Saxo-Tinkoff riding for captain Roman Kreuziger in Amstel Gold
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saxo-Tinkoff riding for captain Roman Kreuziger in Amstel Gold

by Kyle Moore at 5:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Amstel Gold Race
 
A strong and veteran squad with multiple options but no true favourite

Roman KreuzigerSaxo-Tinkoff readies for what should be its stronger portion of the classics season, as the roads become undulating in the Ardennes region and some of the team’s grand tour specialists can come out to play.

Saxo-Tinkoff’s biggest grand tour contender, Alberto Contador, will not contest the Ardennes classics, but the Danish squad has a handful of men that it can call leader, beginning at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.

Roman Kreuziger gets the call for the Dutch event, and will be supported by a number of experienced riders to shepherd him to the top of the Cauberg, and into the much-discussed longer flat section from the top of the climb to the finish line.

With this section comes the possibility of altered racing tactics, as a regrouping at the top of the Cauberg before the line is a scenario that could play out. To try and get rid of, or at least isolate the climbing-sprinting specialists – chiefly Peter Sagan – Saxo-Tinkoff director Philippe Mauduit believes that there should be some aggressive racing leading into the uphill finale, and his squad is adequately prepared for this.

To support Kreuziger, Saxo-Tinkoff will rely on the attacking power of Nicolas Roche and Chris Anker Sorensen, as well as the heady leadership of Nicki Sorensen and Karsten Kroon.

“Roman is our captain for the race, and we’ll support him and Nicki and make sure they’ll be ready for the finale,” Mauduit stated, before explaining his reasoning.

“The route fits Roman really well and Nicki has recently shown great form, while Karsten will act as our GPS because of his vast experience in this race. We are not desperately trying to get into an early break unless there is a big group going up the road. On the other hand, we have riders like Chris Anker Sorensen and Rory Sutherland who have the ability to launch a counterattack when the morning break is swept up.”

Mauduit indicated that his riders could be some of the protagonists in trying to shake up the closing kilometres before the Cauberg, in an effort to get rid of, or at least handicap Sagan before the finish.

“Since we do not finish on top of the Cauberg, it leaves more hope for the riders who don’t have the big punch, like [Joaquim] Rodriguez, who could be forced to launch an early attack if he wants to get to the finish line without the accompaniment of Sagan,” he continued.

“Later today we’ll inspect the final 60 kilometres of the course to get the feel of the race. Our riders are ready and really motivated.”

Saxo-Tinkoff for Amstel Gold:
Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Chris Anker Sorensen, Rory Sutherland, Karsten Kroon, Marko Kump, Jay McCarthy, Nicki Sorensen

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