Breschel boosted by likely Tour ride, Saxo Bank contenders named
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Breschel boosted by likely Tour ride, Saxo Bank contenders named

by Conal Andrews at 8:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France

Matti Breschel didn’t have the Classic season he would have liked due to a bad bike change in the Tour of Flanders and knee problems in Paris-Roubaix, but Bjarne Riis has put his faith in the Danish champion for the Tour de France.

Breschel has been included in the list of riders who are in contention for a Tour place and, according to Riis, the 25 year old is almost certain to make his debut this year.

“Obviously Matti can ride the Tour de France,” he said, speaking to Politiken. “The report on the damaged knee is extremely positive and it is purely as a safety message that we decided to let Matti stay calm for a while yet.

“He returns to competition in the Tour of California, which runs from 16th to the 23rd of May and it means that he, like most of the Tour squad, will ride the Tour de Suisse from June 12th until 20th.”

The other riders on the provisional list for the Tour de France are the three team leaders Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck and Fabian Cancellara, as well as Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady and Gustav Larsson.

Three other Danes are also in the running, according to Riis. “The final Tour selection will probably only be made during the Tour de Suisse. However with reservations, with the exception of circumstances that are beyond our control, I can state now that the team will consist of at least three Danes and probably four.”

““The three I'm talking about are Matti, Jacob Fuglsang and Nicki Sørensen. Chris Anker Sørensen is the fourth but he is about to start again in the Giro d’Italia after a month’s break.” His brief there is simply to ride the race without pressure and use it to rebuild form after a broken collarbone suffered this spring.

He doesn't have to use the race to justify his place in the Tour.“There is no question that Chris will be examined in the Giro with a view to the Tour. If everything goes as planned, I indeed expect that he will be amongst the nine starting in Rotterdam on July 3rd.”

That gives ten names for nine places, meaning that one of those riders will be forced to sit out the race. An injury to one of them would clear the way for the others but if all remain in good health and are riding well, a difficult decision will have to be made in late June as to who should be left at home.

Breschel was originally due to race in this Sunday’s Grand Prix Herning in Denmark, but a cautious approach by Team Saxo Bank sees him have additional time away from racing. Those who will take part in the 1.1-ranked race are Alex Rasmussen, Jakob Fuglsang, Frank Høj, Jonas Aaen Jørgensen, Kasper Klostergaard and Dominik Klemme.

Rasmussen is likely to use the race as an opportunity to discuss Riis’ decision to prevent him and Michael Morkov from riding in future track world championships. He is likely to be disappointed, especially as he has four world titles to his credit, but Riis is insistent that his track racing must end before the big Classics.


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