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Riis believes in Schleck

The Andy and Alberto show on the Tourmalet.

The Andy and Alberto show on the Tourmalet. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) failed to drop race leader Alberto Contador (Astana) and gain back time on the Col du Tourmalet, the Luxembourger remains eight seconds behind the defending Tour de France champion.

With Saturday's 52km time trial as the main obstacle left before Paris there seems little chance for Schleck to win his first Tour de France. Schleck's team manager Bjarne Riis, however, felt there was still a chance for his rider to claim the yellow jersey.

"Normally it's game over but it's only finished when we're in Paris. You've got to believe in it, try whatever you can and remain focused," Riis told Cyclingnews.

While Riis realized Schleck normally wouldn't be favoured against Contador in the race of truth, the Dane did defend his rider.

"He's doesn't do a bad time-trial," said Riis. "You'll see. He's strong and in good condition. He'll do the best he can. He did a great Tour. It's not over yet as we still need to get to Paris."

When asked whether he was disappointed or would be disappointed if Schleck couldn't clinch the overall win in Paris, Riis felt there was no reason to do so. "If you tried all you could and gave everything you had, one shouldn't be disappointed. We had good and bad moments in this Tour. We have had our chances, just like Alberto had his chances," Riis said when looking back on the past three weeks.