Related News

Home » Sports » Cycling

Schleck: Armstrong can win duel with Contador

LANCE Armstrong has the strength to win his personal duel with Astana teammate Alberto Contador, another of the race's main contenders, Andy Schleck said yesterday.

"Armstrong is very, very strong and he's very lean," the younger of the Schleck brothers, and best young rider in last year's Tour, said of the seven-time Tour champion.

"He has the engine to win the Tour. A lot of riders focus more on Contador, but Armstrong has a good card to play. If one day he has the chance to take some time, he won't miss it. And then he will be very hard to catch," the 24-year-old Luxembourg climber said.

Schleck, the leader of the Saxo Bank team, was unable to react when Contador attacked on the final climb to Arcalis, in Andorra, on Friday, but he does not believe the 2007 Tour winner has the race wrapped up.

"He's strong but not unbeatable," Schleck said of Contador.

"That day, he only took 20 seconds. We must wait and see how strong he is in the Alps, but with only one stage finish at the top of a mountain, he's not going to make huge gaps."

Schleck is in ninth place, 1:49 behind race leader Rinaldo Nocentini, who is just ahead of Contador in second and Armstrong in third.

Schleck added he did not see the rivalry between the two Astana team leaders as an opportunity for the rest of the bunch.

"It's more a media thing than a real team row," he said. "The Astanas ride as a team. They rode a great team time trial and you don't do that if there's a row in the team."

Schleck, who was 12th on the Tour last year and won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic this season, said the hardest stages might not be the ones everyone expected.

"The final climb to Verbier (on Sunday) is not a very hard climb. By contrast, the Platzerwasel, in the stage to Colmar, is a real tough climb," he said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend