Roman Kreuziger and key Astana teammates have headed to Sicily to train ahead of what will be a run at the overall crown at the Giro d’Italia for the 24-year-old Czech rider.
Kreuziger is being joined by 10 teammates for a two-week camp to hone the legs for the season’s first major goals.
“We had already trained at Sicily and we really liked it. The roads are good, there’s not a lot of traffic and the food is very nice,” Kreuziger told VeloNews. “We traded a trip to Tenerife to stay here. We’ll go make altitude training at Tenerife in April. We’re sleeping at 2,000 meters every night, so it’s working out well.”
Kreuziger and his Astana teammates are sleeping at a hotel high on the flanks of Europe’s most active volcano, which was only recently erupting, though there was no word if lava created havoc on the road that climbs the towering summit.
Kreuziger has set his eyes on the Giro podium as his first major goal after switching from Liquigas to Astana last fall. Kreuziger simply said it was time for a change and that he’s already feeling good on his new team.
“The goal is the Giro this year. This team is giving me new confidence,” Kreuziger said. “ I have not decided yet if I will race the Tour or not. Vinokourov will go as the team captain to the Tour and I will decide if I will race it after we see how the Giro goes.”
Kreuziger also said they will be training frequently on the roads up Mount Etna, which will be climbed twice during a stage up Europe’s most active volcano.
“Etna will be one of the most important stages in the Giro. I think the stage on Sicily could prove dangerous, so it’s a good idea to have a sense of what to expect,” he said. “We’ll go to see the other decisive stages later in the season when the snow clears in the mountains in the north. Right now is a good time to be on Sicily.”
For Kreuziger, the road to the Giro goes through Sicily.