Klöden one of Astana's 'cards to play'

By Susan Westemeyer Team Astana will go into the 2008 season and the Tour de France with a...

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Astana will go into the 2008 season and the Tour de France with a three-pronged attack, featuring defending Tour champion Alberto Contador and two podium finishers - Andreas Klöden and Levi Leipheimer - who would be ready to step into the breach if needed. "Yes, the team is built around Contador, but we have other cards to play," incoming Team Manager Johan Bruyneel told Cyclingnews on Monday afternoon.

When Klöden announced earlier this month that he would ride for Astana again in 2008, he said that if his form is right, "then I feel able to reach the podium at the Tour." He has finished second in the Tour in 2004 and 2006. His new team-mates for the coming season, Contador and Leipheimer, finished first and third in this year's Tour.

Contador is not concerned about the potential rivals on his team. "There is no problem with Leipheimer, he has already worked for me in many races," he told the Spanish website as.com. "I don't know Klöden, but I have seen how he has put himself in the service of other riders like Ullrich or Vinokourov."

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