Radioshack Leopard confident before Bastille Day
RadioShack Leopard general manager Luca Guercilena has backed Andy Schleck to win on Mont Ventoux on Sunday.
Schleck currently lies in 15th overall, over eight minutes down in the race for yellow. A top ten place is still within reach but a win on Ventoux would transform Schleck's Tour de France. A winner of the race in 2010 after Alberto Contador's disqualification, Schleck has struggled to find his best form since an injury plagued 2012. However he has slowly started to improve in recent weeks and has climbed solidly, rather than spectacularly in this race.
"I feel good, I'm good but ask me tomorrow night how I feel about the climb," Schleck told Cyclingnews outside the RadioShack bus after stage 14.
Schleck has climbed the mythical slopes of Ventoux in the Tour before, the last time coming in 2009 when the then Saxo rider finished third alongside Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.
"I've done it before and I think I can do something on the slopes tomorrow. I hope to be at the front and to do a good race. We'll see how it goes."
Schleck's chances depend on how the race unfolds between the true general classification riders in this year's race. Team Sky will be wary of another ambush in the potential cross-winds, while Saxo-Tinkoff and Belkin may well hope to split the peloton in a bid to anticipate an attack from Chris Froome.
The stage also takes place on Bastille Day and therefore the entire French quarter of the peloton will be looking to attack and form a break.
"A lot depends on the strategies from they GC teams, Guercilena said.
"Will they let a break go clear and establish a big gap during the first part of the stage? I think that they can let Andy go because as we've said before we're just
here to win stages."
"But you know there are number of climbers who would like to win a stage and are out of the general classification. It's not going to be easy but we've a couple of options. Andy could look for the early break but I think that it might be best for him to wait until the final moment and then try something on the final part. Attacking on the bottom, that's a long way to go until the finish but he has the legs to win on Ventoux."
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