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Schleck brothers aim for podium in Paris

Fränk and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) hope to distance Alberto Contador (Astana) on Mont Ventoux.

Fränk and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) hope to distance Alberto Contador (Astana) on Mont Ventoux. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Andy Schleck hasn't given up on winning the Tour de France but says that Alberto Contador (Astana) will need to have a disastrous day on Mont Ventoux if he's to wrestle the yellow jersey from him. Contador currently leads Schleck, second on GC, by 4:11 and has dominated the Tour mountains this year, with a commanding performance in Andorra and a stage win in Verbier. However, Andy Schleck, plus older brother Fränk who sits sixth at 5:59, intend to attack Contador on the race's penultimate stage Saturday.

"There's always a chance. He'll have to have a really bad day to lose all that time but then again we will try. The goal is to have two [Saxo Bank riders] on the podium in Paris," said Andy Schleck after today's finish in Aubenas.

Schleck also talked about the 21.1-kilometre climb of Mount Ventoux, not used in the Tour de France since Richard Virenque won in 2002. "In the beginning it's the steepness that gets you and then with six kilometres to go it's harder. If there's wind and heat then it can be [even] harder. It's much harder than L'Alpe d'Huez. L'Alpe d'Huez is a piece of cake when it's up against Mont Ventoux."

Asked if there was a chance of Contador working with the Schlecks to put time into Armstrong, currently third overall and 38 seconds ahead of Fränk, in a bid to move the American off the podium, Schleck quickly dismissed the idea. "I don't think so. Lance might be the only guy there to help Alberto."

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.