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Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
Comeback race after accident left Frenchman confident
Sylvain Chavanel, following his successful comeback to competition after his accident in April, is confident as to his racing form and probable participation at the Tour de France.
The Quick Step rider returned to racing at the Tour de Suisse, and even if he remained anonymous at the event, he was happy to have finished the race in rising form. Finishing 26th in the ultimate time trial, 1'54" down on race winner Fränk Schleck of Saxo Bank, the former French time trial champion conceded he was "tired, but that is only normal. You have to have hard races like this one to come back."
Chavanel crashed in the finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and suffered a fracture at the base of his skull. He was out of competition for six weeks. "I didn't expect to be at the Tour de Suisse, and even to go as far as I did [in the race]," he told AFP. "I thought I'd suffer more, especially in the Albula."
The Albula pass was the last climb of the event's queen stage on Thursday. Overall, the Tour de Suisse was a challenging race not only for its ascents, but also for persistanely bad weather conditions.
Now, Chavanel hopes to be selected to start the Tour de France in two weeks. "Normally, it should be alright," he said as to his chances to ride the Grand Tour, where he scored a stage victory in 2008.