Klöden considers Tour de France podium is possible
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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Klöden considers Tour de France podium is possible

by VeloNation Press at 9:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
RadioShack rider confident in his form

andreas KlodenGerman stage race specialist Andreas Klöden is feeling upbeat after some good performances this year and believes that it is possible that he can fight for a top three finish in this year’s Tour de France. Following the retirement of Lance Armstrong, the RadioShack rider knows that he will be one of those vying for leadership on the American team. However he said that he isn’t obsessed with being given the title of leader of the squad.

“I don’t care whether I’m captain or not,” he told Muax.de. “I’m ready for a good performance and I know that I can go near the podium. I've shown that many other times.”

Klöden had a strong start to the year when he was fifth in the Volta ao Algarve and then went on to win a stage and place second overall in Paris-Nice. He sprayed the champagne in the time trial at the Critérium International, and then took the overall classification in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco plus a time trial win in the Giro del Trentino.

He’s a rider who had a reputation earlier in his career as not being able to handle a lot of psychological pressure, and to shirk responsibility. That doesn’t appear to be the case any longer, and he is stepping up his performances after the retirement of Armstrong.

Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner and Janez Brajkovic will all head to the Tour de France with big ambitions. “I'm right on schedule, and just want to go there in form,” he said.

The German finished second in the 2004 and 2006 Tours de France. He was sixth overall last year, but appears to be in better shape this time round.

“With me it's like a good wine. The older is, the better it is, too.”

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