Kiserlovski ready for take-off at Tinkoff Saxo

Robert Kiserlovski believes that his transfer from Trek Factory Racing to Tinkoff Saxo will give him the springboard to improve as a GC rider in major races.

The 28-year-old climber was primarily signed as a super domestique for Alberto Contador and Rafal Majka but the former Trek rider has notched up his own impressive GC results in the Giro d'Italia, with two top-tens in the overall.

"I think that I can make the top five in a Grand Tour. If I can improve my TT, that's where I lose a lot of time. So if we take the Giro from this year, where I was eighth, if we take the TT and the time I lost with the snow at the Stelvio, I would have been higher. I made the maximum of what I had but I know that I can go a bit better," he told Cyclingnews.

"But I'm here for the team and if we win I'm happy. It's important we win but I know that I can improve if I have some goals. I can learn from the best riders in the world here."

Kiserlovski's racing programme for 2015 remains provisional but he is set to make his debut for the team at the Ruta del Sol before building up to the Tour de France with Alberto Contador. The Spaniard will of course take on the Giro d'Italia in May – a race in which Kiserlovski forged his reputation as a solid climber, but the rider is happy to forgo a return to Italy next year.

"Here I'll help Alberto Contador, Rafal Majka but also try and get some results for myself. I don't know the complete schedule but at this stage I think I'll start with Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice, Pais Vasco, Catalunya, Classics, Romandie, Dauphine and then the Tour de France. There's no Giro, and that's a race I like, but I think that's my plan for the season. I want a bit of a change in order to keep my motivation up."

So far Kiserlovski's experience with Tinkoff Saxo has involved a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro and a training camp in Gran Canaria.

"I've loved it so far, having the opportunity to come to this team has been great for me and so far it's all been excellent," he told Cyclingnews.

Negotiations with his new team began in May and a deal was officially agreed in August. It meant a sixth move in nearly as many years for the Croatian rider, who is adamant that each move has provided him with valuable lessons and experiences.

"At the Giro we started talking, with Trek Factory, Tinkoff Saxo and some other teams but I think that for my future it was good to come here. I think that this team can give me the chance to make that next step. In the past I've seen a number of riders come to this team, work for Bjarne, and start to improve and ride better. I want to try and see if this happens for me. So I signed my contract August, as soon as I could."

"Fuji I went to because there were problems in Amica Chips and then I went to Cannondale. It was a nice team but I was given a nice offer from Astana. I almost stayed with them but I went left, they went right and I signed for Bruyneel. Then he was gone and I wanted to stay with Trek but here I have more opportunities. Hopefully I won't change again but I don't see the moves as being so bad. I think that its given me more experience and a lot more motivation. It's made things more interesting."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.