The Excursion Down Underneath has once more attracted one of the quickest finishers within the WorldTour peloton, however the first sprints of the season at all times throw up surprises and Kristoffer Halvorsen is eager to take some big-name scalps to turn that he is additionally a part of the wave of minor washing over the bunch.
The Norwegian was once under-23 highway race international champion in 2016 however struggled to emerge at an early age throughout two seasons at Group Sky and Group Ineos. Now 23 years outdated, he has moved to EF Professional Biking for 2020, prepared to give you the option thru within the sprints and hit the road first, beginning on the Excursion Down Underneath.
“It is a new get started for me, however I think excellent and I am in reality having a look ahead to racing with the brand new crew right here on the Excursion down Underneath. I feel we’ve a gorgeous excellent crew right here to do one thing within the sprints, so I am having a look ahead to getting caught in. I feel my shape is excellent,” Halvorsen instructed Cyclingnews ahead of the EF Professional Biking riders headed out for a 140km journey within the Adelaide Hills on Friday to review two degree finishes the place Halvorsen hopes to combat for victory.
This yr’s Excursion Down Underneath has an additional hilly end on degree three to Paracombe on Thursday, and will probably be determined on Willunga Hill on degree 6 on Sunday, January 26, however the different finishes all swimsuit Halvorsen, who balances his completing velocity being able to care for a rolling race profile. EF Professional Biking believe him an Oscar Freire form of sprinter and hope he can move directly to emulate the Spaniard, who received 3 international titles and 3 editions of Milan-San Remo.
“Kristoffer is a smart ability, and it is as much as us now to assist him realise that ability,” crew supervisor Jonathan Vaughters mentioned when saying Halvorsen’s arrival at EF Professional Biking.
“As an organisation, we are simplest lacking one Monument at the trophy mantle, and that’s the reason Milan-San Remo. Halvorsen is our price ticket to getting that closing one over the fireside.”
Halvorsen is hoping EF Professional Biking may give him the alternatives to contest the sprints, and the strengthen and lead out that may make the adaptation between profitable and dropping.
“The primary reason why I moved from Group Ineos to EF Professional Biking was once to focal point extra at the sprints,” Halvorsen defined.
“At Group Ineos, I had alternatives however there are numerous GC guys there, too, which logically pulls the entire crew in a undeniable route. Right here at EF Professional Biking there may be extra focal point and extra alternatives within the sprints, and we are additionally enthusiastic about sprinting even in coaching.”
Halvorsen will dash in opposition to Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Elia Viviani on his debut with Cofidis, the Italian’s substitute at Deceuninck-QuickStep Sam Bennett, Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Professional Biking), Jasper Philipsen (UAE Group Emirates) and two-time total winner André Greipel, together with his race document of 18 degree wins.
Halvorsen has a quiet admire for his elders however has the innate starvation had to win sprints. He refused to drag at the brakes when he made his debut with Group Sky on the pre-Excursion Down Underneath criterium in 2018. The next crash left him with a fractured wrist however admire from his competitors.
“I have been to the Excursion Down Underneath ahead of, so I feel I do know what I wish to do. I feel I have additionally stepped up this wintry weather, so I’m hoping to be up there within the sprints. I feel the racing will probably be arduous ahead of the sprints and that may assist me,” he mentioned.
Keep in mind his call subsequent week.