Schleck proves he’s in the right shape to battle for Maglia Rosa
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Schleck proves he’s in the right shape to battle for Maglia Rosa

by Shane Stokes at 3:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
RadioShack Nissan rider to the fore in Giro d’Italia

Frank SchleckFrank Schleck today dismissed any concerns that he might be off form due to an unexpected call-up to the Giro d’Italia, fininshing third on the first summit finish of the race.

The RadioShack Nissan rider rode strongly on the final climb of the Rocca di Cambio, crossing the line just three behind the winner Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) and the 2011 Giro winner Michele Scarponi (Lampre ISD). He was ahead of Fleche Wallonne winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who is normally very quick on short climbs and who was psyched to win today on his birthday.

Directeur sportif Kim Andersen was very relieved by what he saw, given that it shows Schleck is in form to fight for the race win.

“Today was a good day for Fränk and the team’s GC ambition,” he stated. “We really did ok. I’m even a tiny bit surprised because it was not such a long climb and we all know that short, steep climbs are not Fränk’s specialty. But he did really, really well.

“I knew he was not bad in the Classics even though the results were not there. But we must keep in mind that his is a long, hard stage race. Fränk usually grows stronger every day in such a race, so I’ve happy with what I saw today.”

Schleck finished third in last year’s Tour de France and, providing he does get stronger in the stages ahead, could thrive in the very tough final week of the race.

He is now up to twelfth overall, 48 seconds behind the new race leader Ryder Hesjedal.

Given that Schleck lost time in the opening time trial and in the team time trial, he’ll be pleased with his position heading towards the bigger mountains to come.


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