring that I'm back where I belong. But we'll see what happens, as I'm not getting any younger," said the 31-year-old Kristoff.
The arrival at UAE of 24-year-old Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria this season had been seen by many as a potential problem for Kristoff's ambitions, but the older rider has maintained a diplomatic stance at all times. Now, having raced with Gaviria this spring, the Norwegian has been left impressed by the younger rider's contribution to the team.
"I think it's gone really well," Kristoff said, who only joined UAE in 2018 after six seasons at Katusha. "At the Classics, it's often a bit more every man for himself, but he played an important role at both Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, when he got into breakaways, which meant there was less pressure on our team to work.
"At Flanders he did an especially good job for the team, where I was the one who ended up racing for the result. He made a really important contribution by attacking early," he said.
Kristoff now heads to Wednesday's Eschborn-Frankfurt one-day race in Germany to defend his title at an event that he's won every year since 2014, with the exception of 2015, when German police took the step of cancelling the race after thwarting what they believed was a planned terrorist attack on the race.
Gaviria, meanwhile, will race as the team's main sprinter at the Giro d'Italia in May, while, as things stand, both Gaviria and Kristoff are set to ride the Tour de France in July.
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