Roman Kreuziger will target the Ardennes Classics and Tour de France next season, as he embarks on a new challenge with the fifth team of his career, Dimension Data. The Czech veteran outlined his schedule for 2019, and also highlighted the strength in depth that his new team boasts.
After beginning his season in Europe, Kreuziger will head to the Middle East for the UAE Tour and Tour of Oman before returning to race at Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico in March. His primary objectives will be in Belgium in April and then The Tour de France in July.
“In April there will be the Ardennes, where I hope to shine,” Kreuziger told isports.cz. “Then a little pause before attacking the preparation for the Tour de France. This year I’m going to focus exclusively on the Tour. I will not compete in the Giro.”
Kreuziger has ridden the Tour de France eight times in his career, with the last occasion coming in 2017. He has previous at the French Grant Tour, finishing in the top 10 on four occasions to date, including a career-best fifth-place in 2013. For the past two seasons though, he has race largely in the services of the Yates brothers and Esteban Chaves at Mitchelton-Scott. He raced the Giro d’Italia this season, for just the fourth time, lining up as a support rider for Simon Yates.
Though he has been able to contest the Ardennes Classics as a leader - he took second at the Amstel Gold Race and fourth at La Flèche Wallonne this year - he’s looking for more freedom at his new team.
“It’s hard to stay in a team where you’re not motivated,” Kreuziger said. “I needed a new challenge, and Dimension Data was the most interesting one. We will be a formidable team, especially in the Ardennes classics with Enrico (Gasparotto) and Michael (Valgren).”
Indeed, the South African team will head into next April boasting the full podium of the 2018 Amstel Gold Race among their ranks, all of whom are also past winners of the one-day race. Valgren took the title this year, while Kreuziger – who won in 2013 - and Gasparotto – the winner in 2012 and 2016 - finished second and third respectively.