By Jean-François Quénet in Nice
On May 6th, the final day of the Tour of Romandy, Roman Kreuziger will celebrate his only 21st birthday. To put it mildly, he speaks the same way Lance Armstrong did at the same age. "I want to win at least the white jersey of Paris-Nice", he said after coming 2nd in the prologue. He didn't wind up achieving that in the end. "I'm a little bit disappointed about that but Alberto Contador was too strong for me", he admitted.
Kreuziger finished 18th overall. "For a 20 year-old, it's not bad, he said. This was my first big race and I'm happy." He actually spoke about the race prior to the start of the last stage on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and he didn't want to make a conclusion. "I'm going to attack again today", he promised. And he did! It was early in the race though, and unsuccessful, but this young rider absolutely has the character of a champion.
"I come from a very sport-oriented family," he said. "My sister is a champion of cross country skiing, and my Dad was a professional cyclist as well - only for one year, but he won the Tour of Austria twice. It was always a hard race with the Grossglockner to climb."
Roman Kreuziger Jr. hails from Pilzen, the home of a famous brewery in the Czech Republic which has a strong cycling culture, and has big ambitions. "I think I can improve again. I don't have a goal for this year really. I race for gaining experience. I'll do the classics and the Tour of Romandy for the first time. I'll start Amstel Gold Race and Flèche wallonne, maybe Liège-Bastogne-Liège as well. If I'm well, I'll have some responsibilities in the team in Romandy." We'll surely hear again of the former Junior world champion.