Twenty-two-year-old Roman Kreuziger finished 13th in this year’s Tour de France, the highest position ever achieved by a Czech cyclist in the world’s greatest race. He also came second in the Under 25s category. Kreuziger had said before the Tour that he was taking part for the first time mainly to gain experience and that he even might drop out half way through. Instead, the Liquigas team member added further to the international reputation he earned with victories in the junior world championship in 2004 and the Tour of Switzerland this year; many in Czech cycling are now confident he can go on to even greater things. Roman Kreuziger had this to say in Paris on Sunday evening:
“I think from my point of view things went quite well, though from the team’s point of view it’s maybe a pity I didn’t win any individual stages. It was a race like any other for me, although there was more pressure from journalists, the public, and between the riders.”
The Czech footballer Tomáš Necid was kicking himself after a missed opportunity in the semi-finals of the Under 19 European Championship last week. Soon after he failed to convert a decent chance, Germany scored to make it 2:1 and book themselves a place in the final, which they won. But the 18-year-old can take some solace in being the tournament’s top scorer, with four goals.
Necid’s club Slavia Prague will be hoping to defend their Czech title when the league gets underway on Friday. In their most recent warm-up, Slavia beat the Iranian national team 1:0 in Prague on Sunday.
Former Czech international manager Karel Bruckner surprised many by taking the helm of the Austrian national side last week. Bruckner, who is 70 next year, had said he was looking forward to retirement after his long stint with the Czech Republic, saying he would enjoy the “unbearable lightness of being”.
With the Olympic Games in Beijing drawing ever nearer, there was a bit of a scare for Czech fans when, complaining of cramp, decathlete Roman Šebrle withdrew from a pole vault exhibition in Kutná Hora at the weekend. However, Šebrle – the only Czech reigning gold medalist – is expected to be fit in time for the Olympics.
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