Astana’s Roman Kreuziger announced on Monday he would skip next year’s Tour de France due to the number of time trials featuring on the route.
The 2012 race features almost 100 kilometres of individual racing against the clock, a far higher percentage than in recent years, spread over the opening prologue (6.1km), stage nine (38 km) and the penultimate stage 19 (52 km).
“I will risk losing a lot of time in them,” said Kreuziger, winner of the 2008 Tour of Switzerland and 2009 Tour of Romandie who has lined up in four Tour de France, his best finish being ninth.
The 25-year-old Czech, who fell heavily in this year’s seventh stage, will instead divert his focus to the Tour of Italy.
“The next Giro will be more reasonable than the 2011 race. I’ll have a real chance of making the podium,” he said.
MENCHOV HAS A NEW RIDE
The last time so many kilometres of racing against the clock featured on a Tour de France was in 2007, when Spaniard Alberto Contador secured the second of his three victories by triumphing in the Lake Annecy time trial.
Russian Denis Menchov will race for the Katusha team from next season, moving from the soon to be defunct Geox, his new WorldTour team announced Monday.
Menchov, 33, has twice made the podium in the Tour de France, posting third-place finishes in 2008 and 2010. He also won the Giro in 2009 and the Vuelta in 2005 and 2007.