By Gregor Brown in Foix
Garmin's William Frischkorn believes the ideal scenario would be if team-mate Christian Vande Velde took the Tour de France's maillot jaune on Wednesday's stage up the mythical L'Alpe d'Huez.
"I think that Alpe d'Huez day could be pretty epic. Early? I think from there in it is pretty manageable," Frischkorn said to Cyclingnews of the ideal day for the Garmin's team leader, Vande Velde, to make the 38-second gain needed to take over the race lead from Australian Cadel Evans.
USA's Vande Velde solidified his standing on the last day in the Pyrenees when he stuck with the favourites' group on the Hautacam. Between him and Evans on the classification is Team CSC's Fränk Schleck - one second off Evans' lead. Schleck's team appears the strongest near the race's mid-way point. "They are aggressive and they race well," Frischkorn said of Team CSC.
If Garmin takes over the race lead, then it could find the work difficult to manage. The team lacks the depth of CSC in its first Tour de France, but does seem on par with Evans' Silence-Lotto. "If we were in a situation where we had to defend I think that we would surprise some people. We definitely have to look out for Christian's current spot and hopefully take advantage of what we got already."
Frischkorn, second in stage three, worked hard in stage 11 to Foix. Attacks from the gun and a category one climb in the day's finale meant that he did not have a moment's rest. "It was a fast start and a big split went off. We all settled in. It seemed relaxed and then halfway up the cat. one climb, CSC threw the hammer down."
Vande Velde kept safe and Frischkorn's job was finished. The work satisfied him. "It has been an amazing Tour. Having this situation with Christian, where he is now, and I think we have exceeded the expectations that a lot of people had for us here."
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