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"I think it is possible to show that I am a good neo-pro. Last year there were some neo-pros who had good results. I know them from before and if they can do it then maybe I can do it"

Photo: Sirotti




29.12.2014 @ 15:11 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Sven Erik Bystrom has been signed by Katusha to help friend Alexander Kristoff and the team’s other leaders and as a prospect for the future. The 22-year-old Norwegian wants to take any chances that come his way in his neo-pro year.


"I think it is possible to show myself and that I am a good neo-pro. Last year there were some neo-pros who put in some good results. I am familiar with them from before and if they can do it then maybe I can do it," Bystrøm told Cyclingnews. "The first races will be about helping [Alexander] Kristoff and the other leaders but I think that I will have some possibilities to have my own chance later in the season."


The U23 World Road Race Champion trains regularly with Alexander Kristoff at home and the 2014 Milan-Sanremo winner recommended his younger friend to the management.


"He wanted a Norwegian teammate and we've been training together for the last couple of years and he mentioned my name to the management," explained Bystrøm. "He's one of the biggest riders on the team and he is like a mentor to me. He's Norwegian, so we can talk Norwegian to each other and for me it is really good to have him in the team and it gives me a bit of a softer start to my professional career."


Norwegian cycling is on the up, with Bystrom and Kristoffer Skjerping joining the World Tour this year, along with top riders like Lars Petter Nordhaug and Kristoff. Bergen was recently awarded the 2017 World Championships too.


"It's going to be really big. Bergen is two and a half hours from my home so for sure there will be a lot of family of friends watching. For me, it is going to be special and the course is going to be spectacular with the fjords and the surroundings around Bergen."


Bystrom would love to win in 2017, where he will be 25, but it may be too early. Kristoff will be in his prime to challenge for the title, however.


"It is also a dream to win the worlds in Bergen, in my home country," said Bystrøm. "It's a bit early to have it as a goal but you never know what happens. A lot of young riders are doing well now so you never know, but I at least want to be selected for the Norwegian team and we can take it from there."


But for now, he is focusing on the Classics, as a rider who can excel in the hilly events, like in Ponferrada: “I'm developing myself in some small climbing races. In the future, I would like to do well in races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Ardennes Classics, obviously the Tour de France is really big so I would love to win a stage of the Tour in the future."




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