Brajkovic says form is perfectly on track for Tour, will ride Tour of Slovenia
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brajkovic says form is perfectly on track for Tour, will ride Tour of Slovenia

by VeloNation Press at 9:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Astana leader heads squad on home soil

Janez BrajkovicFormer Critérium de Dauphiné winner Jani Brajkovic will continue his build-up to what he aims will be a very strong Tour de France when he begins his home national tour tomorrow.

The Astana leader will compete in the four day Tour of Slovenia, heading a team which also comprises Borut Bozič, Evgeny Petrov, Simone Ponzi, Kevin Seeldraeyers and Egor Silin. He hopes to both perform strongly and also to ramp up his condition after netting seventh in this year’s Dauphiné.

The 28 year old is satisfied with the momentum that has been building. “At the Tour de Romandie, it seemed that the form was improving,” he told, referring to his ninth place. “I then came straight from Colorado and rode the Critérium du Dauphiné. I had high expectations. I only wanted to be strong in the mountains, but event the time trial performance was not bad. I finished the race exactly where I wanted. The result is good.”

Many of Brajkovic’s rivals will only do the national road race championships after the Dauphiné, but he’s hoping the extra four days of competition will give him an additional edge. When he’s on top form, he’s both a good climber and a strong time trialist, and could take his best-ever result in this year’s Tour.

Team manager Giuseppe Martinelli outlined the plan for this week’s race. “The team will obviously be captained by Jani Brajkovic, who is riding at home and is the top Slovenian cyclist. I am sure he will get a really warm reception from his fans. He did well at the Dauphiné and we are satisfied with his performance. It was a hard race and seventh place overall is a good sign for the Tour de France.

“His condition is improving but I have already seen some good things during the Alpine stages. We think the squad we are taking to the Tour of Slovenia can be competitive. Not only do we have Brajkovic, but the other riders are also top class and I am expecting a great deal from them.”

Recent winners of the race including Jakob Fuglsang, Vincenzo Nibali and Diego Ulissi. The opening stage covers 152 kilometres from Celje to Novo mesto, and is then followed by two more road race legs. The final outcome will be decided with a 17.8 kilometre time trial in Ljubljana on Sunday.


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