Roman Kreuziger Interview
Team Tinkoff-Saxo’s Roman Kreuziger is tired but happy. It is mid January and it's been a solid day’s work at the most intensive training camp of the year; another day closer to form before his race season begins at the 2014 Tour of Oman next month.
the mood of the 20 riders present (the other seven are preparing in Australia for the Tour Down Under, which begins on Sunday 19th January). Not only do they ride as a team but fuel as a team, too. It’s that unity which has given riders like Kreuziger the greatest chance to reach their potential.
For Tinkoff-Saxo’s leader Contador, claiming the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for the third time in his career is the primary aim. Kreuziger may be there to assist him but that’s to be confirmed deeper into the season. What’s clear is that Kreuziger displays the attributes of a man designed for the Grand Tours. He can climb, is strong on the flat and time trials well. Surely longer-term aims comprise featuring strongly at the Giro, Tour or Vuelta.
‘That’d be great but whether it’s next year or in two years, we’ll have to see,’ says Kreuziger. ‘I need to consistently win one-week stage races first before looking at the Grand Tours. If you can win them, it’ll give you the confidence to attack the big ones.’
Oleg Tinkov’s recent acquisition of Tinkoff-Saxo will provide the stability and resources to give Kreuziger an even greater chance. The new team ownership is building on the investment from sponsors Tinkoff Credit Systems and Saxo Bank and the technical expertise of Bjarne Riis, with a clear direction and initiatives. Tinkoff-Saxo’s CEO Stefano Feltrin reveals that the team will pay greater attention to sports science in the future. They’ll scour international universities and seek cutting-edge partnerships to give Tinkoff-Saxo the advantage over their rivals. Kreuziger’s excited by the prospect, although he also cites the benefit currently gained by their impressive equipment.
‘My main bike is the Specialized Tarmac SL4 and I love it,’ he says. ‘You can use it in all conditions and over all terrain. I’m also looking forward to riding it in my new kit. It’s a fantastic design – I love the yellow – and it goes really well with my tanned limbs!’