Paris: Luxembourg`s Andy Schleck will return to lead the RadioShack Leopard Trek team into this year`s Tour de France, it was announced Wednesday.
Schleck missed last year`s Tour due to a pelvis fracture and the three-time Tour podium finisher has since struggled to regain his form.
But team general manager Luca Guercilena said: "We are happy to see that Andy is back.
"Nobody in the team ever had doubts about the talent of Andy.
"Little by little he has come back to the level where we expect him.
"The Tour of Switzerland 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."
Guercilena added: "Of course we don`t put pressure on our champion. After the last 12 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."
With German Andreas Kloeden and Spaniard Haimar Zubeldia, the Radioshack team has two other Tour de France specialists: Kloeden has finished second overall twice and Zubeldia has finished four times in the top 10 general classification.
"You can consider Haimar as our second weapon," said Guercilena. "Haimar, 6th last year, is always consistent and delivers his best."
Team: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Laurent Didier (LUX), Tony Gallopin (FRA), Markel Irizar (ESP), Andreas Kloeden (GER), Maxime Monfort (BEL), Andy Schleck (LUX), Jens Voigt (GER), Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)