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A pensive Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) waits for the stage to get under way.
Luxembourger says he is improving daily
Fränk Schleck still believes he can win the Vuelta a Espana. The Saxo Bank rider used his climbing skills over the weekend to move up to seventh on GC, 2:48 down on leader Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo).
His sixth place finish on Saturday's 14th stage moved him from 10th to sixth place. He finished sixth on the stage, only 35 seconds behind winner Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). He was one of the few riders able to follow the attacks of Rodriguez, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).
"My form is improving day-by-day, and the podium and even the overall victory is still within reach,” he told politiken.dk.
"I understand that many must have previously been reluctant about my chances since I came here to the Vuelta after a break of eight weeks on top of my crash in the Tour de France.”
"I am moving towards my best level again,” he said. “I am full of confidence. I've come to win the race.”
Schleck was one of the victims of the Tour's third stage over the Belgian cobblestones. He returned to racing at the Vattenfalls Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany, the middle of August, but had to abandon that race. He has been named to lead the three-man Luxembourg team at the Worlds in Melbourne this fall.