Fränk Schleck will take the start next Saturday as RadioShack-Nissan’s leader at the Giro d’Italia, the team announced Saturday. The third-place finisher from the 2011 Tour de France will lead the nine-man squad during the three week race, which begins in Denmark.
Schleck, initially not slated to ride the Giro, replaces Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, who is suffering from an inflammation of the articular capsule and ligament of the left knee and will not start the Italian tour.
“My season was directed at peaking for the Tour de France”, said Schleck. “But when you think about it, this situation creates opportunities. For sure, I will come to the start with a different preparation than the other GC riders, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. My condition is not so bad, and it can only grow the coming weeks. The Tour of Italy is one of the big monuments of cycling as well, so it is at least a big challenge for me.”
“I see a lot of opportunities for Fränk as well as for the team”, commented RadioShack-Nissan manager Johan Bruyneel. “Fränk is a born leader and a team needs a leader. Moreover, though bad luck and circumstances did not provide the right results, he has shown in the last few weeks that his condition has already reached a high level. I am confident he can surprise us in the coming weeks. It all reminds me of the 2008 Tour of Italy when, one week before the start, we got an invitation for the race. In the end we won the overall.”