Schleck confident of TDF win

2012-02-18 13:43

Muscat - Andy Schleck, handed victory in the 2010 Tour de France following Alberto Contador's recent disqualification, said on Friday he was confident of winning this year's race under his own steam.

RadioShack-Nissan-Trek rider Schleck, who is currently taking part in the Tour of Oman, said: "The 2012 Tour will not be won by one man racing alone - the future winner will have to have the strongest team around him.

"And RadioShack-Nissan-Trek is the best in the peloton!" he said of his team, which includes brother Frank, Jakob Fuglsang, Tony Gallopin and Fabian Cancellara.

"It's strong and that give me confidence. And then, compared to 2011, there are a lot more stages this time around that will allow me to anticipate, to try to attack."

Schleck added: "I'm a rider that can hold a 40-50km breakaway. When I won Liege-Bastogne-Liege (in 2009), I broke 30km from the finish.

"In this sense, the Tour is perfect for me this year. It will be like racing a classic every day. You mustn't under-estimate the opening stages, with finishes where you can easily lose a minute."

Schleck, who has also finished runner-up twice in the Tour de France, promised not to get sidetracked by the classics in the lead-up to this year's edition on June 30-July 22.

"My goal this year is the Tour," he said. "Liege will allow me to test myself. Let's say it'll be an important part of my preparation."