Dane willing to skip Tour for strong performance in Italy
Chris Anker Sørensen will lead Saxo Bank at next year's Giro d'Italia, the first major captaincy role of the Dane's five-year professional career. The 25-year-old told Danish website sporten.dk that he would forgo a second Tour de France appearance in order to maximise his chances of success in Italy.
"I have always been prepared to support the ambitions of my teammates, but I will not be a supporting rider throughout my entire career; I have my own ambitions," said Sørensen.
Sørensen finished 28th overall at his first and only Giro d'Italia appearance in 2008. This season, he raced the Tour de France for the first time, in support of teammate Andy Schleck. The latter finished second overall, while Sørensen finished 34th.
This week, Sørensen was named by team manager Bjarne Riis in a ten-man short list for the 2010 Saxo Bank Tour de France team. Andy Schleck is once again expected to lead the squad at the Tour and while Sørensen said he looks forward to a return to the French race, he would only do so if fully recovered from the pursuit of his own objectives at the Giro.
"I have no problem if the team would prefer me to sit out the Tour, or if I don’t have the strength at the time," he said. "I hope to race for my own chances at the Giro and then come to help [Andy and Fränk] Schleck make the podium in the Tour."
Sørensen closed his 2009 season with victory at the Japan Cup, his first win of the season.
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