PINEROLO, Italy (VN) — Jens Voigt strongly defended Leopard-Trek’s tactic of riding for both Schleck brothers throughout the Tour de France rather than rally behind one of the brothers as a single leader.
The veteran German believes one of the Schlecks will be standing on the highest step of the podium when the Tour de France in Paris, he just doesn’t know in which order.
“I guess we wait and see and we can talk Sunday night when we are in Paris again, when we are first and second on the podium,” Voigt told VeloNews. “What can I say, they are my friends, my leaders, and I think personally that people can think and say what they want, it’s a free world, but I still think we keep to this and try and use this to our advantage. We have two equally strong leaders and there is no jealousy in between them, no fighting in between them. For sure one is ready to sacrifice themself for the other and the other way around. I still see that there is an advantage for us.”
Many have questioned that perhaps the Schlecks missed a chance to deliver the knock out punch in the Pyrénées when archival Alberto Contador was on the ropes. Now it’s Contador who is on the attack and taking time on the Schlecks.
“It looks like Alberto is totally regaining his confidence and his will or his desire to win or get closer to the jersey. He’s just trying to take time wherever he can,” Voigt said. “I guess that’s just cycling. It’s an open race yesterday and today again. It’s interesting for the spectators. It’s very hard for us, by the way, but I guess it’s very interesting for the spectators. These last two stages were considered transition stages into the big ones in the mountains and already we saw some interesting results, interesting racing.”
Voigt also had sharp words about challenging finish descents in the past two stages and said that he’s “not the biggest fan of descending.”
“Definitely it was a very, very tricky descent. We’re really, really lucky that is was sunny and dry because that descent in the rain, there would have been some serious carnage. It was a really tricky descent. There was some bad surface, bad quality roads. I don’t want to complain; I just notice what I have seen,” he said.
“Yes you can [make it too difficult], but in the end of the day, it’s always us who decides how much risk we want to take. If all of us riders go, ‘Hey, let’s just be cool and take it easy, then nobody crashes.’ But if all of us say, ‘Hey, we just go bananas. Maybe there is no tomorrow for us, so we give it all for today, then it is more risky. You cannot really blame the organizer too much here I guess. In the end of the day, it’s us who go down and decide how much risk we want to take. I have my crashes on the descents; I’m not the biggest fan of descending.”