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"What I want is to ride faster. When I ride faster, I'll get more chances to be the leader and to win the race," Brajkovic says.


Photo: Sirotti




19.05.2014 @ 12:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard & Lukas Knöfler

When Janez Brajkovic won the 2010 Criterium du Dauphiné, lofty expectations were created for the talented Slovenian but apart from a top 10 place in the 2012 Tour de France, however, he has failed to live up to those promises. However, the Astana rider still hopes to earn himself the chance to be a team leader.


Janez Brajkovic rose to fame when he became a surprise leader of the 2006 Vuelta a Espana after an incredible showing in the first mountain stage. He confirmed his talent four years later when he took a dominant victory ahead of Alberto Contador in the Criterium du Dauphiné and most expected that a new grand tour star had been born.


In 2012, he was signed by Astana as a future grand tour leader and got his chance in the 2012 Tour de France, taking a fine 9th place. Since then, however, he has been pushed down the internal hierarchy and is now usually working as a domestique for the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi.


That was his job at the Giro d'Italia for which he was a late call-up after visa issues forced Maxim Iglinskiy and Alexey Lutsenko out of the race. Unfortunately, he crashed out of the race already on stage six with a broken elbow, putting his future race schedule in doubt.


Despite his meagre results, Brajkovic has not given up hope that he will earn himself a leadership role in the future.


"I think I've never been in such a good condition to be the sole leader of the team," he told CyclingQuotes at the Grande Partenza in Belfast. "It's not that I didn't get any opportunities, just that I wasn't good enough. Yet.


"What I want is to ride faster. When I ride faster, I'll get more chances to be the leader and to win the race."


Brajkovic made it clear that he hoped to earn himself a spot on the Tour de France roster but with his injury, he is now unlikely to be part of the team that will support Nibali's winning bid.


His team hasn't announced when he will return to action.



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