Sorensen dreams of Schleck in yellow at Tour de France, says Armstrong will be a big threat
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Sorensen dreams of Schleck in yellow at Tour de France, says Armstrong will be a big threat

by Conal Andrews at 9:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Saxo Bank rider Nicki Sorensen has said that riding down the Champs Elysées with Andy Schleck in the Maillot Jaune is one of his biggest targets for 2010, and something that would be richly rewarding for him.

“I really want to do everything I can so that we can ride into Paris with Andy in the yellow jersey,” he told Feltet.dk. “Andy is a really good friend and a good team-mate, so it would definitely be a great experience.”

Schleck has emerged as the biggest challenger to Alberto Contador, having placed second in this year’s race. He was the next-best climber in the race and while he lost out in the time trials, he limited his losses to just over four minutes. Given that he’s two and a half years younger, his ability is clear.

“I obviously know that Alberto Contador is one of the competitors, but I believe in Andy,” said Sorensen, who also warns that Lance Armstrong will be a big threat. “You never know with Lance. He did say that he will come back even stronger in the coming season, so it is certainly not me who dismiss him [as being a big rival].”

Saxo Bank wants a strong performance in 2010, not least because it wants to chase additional sponsors. The loss of the IT Factory deal reduced the budget, and eight riders have left. Four have come on board.

Sorensen said that despite the changes, the team is still sufficiently powerful to challenge in the Tour. “It is clear that the team is stretched financially, but I still see us as a very strong team. There’s no doubt that we’ve lost some good intermediate riders, but we still have three class riders in Andy, Frank [Schleck] and Fabian [Cancellara]. It would have been much worse if any of those changed teams.”

Now 34 years of age, the Dane is motivated by what was one of his best stages. He took his first victory in the Tour de France, winning stage twelve, and also took a stage in the Tour of Denmark. Hitting top form again for the Tour is a goal, but before then he has said that he wants to be in strong condition for the Classics. He may be heading towards the end of his career, but he’s no intentions of easing back.

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