Bruyneel not ruling out Giro for Andy Schleck, believes he could ride it to win
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bruyneel not ruling out Giro for Andy Schleck, believes he could ride it to win

by VeloNation Press at 8:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian states it’s possible to ride strongly in both Giro and Tour

Johan BruyneelFollowing recent debate about whether or not Andy Schleck should ride the Giro d’Italia, RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel has floated the possibility that the Luxembourg rider could indeed target the race. In fact, he believes it could be feasible to ride strongly both there and in the Tour de France.

“If it is decided (that the Giro is possible), it will be for the win,” he told L’Equipe. “It will not be incompatible with the Tour. We seem to forget that in 2011, the Giro was extremely hard, which is not the case in 2012.”

Earlier this week, a number of past Giro d’Italia winners told La Gazzetta dello Sport that they believed Schleck would be better targeting the Giro as the route is believed to be far more suited to his abilities. They reasoned that the small number of summit finishes in the Tour coupled with almost 100 kilometres of individual time trialing meant that he was very unlikely to win, and said that it would be better for his confidence, psychology and palmares to finally clock up a Grand Tour win.

“For Andy the 2012 Giro is an occasion, an opportunity, an objective. He must gamble,” asserted Gilberto Simoni, double winner, who squared up against Schleck in the latter’s 2007 Grand Tour debut there. “And winning the Giro would help him climb the leaderboard in the history of cycling.”

Francesco Moser, Felice Gimondi, Giuseppe Saronni, Paolo Savoldelli and Gianni Bugno all agreed.

In contrast, 1988 Vuelta a España winner Sean Kelly told VeloNation yesterday that he didn’t think that Schleck should necessarily give up on his Tour de France hopes. “I would say the Tour is the one he wants to go for. I don’t think anyone is going to say, ‘ah, I won’t bother doing the Tour, I will do the Tour of Italy,’ he said. “I think he will be keen to do the Tour de France, and that is what he will be preparing and focussing for.”

As Bruyneel points out, this year’s Giro is not believed to be as taxing in the riders. This is because of a more balanced spread of stages, and also shorter transfers.

“We will do everything for Andy to win the Tour de France,” he said, making clear that the July race is the big target for Schleck’s career. “[The time trial] is a point that we have to work on. He must maintain his ability in the mountains and be brave.”


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