Video: Nygaard convinced Schleck can win Tour, but Andersen wanted more time gained
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Video: Nygaard convinced Schleck can win Tour, but Andersen wanted more time gained

by Shane Stokes at 10:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de France, Video
Differing moods of confidence in Luxembourg squad

Brian NygaardGeneral manager Brian Nygaard and directeur sportif Kim Andersen were in different moods at the end of yesterday’s stage to Alpe d’Huez, with the former being upbeat and confident that Andy Schleck can win the Tour de France, while the latter seemed a little more guarded about his chances.

Schleck set out with the goal yesterday of taking time out of Cadel Evans, his big rival going into today’s time trial. However despite a very aggressive race to Alpe d’Huez, the two reached the summit together. The Australian consequently starts today’s final time trial 57 seconds behind in the general classification.

“I’m extremely happy,” a smiling Nygaard told VeloNation in a video interview at the end of the stage. “I think it is a very long time since we have seen 100 kilometres of racing amongst the favourites.

“It was obviously today that Alberto wanted to go early, and that was our chance to maybe put Cadel under pressure…if not to take time, then at least to make him work hard so he is less recuperated for tomorrow.”

Neither of the Schleck brothers rode the Dauphiné so, unlike Evans, they have not done today’s time trial course in competition. Nygaard believes that will not make a difference. “He knows the parcours [from riding it – ed.], but I think the biggest factor in the last time trial of the Tour is who is the most recuperated. Andy has shown he is really strong, still…he has an advantage on Evans. It will be really, really close, but I think it is possible.”

Andersen was quieter about the prospects of a Tour win. “It didn’t happen,” he said of the stage goal to take time out of Evans.

“It was a hard start, a full gas start. I was happy that he [Andy Schleck] could follow because after the day yesterday, it was not sure that he was recovered enough. But straight away he said that he was very good at the start. On the Alpe he was not so good, so it was difficult to follow. At that point we needed to change [things] a little bit. We thought that it was a perfect scenario with Frank hanging on the wheel and maybe he could then go, but it was not the day to do it.”

Asked if he was worried about Evans’ proximity to the two riders heading into the final time trial, he was frank about that. “Yeah, for sure. It is clear.”

Is there anything they could have done differently? “No..they needed to have better legs,” he answered.

This afternoon will determine which of the two riders, Andy Schleck or Cadel Evans, takes his first Tour de France victory. The outcome is uncertain, but what is clear is that this could be an extraordinarily close edition of the race.





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