18 August 2011 – Three of the four Team RadioShack leaders who were hit by crashes and bad luck during the Tour de France last month are back on the bike and ready to win again. Jani Brajkovic and Andreas Klöden will start on Saturday as the leaders of Team RadioShack in the 66th Tour of Spain. In the USA, Levi Leipheimer aims to win the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Tour of Colorado). The 2011 Tour of California champion Chris Horner is still recovering from his race-ending crash in the Tour de France and is not yet able to race.
“During the Tour de France our fans all knew that crashes got the best of us,” said Manager Johan Bruyneel. “One month later only the names of the winners stay in their minds. But part three of the cycling season starts now and it’s time for us to show our real value again and to show the Team RadioShack jerseys on the podiums. Levi, Andreas and Jani have recovered from their injuries. They are ready to show how they could have performed in July. Cycling is not an exact science. Being in the condition of your life in July doesn’t mean you will have the same form one month later. The courses are different and the other riders are different. However I am confident we can surprise again. The results of the last few weeks in Wallonie, Eneco Tour and Utah make me optimistic.”
Andreas Klöden and Jani Brajkovic start as the leaders in Benidorm on Saturday. “Andreas is one of the most professional riders I have ever worked with,” continued Bruyneel. “In 2011 he was never sick and he was really ready for maybe his best Tour de France ever. If his back injury doesn’t flare up again, he should be able to place very high in Madrid. Together with Jani, who showed good form last week in the Tour of Utah, he can be part of a dangerous duo. And don’t forget Tiago Machado. Tiago learned a lot in the Tour of Italy this year. It was a very hard Giro. Maybe a bit too hard for being his first Grand Tour, but he recovered well. Now he has no pressure on his shoulders. On the contrary, he can be the perfect team player and look for some opportunities in the mountains.”
American US Pro champion Matthew Busche will start in his first Grand Tour in Spain and will be absent from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. Levi Leipheimer will be there as the leader of Team RadioShack and also one of the favorites.
“The characteristics of the race suit Levi well, but the competition will be very hard in this new Tour of Colorado. Cadel Evans, Frank and Andy Schleck, Robert Gesink and Tom Danielson will all be motivated too. It’s going to be an interesting month of September. I look forward to it. It would be nice to offer RadioShack, Nissan, our other sponsors and all the fans an extra victory as a thank you for the trust they have had in us,” concluded Bruyneel.
The team line-up for the next races (Sync team's calendar with your personal digital calendar):
Tour of Spain, 20/08-11/09/11
Riders; Jani Brajkovic, Matthew Busche, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Geoffroy Lequatre, Tiago Machado, Nelson Oliveira, Sérgio Paulinho & Haimar Zubeldia
Directors: Viatcheslav Ekimov & José Azevedo
Vattenfall Cyclassics / Hamburg (Germany), 21/08/11
Riders: Fumiyuki Beppu, Sam Bewley, Manuel Cardoso, Robert Hunter, Michal Kwiatkowski, Robbie McEwen & Gregory Rast
Director: Dirk Demol
USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Colorado, USA), 22-28/08/11
Riders: George Bennett, Philip Deignan, Ben Hermans, Ben King, Levi Leipheimer, Jason McCartney, Dmitriy Muravyev, Ivan Rovny
Directors: Alain Gallopin & Axel Merckx