Roman Kreuziger’s Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank move is officially confirmed
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roman Kreuziger’s Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank move is officially confirmed

by Ben Atkins at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Czech all-rounder to Danish team for three years as Riis lifts veil of transfer secrecy

roman kreuzigerOne of 2012’s worst-kept transfer secrets has finally been confirmed as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank has confirmed the signing of Roman Kreuziger from Astana on a three-year deal. Team owner Bjarne Riis has kept rider transfers secret until recently, for fear that the riders will be denied the opportunity to score valuable WorldTour points but, with the season coming to a close the Danish former Tour winner is beginning to make official announcements.

Recently the team has announced the signing of Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati, and the return of Danish Classics star Matti Breschel after two disappointing years at Rabobank, while today sees the arrival of Czech all-rounder Kreuziger after an almost equally quiet time at Astana.

Kreuziger joined Astana in 2011 as a replacement for then Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, after failing t match the Spanish riders feats at the Kazakh team, he will now be riding by his side at Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

"Roman is a rider that I actually wanted to have on the team some years back, so that we have now been able to seal deal is something I'm extremely happy about,” said Riis. “No doubt he will add significant strength to our roster, which his palmares also shows, and he can win races from classics to stage races. At the same time I also think Roman still have the potential to improve. We are going to work hard to fulfill this potential.

"I believe Roman can be a very strong helper for Alberto in some of the races, but surely he will also get his changes to make results of his own."

The transfer has been a strong rumour from as far back as July, but Riis has been reluctant to confirm any transfer activity, since - under the UCI WorldTour system - riders take points with them when they go, which has led to some riders being sidelined from major races if their old team knows that they are leaving. Having lost all of Contador’s points - and the services of the rider until August - Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank needs as many as possible for 2013, and so wanted to avoid this at all costs.

"Personally I thought that now was the time for some new inspiration, and after I spoke with Bjarne and Alberto I was sure that Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank was the best choice for me, said Kreuziger. “I know what I am capable of on the bike, and I know I have a chance of winning in a lot of different races, but over the last couple of years I've lost some of my confidence. Instantly when talking to Bjarne I felt he believed in me, and that this team can help me move on. I have seen how the team works with a young rider like Manuele Boaro, how hard work and dedication pays off, so I thought to myself, I just want to be part of this team."

More transfers to the Danish team are rumoured but, with more WorldTour points still available at Lombardia, and the Tour of Beijing, Riis will doubtlessly leave it until the last minute to make any announcements.

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