• Katusha's Tony Martin (L) and Alexander Kristoff. (Getty)Source: Getty
Despite six wins and three points classification jerseys so far this year there was some doubt about Alexander Kristoff lining up at the Tour de France with his Katusha-Alpecin team.
Cycling Central

22 Jun 2017 - 8:26 PM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2017 - 8:29 PM

Reports suggested the Swiss-registered team with a heavy Russian influence was unhappy with Kristoff’s performance and weight.

However, those have been answered with the Norwegian sprinter heading to his fifth Tour and hopes of adding to his career tally of two stage wins.

Kristoff, however, will be without his key lead-out men Sven Erik Byström and Michael Morkov, making his task difficult in a field deep with sprinting rivals, including Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors and Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish.

Multiple and current world time trial champion Tony Martin will also headline the team as it toes the start line on 1 July in Dusseldorf

He will be a heavy favourite to wear the first yellow on offer and on his German home ground after the 14km race against the clock.

His chances increased markedly after it was revealed Australian time trial powerhouse Rohan Dennis (BMC) would not be at the Tour in support of compatriot and team-mate Richie Porte.

Martin also recently finished second to pre-race favourite Porte at the Critérium du Dauphiné but the Australian is likely to hold his fire there and leave his big efforts to the mountains, easing German’s path to yellow.

Katusha for the 2017 Tour de France
Alexander Kristoff, Tony Martin, Marco Haller, Reto Hollenstein, Robert Kiserlovski, Maurits Lammertink, Tiago Machado, Nils Politt, and Rick Zabel.