Kim Andersen says the Schlecks will have to be aggressive at Tour de France
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kim Andersen says the Schlecks will have to be aggressive at Tour de France

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Sees Wiggins and Contador as the early favourites

Andy SchleckFollowing yesterday's release of the route for the 2012 Tour de France, Leopard Trek team manager Kim Andersen has told the Schleck brothers will have to be aggressive if they want to win the race. The downside for the Luxembourgish brothers who are not known for their time trial abilities, is that the race will feature a prologue, plus two long individual time trials. The total distance against the clock is 96.1 kilometres, a clear difference to the 42.5 kilometres raced this year when both Andy and Fränk finished on the podium.

“It is a route where you have to attack early, because there are not many mountaintop finishes. They must race aggressively if one of the two wants to win," said Andersen.

“It's a disadvantage to us that there are so many time trial kilometres, but we will have a very, very strong team which can help to open the course early on some stages."

With the amalgamation of the RadioShack team, the Schlecks could have riders such as Chris Horner and Andreas Kloden as their service. Both men are accomplished general classification riders and have finished in the top ten of the race.

The route information was first leaked last week when it was posted to the race website by mistake. The leaked version was confirmed yesterday with more detail and clarification presented by race director Christian Prudhomme. A full analysis of that route is here.

“It's very open race. The jersey may change hands many times,” said Andersen. “It is good for a Bradley Wiggins, even though he may have a disadvantage with a sprinter [Mark Cavendish] on the team.”

“It is also good for [Alberto] Contador, as there are a few short ascents, which are also steep, and those he will surely be good at. The new Planche des Belles Filles suits him well."

Should Contador be cleared by the Court of Arbitration next month, he will be one of the dangerous men for the overall classification. He said on his Twitter page this morning that the route is not ideal for him, but that he is motivated and will be 100% fit.

Defending champion Cadel Evans also likes the parcours as he is a strong individual time trialist.


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