Fifth behind the ‘big four’ in last year’s points classification, Alexander Kristoff was nevertheless well behind Sagan, Cavendish, Greipel and Kittel. The Milan-San Remo winner, however, has the knack for being a perennial contender in the sprints.
Winner at the sprint friendly Tour des Fjords, Kristoff proved as much by contesting the sprints, without success, on the two flatter Tour de Suisse stages. Both times, however, he did not threaten the podium and despite two good showings was never in contention for the points classification – which Sagan won.
A stage win at the Tour of Oman, where he did well to launch a big sprint and hold on to take the stage – showed he is capable of ruffling the feathers of the bigger name riders – as did his superb Milan-San Remo win.
Bettering last year’s fifth place, however, with a team built more around stage successes as opposed to any form of sprint train, will take some doing.