Fränk Schleck will line up in Herning, Denmark on May 5th with RadioShack Nissan to ride the first Grand Tour of the 2012 cycling season, the Giro d'Italia. He will lead the Luxembourg based squad after Jakob Fuglsang, who was set to lead the team in Italy, had to withdraw due to injuries.
RadioShack released a statement Saturday evening that confirmed Schleck will be the new leader of the team at the Tour of Italy. The 32 year old finished 3rd behind his brother Andy and winner Cadel Evans at last year's Tour de France and was fully expected to be racing for the overall podium with his brother at the 2012 Tour de France.
"My season was directed at peaking in the Tour”, said Fränk 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", Team Manager Johan Bruyneel said. "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."
The 2012 Giro d'Italia starts on May 5th and concludes in Milan, Italy on the 27th of May. Schleck has not raced the Giro since 2005 where he finished 42nd overall.
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