Thursday, June 28, 2012

Exclusive Interview - Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana)

Fredrik Kessiakoff hopes to get his own
chances during the Tour de France.
Fredrik Kessiakoff took the cycling world by surprise when he won the long time trial in Tour de Suisse in front of home favorite Fabian Cancellara. Afterwards the Swede said he didn't think it would be enough to get a spot on Astana's Tour de France team, but luckily for Kessiakoff he turned out to be wrong about that.

Fredrik, first of all congratulations on getting picked for the Tour-team. You didn't believe in it yourself, what happened?
Thank you. The team thought my condition looked similar to last year and I guess they took a little chance picking me for the Tour. Last year it was kind of the same situation. They left me out of the Tour and I won Tour of Austria. The results in Tour de Suisse shows that I can do well in the time trials and in the mountains.

After Tour de Suisse you told me that your climbing-legs weren't so great already. Are they ready for the Tour now?
Well I'm not peaking just yet. My shape is still too "uneven". After the bad start of season with asthma and allergies I have been working on peaking in the second part of the season. 

So what are your personal ambitions in this Tour?
I have two goals. The first one is to be at my best in the last week and the second one is to go for a good personal result on a stage.

What will your role be like on this strong Astana team for the Tour?
You can say I have a free role. On some stages I will have to be in the breakaway to help the team but in others I hope to try my own luck. Of course I will also be helping my team mates by carrying water bottles now and then.

What do you think your team leader, Brajkovic, can do. Podium?
Jani is very talented rider, but I think that a spot on the podium will be very difficult. Top10, on the other hand? For sure! 

Who is your own personal favorite for the overall win? 
Evans and Wiggins are my two big favorites. I think Wiggins will win, most of all because he has a stronger team than Evans. I also think that guys like Menchov and Sanchez will be able to fight for the podium.

Looking ahead. Last year you did a great Vuelta until your off-day on Angliru. Are you still aiming at doing well in the overall classification in the Grand Tours in the future?
Yes. I hope to get more chances, but it all depends on my results. I hope to be the team leader for the Vuelta after the Tour, but I won't take the role if I don't feel my shape good enough. The Vuelta will also be very tough this year with both Contador and Andy Schleck being there.

What about the Olympics and the World Champion. Does your great time trial in Tour de Suisse give you extra hope?
Well, unfortunately Sweden has only got one rider for the Olympic time trial and there are no doubts that Gustav [Erik Larsson] will get that one. I really believe he can take a medal in London. I would love to represent Sweden for the World Champions but for now my focus is on the Tour and the Vuelta.


  1. What a great interview Mikkel!
    Fredrik has warned about his odds here at Tour de France. Actually, like he told you here in this interview, he is fighting for get a great result on a stage. Of course a victory is a great result.

    Gallopin & Pinot behind...good luck Fredrik!

    Regards Mikkel!

  2. Thanks. Was very close for Fredrik this time. Let's see if he can keep the polka dot jersey now!

  3. That would be a wonderful achievement for ASTANA, he hadn't assigned that goal before TDF started.

    He has to fight very hard to get it and finish the TDF wearing the polka dot jersey in Paris.