A heavy fall at the 2010 Flèche Wallonne saw Kroon sustain serious facial injuries and compromised the remainder of his season. After an exuberant beginning to 2011, the unfortunate Kroon’s progress was again halted by an untimely crash.
“After my accident, I had a huge desire to get back to my best level,” Kroon told Velochrono. “I’d trained very hard during the off-season and my goal was to do something at the classics, but then I broke my collarbone a few days before the Tour of Flanders. I thought I could go there and look for a place in the top 10.”
Though the veteran Kroon returned from that setback, he suffered further anguish later in the year, when he was left out of the BMC line-up for the Tour de France and missed out on marshalling Cadel Evans down the Champs-Élysées.
“It was a great disappointment given how BMC did, with Cadel’s overall victory,” he admitted. To put a cap on a frustrating two years at the team, his Vuelta a España ended prematurely when he suffered a broken arm in a fall on stage 14.
“It’s hard for me to take positives from these two seasons with BMC. I think I endured the worst two years of my career,” Kroon said.
As his contract with BMC expired, the 35-year-old Kroon was happy to accept an offer from Saxo Bank. Kroon spent four years with the Danish team before joining BMC, and he is pleased to be reunited with manager Bjarne Riis.
“When Bjarne proposed something to me during the summer, the links were automatically reformed,” Kroon said. “With him, I was able to get some excellent results and I’m still convinced that I can get more. After these two bad seasons, I could have thought about leaving but I still have a lot to offer this sport.”
Kroon is currently in Israel on Saxo Bank’s first training camp of the winter, but his thoughts are already trained on next spring, where Riis believes he will lead the team’s classics charge alongside with Nick Nuyens.
“I’m really happy with this return, because he will be important for the spring classics, especially the Ardennes, which really suit him,” he said. “With Nick Nuyens and him, we’ve got a good pair of leaders for the classics.”
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