By Jean-François Quénet
Andy Schleck is a revelation at the 2007 Giro. On Stage 14 to Bergamo, which used the route of the Tour of Lombardy, Schleck showed that not only did he talent but he also posessed the serenity of a champion.
Schleck crashed behind Evgeni Petrov during the race but didn't panic; he simple re-mounted his bike and limited the damage. During Stage 15 up the legendary Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Schleck should have been even more fearful of his hold on the white jersey but the young Luxemburger has turned out to be a cool guy who doesn't stress without a major reason.
Schleck says he came to the Giro without any idea of what he'd be able to achieve and after fifteen stages, he's in a position to finish on the podium but says the white jersey is the goal he aims for at the moment. "It bothered me that Riccò was in the front but my directeur sportif Alain Gallopin calmed me down and told me to wait and see what happens," he said after getting the white jersey once more when he finished with the maglia rosa group.
Schleck maintained a 43-second advantage over stage winner Riccò in the white-jersey competition. "I'm happy that I haven't lost more time on Riccò," he said. "I don't think he'll take more time on me now." Which means the fight for the best young rider category may be contested in the time trial on stage 20. On paper, Schleck looks to be a better cronoman that his Italian rival.
But Riccò hasn't given up. "I came to the Giro with the goal of winning this white jersey," the stage winner said. "But I have encountered a Schleck who is going extremely well. We'll see on the Zoncolan if I can beat him. I still believe I can, especially after seeing how good I went today."