Kreuziger to return to support role with Contador at Saxo Bank

Roman Kreuziger leaves Astana disappointments behind, signing a three-year contract with Riis Cycling

VALKENBURG, Netherlands (AFP) — Czech rider Roman Kreuziger will compete for the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team of Alberto Contador next season.

The 26-year-old Astana rider has signed a three-year deal, the Danish outfit confirmed on Tuesday.

“Roman can be a great support for Alberto,” team manager Bjarne Riis said.

Kreuziger turned professional in 2006 with Liquigas before joining Astana in 2011. He won the Tour of Switzerland in 2008, the Tour de Romandie in 2009 and finished fifth in the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Kreuziger led Astana at the Giro in May, but came up short in his bid for the overall podium. That ride appeared to create a rift with team manager Guiseppe Martinelli, who said after stage 17 that Kreuziger “needs to make a change, because up until now he hasn’t lived up to what we’d hoped for, in every sense… This is the absolute truth. That’s it.

“He’s the only one who’s able to give an explanation to the team and everyone else who’s at his side.”

Contador, a two-time Tour de France winner who lost his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles after testing positive for clenbuterol in 2010, marked his return from a two-year doping ban by winning a second Vuelta a España crown earlier this month.