Tour de France: Andy Schleck to lead RadioShack but podium hopes tempered
Last Updated: June 20, 2013 3:45pm
Andy Schleck: Form concerns for former Tour champion
Andy Schleck will lead the Radioshack-Leopard team at the Tour de France despite a year-long struggle with his form.
Schleck has been nowhere near his best since breaking his pelvis before the 2012 Tour but did show a little improvement in the recent Tour de Suisse, where he came home 40th overall.
The Luxembourg rider, who was handed the 2010 title when Alberto Contador was stripped of it over a doping, will be helped out by the likes of Haimar Zubeldia, Andreas Kloden and the seemingly ageless Jens Voigt.
But Schleck will not be alongside his brother Frank, who is serving a one-year ban for a doping offence in last year's race.
"Nobody in the team ever had doubts about the talent of Andy," team manager Luca Guercilena said in a statement.
"Little by little he has come back to the level where we expect him. The Tour de Suisse encouraged and convinced us to give him the role he deserves and to give him the opportunity to have dedicated riders surrounding and supporting him.
"Of course we don't put pressure on our champion. After the last twelve months it would be unrealistic to expect a podium place. On the other hand, the lack of stress and pressure can be a positive stimulus to a brilliant performance."
Team: Jan Bakelants, Laurent Didier, Tony Gallopin, Markel Irizar, Andreas Kloden, Maxime Monfort, Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt, Haimar Zubeldia.