Chris Anker Sørensen: “I want to win the Tour with Alberto Contador”
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Chris Anker Sørensen: “I want to win the Tour with Alberto Contador”

by Ben Atkins at 1:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Danish climber finally sees his chance after two second places with Andy Schleck

chris anker sorensenChris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) has decided that the time has come for him to finish the Tour de France in Paris on the winner’s team, according to feltet.dk. The Danish climber has ridden the race for a variety of captains in the past, and come very close to victory, but he feels that he has the best chance of his career so far with three-time winner Alberto Contador in 2012.

“This year we have a good chance to win it with Alberto,” he said, “and I would like to win the race with him, because I have finished second twice and fifth once with my captain. Now I want to ride into Paris with my captain in the yellow jersey.”

Sørensen rode in 2009 and 2010 in the service of Fränk and Andy Schleck, with the latter finishing in second place on both occasions. With the two brothers leaving the team last year to form Leopard Trek [shortly to become RadioShack-Nissan after a merging of the team’s sponsors with those of the American team – ed] their big rival Alberto Contador came on board. Badly timed crashes, a minor knee injury, and fatigue – possibly as a result of his earlier Giro victory – meant that the Spanish three-time winner could only manage fifth; his worst result in a Grand Tour since his first Tour victory in 2007.

The 27-year-old was on the same CSC-Saxo Bank team as Carlos Sastre, when he won the race in 2008, but was not selected to ride the race that year.

With a revised 2012 programme, which will see the Spanish rider sit out the Giro – which Sørensen reportedly approves of – the Dane feels that Contador has a better chance this time.

"He has won many times, and I think he seems to have a really good opportunity, Sørensen explained. “I certainly think that he can become the winner of the Tour de France. He has also shown before he that he could, so I think he is one of the major favourites."

All of this, of course, depends on the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) finding in Contador’s favour in the International Cycling Union (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appeals against his acquittal for the clenbuterol positive that he returned at the 2010 Tour.  The verdict is expected in the New Year and, if CAS finds against him, could see the Spanish rider suspended for two years, as well as losing his latest Tour and Giro victories.

Sørensen does harbour his own ambition in the Grand Tours, and finished a career-best twelfth in the Vuelta a España this year; but with Contador to support, there would be no question of him riding for himself.

"As long as Alberto is on the team, I think not," he confirmed.

Sørensen is currently in Israel, with the rest of the 2012 Saxo Bank team, on its first team-building camp ahead of next season. The riders are helping to build a cycling school in the country, for the use of both Jewish and Muslim cyclists, with the aim of promoting “Cycling for Peace” in the troubled region.

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