Kristoff finally takes time off

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Norwegian cyclist Alexander Kristoff was celebrating the end of the racing season this past week by doing something relatively unusual: Taking a holiday with his family in the Bahamas.

Alexander Kristoff, shown here at the Arctic Race of Norway earlier this year, says he had an "incredibly good" season, but wishes he'd ended it with a gold medal in the World Championships. PHOTO: Statoil/Harald Pettersen

Alexander Kristoff, shown here at the Arctic Race of Norway earlier this year, says he had an “incredibly good season,” but wishes he’d ended it with a gold medal in the World Championships. PHOTO: Statoil/Harald Pettersen

Kristoff had been favoured to win the World Championships in Virginia after his cycling season rolled off to a great start last spring. Even though he had a disappointing performance in the Tour de France, he went on to win more big races and was captain of the Norwegian team at the World Championships, which Norwegian Thor Hushovd won in 2010.

Kristoff ended up coming in fourth behind surprise winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia, Michael Matthews of Australia and Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania.

“I could have maybe fought a bit harder for a medal, but I lack that last bit of adrenalin when I’m not in line to be first,” Kristoff candidly told news bureau NTB. “I don’t really care about winning second or third place, or fifth for that matter. It’s only first place that really matters.”

And that final surge wasn’t an issue even though he’d done well in Canada just two weeks earlier. Now, summing up the season, Kristoff was relatively upbeat even without the big victories of a World Championship or stages in the Tour de France.

“It’s been an incredibly good season,” Kristoff told NTB. “But it would have been nice to end the season with a gold medal.” He described the season as “long, with a lot happening. Now I’m off on holiday in the Bahamas and will relax for a while before we start training for the next season, which I hope will be just as good.”

Kristoff’s wife Maren and two young sons Leo and Liam were waiting for Kristoff at the finish line in Richmond last week. Kristoff isn’t likely to be seen back in competition before the Tour of Qatar in February.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund