Schleck aiming for Tour de France stage win on way to Paris

Frank Schleck, Giro d'Italia 2012

Frank Schleck faces the coming Tour de France mountain stages with one thought in mind: finish. His goal is to get to Paris, trying to help his RadioShack-Nissan to the overall team classification along the way.

"I'm going to try for a stage win, of course. We'll see what's going to happen, we'll see how long I can keep the shape up," Schleck told Cycling Weekly. "I'm surprised I can keep up with the first guys considering my race days, being tired and the high shape I've had for a long time."

Schleck feels he raced too much heading into the Tour. General manager, Johan Bruyneel selected him at the last minute to lead the Giro d'Italia team to replace Jakob Fuglsang, who suffered knee problems. Schleck made it through nearly two weeks before crashing and having to abandon. He said just before the Tour, that he is not ready to lead the team

Since the Tour started, it has deteriorated for Schleck. He lost 2-09 minutes due to the Metz maxi-crash and 4-32 in the Besançon time trial.

When he met Cycling Weekly on the steps of the RadioShack's bus, adhesive strapping covered his right side. His right shoulder still hurts and he tapes it daily. The pain from his hip passed, but the one from his ribs is still there. He reckons if the pain does not get as bad as it was when he abandoned the Giro in stage 15, then he will manage to get to Paris.

According to recent reports, he is upset that he even had to race the Giro.

"I won't say complaining. It's just a fact that I couldn't prepare for the Tour the way I wanted to. If I could've, I think that I could've had a good chance of placing in the top five," Schleck said.

"I'm not complaining about anything. My preparation wasn't the best it could be before the Tour. It's easy to compare myself to the big guys, they didn't have the preparation I did, doing almost the whole Giro, then going to the Tour of Luxembourg, the Tour of Switzerland and coming here. Just compare it to the other guys. I think it's obvious that it's not the best preparation to have."

Next year, he may prepare differently. He said, however, that he needs to respect his employer's wishes.

"If the team management tells me to do it, I have to do it," he added. "I respect that, I have to respect it."

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Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials

CW's Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

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