Roman Kreuziger, the winner of the Tour of Switzerland and runner up in the best young rider competition at his first Tour de France, is one of the most promising prospects of the coming years. Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet spoke with the 22-year-old in his home town of Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Born in May 1986 in Moravska Trebova, in the north of the Czech Republic, Roman Kreuziger has already stamped his mark on the Tour de France at an age where most riders are vying to succeed in the under-23 ranks.
Kreuziger confirmed his ascension to the upper echelon of the elite ranks when he dropped Cadel Evans, then in the yellow jersey, on the climb to Prato Nevoso on the stage 16 . The effort earned him the white jersey which he was able to show to his parents when they visited him at the Tour.
That day he actually took the jersey for best young rider from the shoulders of friend and teammate Vincenzo Nibali, who also represents Liquigas' sporting future. Kreuziger doesn't just speak for himself when he recalls how bravely he and the young Italian battled on the roads of France.
"We thought we could win the best young rider classification, either he or myself," Kreuziger says while drinking a non-alcoholic beer at the famous Restaurace Na Spilce inside the brewery of Pilsner Urquell, in Pilsen. "But Andy Schleck proved himself to be better than us in the climbs during the following stages. It was a big eye-opener for me."
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