Roman Kreuziger will lead Tinkoff in Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Czech rider has finished inside the top ten in the last two editions of the race and cracked the top 15 in each of the two Ardennes races thus far in 2016, Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne.
Kreuziger was fifth in last year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege and attacked in Amstel last weekend with a late move before the final ascent of the Cauberg. Ahead of Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Alejandro Valverde has been installed as the bookies the favourite. The Spaniard won last year and defended his La Fleche Wallonne crown earlier in the week.
"Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a tough and demanding race but one of which I'm very fond. The line-up this year is strong and, in particular, Alejandro Valverde has shown he is in very good form. Nevertheless, I feel very confident about my own shape which has been building in the last weeks. I look forward to giving my best to obtain a good result and I'm sure we will field a strong squad on Sunday," Kreuziger said.
Team director Bruno Cenghialta, who finished in the top ten in Liege-Bastogne-Liege during his own career and helped carry Russian Evengi Berzin to victory in the race in 1994, stressed that the brutal Liege-Bastogne-Liege finale would see the best riders compete for the win. The Italian pointed to the climb of Ans as the most critical point in the race.
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“Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a challenging race that requires good condition to be able to compete with the best riders in the world in a very demanding finale. In recent years, the crucial point of this race has always been the final climb of Ans and this is where we will focus our efforts. The aim is to bring our captains there, well-positioned to fight for a good result.”
Backing Kreuziger will be Yuri Trofimov, Robert Kiserlovski, Pavel Brutt, Pawel Poljanski, Ivan Rovny, Rafal Majka and Michael Valgren, who was second in Amstel Gold Race.