RadioShack’s Tiago Machado has said he’s delighted to have been selected for the team that will appear at Paris-Nice, which begins at Montfort-l’Amaury, France, on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Portuguese rider had been slated to appear at the Tour of West Flanders this week, but his strong showing at the recent Tour of the Algarve, where he finished third overall, has led to his late selection for 'the race to the sun'.
"This gives me immense pleasure because it shows that the team have a lot of faith in me as they are letting me ride an event of the highest level," said Machado, who showed his ability as a climber in the Algarve by finishing runner-up to Alberto Contador at the summit of the Alto ao Malhao.
"It wasn’t by chance that I finished third in the Algarve, a race where there were a lot of very good riders. It was down to all of the hard work I did this winter," said the Portuguese, who admitted he’s still got a long way to go before he’s the finished article.
"I know that there are lots of details I need to work on and I also know that Paris-Nice is a race where I will be up against some of the best riders in the world. I will have to be humble and, above all, be aware there are riders in my team such as Levi Leipheimer who want to be in contention for this title and who will be relying on my help," said Machado.
The Portuguese, who’s featured as one of the Fab Four in the April issue of Procycling, is due to ride the Critérium International, Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour of Castilla y León after Paris-Nice.