Alexander Kristoff signs three-year contract with Uno-X Pro Cycling team
Norwegian rider signs with 'home' team in what's longest contract in his career.
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Four-time Tour de France stage winner Alexander Kristoff is making a homecoming of sorts next season, with the announcement that he will be part of the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team from 2023 onwards.
The Norwegian will join the ProTeam outfit on a three-year deal, moving across after a season with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. He won Scheldeprijs this year plus the final stage of the Tour of Norway, and landed placings of third and fourth on stages of the Tour de France.
While these results will likely have resulted in interest from various teams, he has said that the offer of a longer deal with Uno-X is what made the difference.
The Norwegian team announced the signing this morning with a post on Twitter. Kristoff elaborated on the details when talking to TV 2.
“It was now or never if I was going to be part of this project with a Norwegian team during my career. It was now that I had the chance,” he said.
“We agreed on a three-year agreement, and now I’m really looking forward to it. It’s really cool to be part of Uno-X and a Norwegian team, and I hope I can help them further.
“It’s the longest contract I’ve ever signed, actually. It was also part of the reason why I chose Uno-X over Intermarché. Intermarché would not go that far.
“I have faith that I can still perform. They seem motivated to help me, and I am certainly motivated to help them.”
One of the greatest Norwegian riders of all time is coming home. A role model and a true professional.
📷 GettySport / Intermarché Wanty Gobert pic.twitter.com/LO8d9jOVE2
— Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (@UnoXteam) August 1, 2022
Kristoff has had a glittering career, being a past winner of Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, the European road race championships and four Tour stages. He also won the Three Days of De Panne and Tour of Norway stage races.
He’s now 35 and is entering the final years of his career, but said he remains hungry. Being a mentor to young riders is also important to him, and helping the squad to develop.
“He does not come to Uno-X to pursue a lucrative pension agreement,” said team manager Jens Haugland to TV 2. “He comes to Uno-X to make sure this team moves up the World Tour and in the grand tours, and he comes to win bike races.”
Kristoff sees his role as being a multi-faceted one.
“I hope I can continue to perform in terms of results. That’s the ambition, even if it doesn’t get any easier over the years. But I guess they also see that they get more than just results with me. They might get a bit more PR around the team, and in addition I hope to be able to contribute with my experience towards all the young riders on the team.”
He told TV 2 that there had been talks with Uno-X last year about a potential move. He ultimately inked a deal with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux but believed the Norwegian team could be an option in the future.
That’s now come to pass and he’s got a clear target in mind.
“The team looks very solid from the outside. They have taken it step by step, and now I am looking forward to the last part of my career. Then we’ll see if we get the Tour de France next year. If it doesn’t happen, we at least have a few more years to achieve it.”