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Tour of Flanders winner Alexander Kristoff has made clear it is business as usual in today’s Scheldeprijs race and Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, saying that he is determined to move on after his big success last Sunday.
Some riders bask in the glow of success but he wants to keep his momentum going. While he took three stages plus the overall in the Three Days of De Panne plus the Tour of Flanders in the past week, he is looking forward rather than gazing back.
“I feel it [Flanders] was the best win of my career, especially in the way we won, the way I won,” he told CyclingTips at the Scheldeprijs start in Antwerp on Wednesday morning.
“It was great for fans here in Belgium and Norway it was amazing. I am still a little bit high from the victory but today is a new day and I must concentrate again and not just live in a fantasy about Sunday.
“You must come back to reality. Anyway, this season is a great success for me the way it goes, but there are many more goals to come.”
One of those goals is to ride well in Scheldeprijs, although Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix is understandably a more important race and thus a bigger target.
Some of his rivals for the latter have decided to rest, using the days between Flanders and Roubaix to recharge their batteries. Kristoff is different and affixed a race number to his jersey Wednesday morning, once again joining the hullabaloo of the peloton.
“I’m here, otherwise I must do some training,” he explained. “Sometimes it is easier to motivate for a race. I prefer racing when I am here abroad. At home it is nice to train but when you are anyway here it is better to just race with the guys.”
Kristoff’s finishing speed marks him out as a rider who could win Scheldeprijs, which nine times out of ten ends in a big gallop to the line. He told reporters at the start that he would do what he could.
“Normally there is a sprint. I did this race every year as a pro and it was always like that. But I actually never really did really good so we will see if I can improve it.”
He said that Katusha would contribute to the pace-setting if necessary, but wasn’t in a position where it would take over the responsibility.
“We must try to control it but I think there are other guys who want to win also. And we won a lot,” he stated, making clear that the onus was on others to win rather than to just watch him.
“We don’t really have any pressure right now. But if we have an opportunity to win a big race like today, then why not?”