Roman Kreuziger will leave his current Astana team at the end of the season and join Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in 2013, the team managed by Bjarne Riis announced on Tuesday. The Czech rider has signed a three-year deal with the Danish squad, where he will undoubtedly work for Alberto Contador but also get several opportunities to achieve his personal goals.
Kreuziger, 26, is a strong and proven all-rounder, skilled in both climbing and time trialling, which has seen him win some significant stage races like Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie. In 2011, Kreuziger finished fifth overall in the Giro d'Italia, winning the young rider's classification. This season, he also took a mountain stage win in the Italian grand tour.
Kreuziger has been with Kazakh team Astana these last two years, but was looking for new perspectives to further improve his career. "Personally I thought that now was the time for some new inspiration, and after I spoke with Bjarne and Alberto I was sure that Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank was the best choice for me," the Czech rider said.
"I know what I am capable of on the bike, and I know I have a chance of winning in a lot of different races, but over the last couple of years I've lost some of my confidence. Instantly when talking to Bjarne I felt he believed in me, and that this team can help me move on. I have seen how the team works with a young rider like Manuele Boaro, how hard work and dedication pays off, so I thought to myself, I just want to be part of this team," he added.
Riis was equally excited with the new addition to his roster. "Roman is a rider that I actually wanted to have on the team some years back. So that we have now been able to seal deal is something I'm extremely happy about. No doubt he will add significant strength to our roster, and he can win races from classics to stage races. At the same time I also think Roman still has the potential to improve. We are going to work hard to fulfill this potential," team owner Riis commented.
"I believe Roman can be a very strong helper for Alberto in some of the races, but surely he will also get his chances to make results of his own."