Kreuziger to leave Liquigas?
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kreuziger to leave Liquigas?

by Nick Mulder at 7:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Roman Kreuziger looks set to trade in his Liquigas team for Belgium’s Omega-Pharma Lotto in 2010. The 23-year-old Czech has reached a verbal agreement with the Belgian ProTour formation according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

Omega-Pharma Lotto is prepared to pay the Italian ProTour team a buyout sum to release the young talent from his current contract. Kreuziger is recognized as one of cycling’s biggest upcoming talents, winning the Tour de Romandie this year and finishing ninth overall in the Tour de France. The strong all-rounder would be expected to fill the gap left by world champion Cadel Evans, who has made the jump to American Pro-Continental team BMC Racing.

Riding for Liquigas, Kreuziger is forced to share the team leadership with leaders Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti, and Vincenzo Nibali. VeloNation reported earlier that Basso is eyeing the 2010 Tour de France with 2009 King of the Mountains winner Pellizotti at his side, leaving both younger riders in the cold.

The move would signal Kreuziger’s personal ambition for the Tour, but the question remains whether he has a buy out clause, and if he doesn’t, will Liquigas agree to such a transfer.

Nibali tried to change teams for a leadership role earlier this year, undergoing negotiations with Britain’s Team Sky. But the opportunity for the Italian was quickly denied by Liquigas, and could signal a similar fate for Kreuziger.

Both Kreuziger’s manager and Omega Pharma-Lotto manager Marc Sergeant have since denied the rumors circulating in the Belgian press. According to Kreuziger’s manager the young Czech will fulfill his contract through 2010.

"We are on the lookout for stage racing talent for 2011. I am working my way through the top 20 of the tour, so it is logical that I consider Kreuziger. I also read that we are throwing around millions to bring him to our team – that gave me a good laugh. There is no way that we have reached an accord. We did meet him a few times to discuss, nothing more,” explained Sergeant to SportWereld.
Two months ago Sergeant similarly denied Gerben Lowik’s (Vacansoleil) transfer only to confirm the move a week later.  If the transfer were to materialize, Kreuziger would become the designated captain with new Lotto signee Daniel Moreno and Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck at his side.

Updated: 12:22 EST


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