Shack’s Vuelta attack centered on Brajkovic, Klöden

RadioShack lines up for the Vuelta a España with a strong team centered around Jani Brajkovic and Andreas Klöden.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

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2011 Tour of Utah, stage 5
Janez Brajkovic leads a climb at the Tour of Utah. Photo: Casey B. Gibson |

RadioShack lines up for the Vuelta a España with a strong team centered around Jani Brajkovic and Andreas Klöden.

Each crashed out of the Tour de France and enter the Spanish tour cautiously optimistic they can make an impression, if not in the GC, at least with a stage victory.

“During the Tour de France our fans all knew that crashes got the best of us,” said RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel in a team release Thursday. “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.”

Klöden and Brajkovic start as the leaders in Benidorm on Saturday, when the Vuelta clicks into gear with a team time trial.

“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,” Bruyneel continued. “On the contrary, he can be the perfect team player and look for some opportunities in the mountains.”

Matthew Busche will be making his grand tour debut while the likes of Sergio Paulinho and Haimar Zubeldia can go on the attack for stage wins.

RadioShack for Vuelta a España: Jani Brajkovic, Matthew Busche, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Geoffroy Lequatre, Tiago Machado, Nelson Oliveira, Sérgio Paulinho and Haimar Zubeldia

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