Kreuziger looks to focus on racing as he awaits CAS appeal

No date set for passport hearing yet

Almost eight months have passed since Roman Kreuziger was pulled from Tinkoff-Saxo’s race programme when the UCI notified him that he was under investigation for anomalies in his biological passport. While he’s been able to race since September, when he was cleared by his native Czech Olympic Committee (CAC), he must compete with the uncertainty of an appeal hanging over his head.

A date had been set for the appeal hearing but according to Kreuziger it was rejected by the UCI and he’s still waiting to learn of a new date. “It could be in one month, three months or at the end of the year. I don’t know,” he shrugged.

Tinkoff-Saxo tried to bring Kreuziger back to racing at the Tour de Pologne but the UCI stepped in and his first racing appearance didn’t take place until Milano-Torino last October. He rode three further races before his season ended. Kreuziger has a programme pencilled in that includes Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico but he’s reluctant to talk about anything else when he doesn’t even know if he will make the start line.

Despite the uncertainty, Kreuziger is trying to carry on about business as usual. “I am still young but I am not a first year pro, I know how to get ready and into shape. Everything about this case I put away and I am just looking just towards the season and we will see when the hearing is,” Kreuziger told Cyclingnews. “Cycling is my job and you can’t look too much at this case. You have to live with it and look ahead.”

Kreuziger is currently competing in his first race of the year at the Tour of Oman where he finished 11th on Green Mountain to move himself into 12th overall, 1:45 behind Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida). It is a solid start to the year and, considering the circumstances, Kreuziger is happy with the way his 2015 season has begun.

“It is the new season and a new start and I think I had a good winter so everything is going how it should be,” he said. “It was a long stage and I had the legs. Of course I wasn’t able to fight with the first but we have Rafal (Majka) here for the GC and I will just support him. I think for the next races that are coming I think that it is perfect where I am now and I am really happy with the shape.”

If he is able to race a full programme this season, Kreuziger hopes to resume his role as a super-domestique for both Alberto Contador and Majka. Kreuziger has been a key rider for Contador since the pair teamed up at Tinkoff-Saxo and he was set to be part of last year’s Tour de France squad until the passport proceedings came to light.

Contador will target the Giro-Tour double this season, a feat that only seven riders have achieved – Marco Pantani was the last in 1998 – but Kreuziger is confident that his team leader can become the eighth. “Not many have done it but you have to look at Alberto, he’s a champion and not many are like him,” said Kreuziger.

“Of course I would like to be there and be part of the team because I’m pretty sure that if someone can do the double then it’s Alberto because I’ve seen many champions in the last 10 years and he’s the one who can keep the focus and he has really good recovery. I think that if someone can do it in the peloton then it is him.”

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