Alexander Kristoff says he knows what to expect of Mark Cavendish next year at his new team Dimension Data, as the Manxman is using the same lead-out riders from his days at HTC.
The Katusha rider told Cycling Weekly at the team’s training camp in Calpe, that as Cavendish has reunited with his old team-mates Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel at Dimension Data for 2016, he knows what their strengths are.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Kristoff is more excited, however, to see what Marcel Kittel will do as his lead-out since he joined Cavendish’s old squad Etixx-Quick Step, will be completely new.
“It will be exciting with Kittel because he has new team-mates. Cav he has more or less the same team-mates as before so he will not be that exciting,” said the 28-year old, who won two Tour de France stages in 2014 and has two Monuments to his name in Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders.
Watch: Tour de France 2016 essential guide
“We know what they [Cavendish and his team-mates] can do, what their strengths are and not, but we shall see.”
Cavendish rode with Renshaw and Eisel at HTC-Highroad from 2009 to 2011, becoming one of the most formidable sprint trains in the peloton. Eisel joined Cavendish at Sky in 2012, while Renshaw rode with Cavendish at Etixx since 2014.
“For sure they are good, in HTC [Highroad] they were winning a lot, but now they are older maybe, hopefully a little slower,” said Kristoff. “You don’t get stronger when you get older; you maybe get smarter, but less powerful.
“I don’t think necessarily they are better than the HTC days, but they are still the same guys and they know what to do.”
However, Kristoff doesn’t know how Marcel Kittel, who spent most of last year out with illness, will fare with his new-look lead-out.
“He has a strong group so it will be nice, or maybe scary, to see, if they are working really good together.”