Nygaard aiming to make history by putting both Schlecks on the Tour de France podium
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nygaard aiming to make history by putting both Schlecks on the Tour de France podium

by Shane Stokes at 7:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
New Luxembourg team setting sights high

Andy SchleckThere have been several well known brothers in cycling, such as Louison and Jean Bobet, Miguel and Prudencio Indurain, Stephen and Laurence Roche and, currently, Sylvain and Sebastien Chavanel plus Brice and Romain Feillu. Those pairings have found varying levels of success, but the new Luxembourg cycling team has a history-making project in mind which could make two of their riders the most famous siblings in the history of the sport. The aim? To put both on the podium of the Tour de France.

Andy Schleck has already finished second twice and, depending on the outcome of the Alberto Contador investigation, could yet be crowned the winner of this year’s race. Frank Schleck won the Tour de Suisse and might have challenged for the podium this year had he not crashed out on the cobbles of northern France, breaking his collarbone.

The potential is clearly there; now, it’s a question of chasing that target.

“The goal is to win the Tour de France. The dream is to get the two men on the podium in Paris,” general manager Brian Nygaard told Sporten.dk. “You dream at night, you achieve the goals by day. It is a special scenario that would have both Andy and Frank on the podium.

“We would not sacrifice the victory for it, but the possibility is there.”

For Nygaard, the goal is something that would not only have significance for the team, but also for the country that it is based in. “It gives me chills just thinking about it. It would be a fantastic thing for them personally, for the whole team, for the project and for Luxembourg as a nation,” he said.

Frank SchleckOne thing that will help the brothers aim for that target is the fact that mountains far outweigh time trials in terms of importance in the 2011 Tour. There are four mountain top finishes – six if you include the ramps to the line at Mûr -de-Bretagne and Super-Besse Sancy – and just 41 kilometres of individual time trials. That swings the advantage towards climbers and, with that, the Schleck brothers. “We couldn’t wish for a better route,” Nygaard admits.

He stressed that he is keeping things in perspective, realising that netting two out of the first three won’t be easy. “The key is to go after the victory first and, take everything else as it comes.”

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