Roman Kreuziger, who faces a hearing at the Court of Arbritation for Sport (CAS) over alleged biological passport inconsistencies, will toe the start line of Amstel Gold on Sunday as one of Tinkoff-Saxo’s protected riders, along with young Dane Michael Valgren.
Kreuziger is free to race pending the result of the CAS hearing, scheduled for June 10. He is battling charges stemming from alleged inconsistencies in his biological passport from the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
The Czech rider was left off Tinkoff-Saxo’s Tour de France team last July and disallowed from starting the Vuelta a España by a provisional suspension from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in September.
Tinkoff-Saxo will also work for Valgren, 23, who team sport director Sean Yates believes “has the capacity to go hard for a short while and that’s what it’s all about in Amstel, combined with a constant awareness of positioning in the pack.
“We are going to Amstel with a good lineup. We aim to be active, show the team colors and initiate our race strategy and then we’ll see how it materializes during the race, where you constantly have to be on your toes. We have Kreuziger, who is a previous winner, however he’s primarily targeting Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” said Yates.
“But the guy I actually think the race suits the most is Michael Valgren. So it will be a big occasion for him to step up.”
Valgren, 23, raced well at Paris-Nice, finishing sixth in a difficult stage 6 from Vence to Nice, and raced the Volta a Catalunya and Circuit de Sarthe as preparation for his run at the Ardennes.
“It’s a race that I indeed look forward to. I rode it last year and it’s a very cool race, if you ask me. I think I can do a good result if I hit the day and I have a role on the team where I can try. Then I just hope that the legs are where they should be. Amstel suits me well, as I might have to drop a few kilos to be really competitive on the longer climbs of Liége,” said Valgren
Tinkoff-Saxo’s lineup for Amstel Gold Race is Roman Kreuziger, Michael Valgren, Manuele Boaro, Ivan Rovny, Jesper Hansen, Evgeny Petrov, Robert Kiserlovski, and Chris Anker Sørensen.