Schleck coming of age

By Shane Stokes in Monteverginie CSC rider Andy Schleck had a very good day in the saddle on stage...

By Shane Stokes in Monteverginie

CSC rider Andy Schleck had a very good day in the saddle on stage four of the Tour of Italy, placing fourth on the stage and moving to fifth overall, 53 seconds behind race leader Danilo Di Luca.

The 21 year-old Luxembourger is riding his first Grand Tour and making a very good impression so far.

Prior to the stage, he talked a little about his goals and expectations. "My goal is to finish the race and anything more is a bonus for me," he told Cyclingnews in the start village in Salerno. "I feel good right now and hope I can stay that way for as long as possible.

"I think that Montevergine is one of the most important finishes of the race. We will see how it goes."

As it turned out, it went very well. CSC's Alain Gallopin was very pleased with the showing by Schleck, who despite his youth is in his third year as a professional. "It was a great start to the toughest part of the race for us," he said on the team website www.team-csc.com. "The entire team impressed and worked really hard to get Andy, Dave, and Volodymir in position for a good finish."

"I'd said to Andy that he should try and stick close to Di Luca, Riccò (Saunier Duval) and Cunego (Lampre) and they were exactly the riders, who finished before him, so it was very well done. But before we get ahead of ourselves here, we have to keep in mind that this is a long race, and Andy needs to be given the space to grow and slowly get to know how things work in a race like this.

"He's never done a three-week race before and it does require a lot. Anyway it's far from decided after one single mountain."

Teammate Dave Zabriskie also rode strongly, placing tenth on the stage and moving to seventh overall.

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