Frank Schleck a Luxembourg professional road bicycle racer
Archived content 2010 -2014

 


 

For several years this was the official website for Frank Schleck, a Luxembourg professional road bicycle racer .
Content is from the site's 2010 -2014 archived pages as well as other outside sources.

 

Words: John Wilcockson/ pelotonmagazine.com

Jan 3, 2017 – With his retirement from racing at age 36, Luxembourg racer Fränk Schleck has brought to a close a nine-decade-long family history in cycling.

Schleck’s grandfather Auguste (a.k.a. Gustav) Schleck raced in the 1920s as an independant [a former semi-pro category] and was third in his national road championship. His son Johny Schleck was a full professional who raced as a domestique for the French teams Pelforth-Sauvage-Lejeune (1965–68) and Bic (1969–74), where he assisted Tour de France champions Jan Janssen and Luis Ocaña.

The family cycling tradition continued with Johny’s two younger sons, Andy (who retired in 2014 after a 10-year career that included victories at Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Tour de France) and Fränk—who turned pro in 2002.

Schleck, who always considered himself less talented than his younger brother, had a slow start to his career. He didn’t win a single race in his first four seasons, though in that fourth year (2005) he showed true signs of his capabilities. After second place at the Tour Méditerranéen, seventh in Paris–Nice and fourth at the Tour de Suisse, he ended the season with a string of podiums in one-day classics: second at the Züri Metzgete and the Giro dell’Emilia, and third at the Giro di Lombardia.

Schleck’s breakthrough year was 2006; after starting it with fifth at Paris–Nice, he scored a brilliant solo victory in the Amstel Gold Race. Three months later, after a solid sixth overall at the Tour de Suisse, Schleck made his Tour de France debut. It was a messy Tour that ended with overall winner Floyd Landis disqualified for doping, but the Luxembourger rode solidly for CSC Team leader Carlos Sastre before taking a prestigious stage win at L’Alpe d’Huez.

Over the remaining 10 years of his career, Schleck would mostly ride for his brother Andy, but he also won a dozen races—notably the Giro dell’Emilia in 2007, a second stage win at the Tour de France in 2009 and a stage win and the overall title at the 2010 Tour de Suisse. But perhaps his best all-around performance came in the 2011 Tour de France, where he was top 10 in seven stages and, after helping brother Andy take second overall (behind winner Cadel Evans), finished third overall—in this image he’s leading Alberto Contador, Samuel Sanchez and brother Andy on the steep Pramartino climb into Pinerolo.

 

Frank Schleck

Fränk Schleck (born 15 April 1980 in Luxembourg) is a Luxembourgish professional road bicycle racer riding for Team Saxo Bank. At the start of 2005, Schleck was joined by his younger brother Andy on Team CSC, as Saxo Bank was then known, and they split the 2005 national championships between them, with Fränk winning the road race and Andy winning the time trial. Their father, Johny Schleck, was also a professional road bicycle racer between 1965 and 1974.

Fränk's greatest achievements include winning a blue riband mountain stage in the 2006 Tour de France which finished on the Alpe d'Huez, the 2006 edition of the Amstel Gold Race classic, and an alpine stage of the 2009 Tour de France, finishing in the sole company of his brother Andy and Alberto Contador.
He is known for riding knock-kneed and riding a high cadence when climbing.

After riding for the Luxembourg military sports programme, he moved to Italy to ride for De Nardi-Pasta Montegrappa. In 2001, he tried out as a stagiaire for Festina, but when the team folded after the season, Schleck was left with no contract. He contacted Team CSC manager Bjarne Riis through their common youth coach Marcel Gilles of the ACC Contern amateur team. Schleck rode 2002 as a stagiaire on Team CSC. He signed a pro contract in 2003, as Riis had a vacancy following a failed attempt to sign the former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich as well as Ullrich's helping riders.

2005
Schleck's breakthrough came in 2005, with three podium places in the last month of the season. He finished all three races behind Paolo Bettini (2004 Olympic Road Race winner) and Gilberto Simoni (two times Giro d'Italia winner), losing Züri-Metzgete to Bettini, the Giro dell'Emilia to Simoni, and finishing third behind both in the Giro di Lombardia. Schleck ended 2005 ranked 13th on the 2005 ProTour riders list. He extended his contract with Riis and Team CSC until 2008, one of three riders in the team with a three-year contract.

2006
The 2006 season started with a fifth-place finish in Paris-Nice. After a crash in the Vuelta al País Vasco, he suffered a concussion. He made his comeback in the Amstel Gold Race that month. Sitting with the favorites with ten kilometers to go, Schleck broke away alone up the Cauberg in Valkenburg for a solo finish while team mate Karsten Kroon disrupted the chase. Three days later he finished 4th in La Flèche Wallonne after a vigorous ride up the Muur de Huy where Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde proved unbeatable. Schleck's form continued days later with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race, where he rode at the front for much of the latter half and finished 7th. In the Tour de France, he won stage 15 from Gap to Alpe D'Huez, where he broke away from Damiano Cunego 1.5 km from the finish.

2007
The 2007 season started with a 9th place finish in Paris-Nice. In the Amstel Gold race, he crashed with 47 km to go, eventually finishing 10th. His recovery continued at the Flèche Wallone where he finished 7th, but the day before Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it was announced that he had a fractured vertebra. He rode despite the injury and launched the decisive attack a few kilometers from the finish with Danilo di Luca. Di Luca attacked with one kilometer to go and Schleck faded to 3rd. Schleck won the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, taking the yellow jersey; he eventually finished 7th. He could only manage 17th at the Tour de France but was part of the successful attack in the world championship, finishing fourth.

2008
In the Amstel Gold Race 2008 Schleck finished 2nd, behind Damiano Cunego of Italy. In Liege-Bastogne-Liege Fränk and his talented younger brother Andy Schleck put on a show. Only two riders were able to follow the two brothers when they attacked on the final hills of the day : Alejandro Valverde and Davide Rebellin. Andy had to let the other three riders go and finished 4th. In the final sprint Fränk came 3rd. In the Tour de Suisse Schleck crashed during a dangerous descent and fell into a ravine. Miraculously, he was mostly uninjured. A week later, Schleck became national champion of Luxembourg for the second time in his career. In the Tour de France 2008 he came 3rd in the first mountain stage. This took him to 2nd place in the overall classification, only one second behind the yellow jersey. Eight days later Schleck took the Malliot Jaune and the lead in the Tour after claiming the single second he needed to pass Cadel Evans. At the end of the Tour he finished in 6th position overall.

2009
The 2009 cycling season started with the Tour of California, where Schleck managed to win stage eight. In March, Schleck placed second overall in Paris - Nice. On the 19th of April, while attempting to repeat his winning 2006 Amstel Gold Race effort, Schleck crashed badly together with Matthew Lloyd. He was taken to hospital with a concussion, but was released the same evening.Schleck made a rapid recovery, winning his home race, the Tour de Luxembourg, in June. No Luxembourger rider had won the competition since 1983. On the 22nd of July he won the 17th stage of the Tour de France, reaching the finish line in the company of overall leader Alberto Contador and his own brother, Andy Schleck.

 


An aside:
January 30, 2013 | What a bummer today when I learned that Frank Schleck was out for the Tour de France. I was supposed to be doing a search for a NYC carpet cleaning service. My parents were coming to visit me for the first time since I had moved to NYC ayear ago and I wanted my apartment to look really great. My mother had given me two of her Oriental carpets and they were beginning to look a bit dingy. I have two cats and they had used the carpets a number of times for throwing up their hairballs.

The Tour de France was fast approaching and I wanted to see what my favorite cyclist was doing. Then I saw the headlines: Frank Schleck handed one-year ban for failed Tour dope test. He was riding this year for RadioShack. Apparently her tested positive for the banned diuretic xipamide from a urine sample taken on July 14 during the Tour. Although Schleck requested that his B sample be tested, and this also returned a positive for xipamide. RadioShack removed him from the race. WHAT! Xipamede, the substance in question, is not, according to specialist website cyclingnews.com, specifically mentioned on WADA's prohibited substance list. Last year the Russian Alexandr Kolobnev tested positive in the Tour for a banned slimming agent and was suspended by his team, but was later cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. So why? Well apparently the UCI dropped a very heavy hint that his presence in the Tour would not be good for the race's already battered image, saying: "The UCI is confident that the team will take the necessary steps to enable the Tour de France to continue in serenity." According to Reuters Schleck's team has now pulled him out of the race. Bummer.

Schleck was third overall in the 2011 Tour de France, one place behind brother Andy. He has previously won the Tour de Suisse, Criterium International and Tour of Luxembourg. I was really looking forward to the Tour this year.

Now I know that Schleck was suspended by the CSC team in 2008 after it was discovered that he had made a payment to Dr Eufemiamo Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping investigation. But he was later cleared of any wrong-doing by ALAD.

None the less I was in shock.

I went back to my search very despondent. However I was still able to find a great local rug cleaning company. And on an upbeat note, the rug cleaning company did a terrific job. My parents were impressed enough so they have stopped hinting that perhaps it would be better if I returned back home or moved to a smaller (safer) city! Hah, no way that was ever going to happen. Who would have thought that cleaning one's rugs would convince the parental units that I was actually an adult who could take care of herself!



 

Headlines 2010 -2014

 

Fränk Schleck: Andy needs time for emotional scars to heal
Believes that younger brother can overcome disappointment

By Daniel Benson November 04, 2014



Andy and Frank Schleck celebrate after the 2011 Tour de France

Fränk Schleck has admitted that his brother Andy still needs time to come to terms with his retirement from cycling but added that the former Tour de France winner hopes to remain in the sport.

Fränk Schleck has admitted that his brother Andy still needs time to come to terms with his retirement from cycling but added that the former Tour de France winner hopes to remain in the sport.

Andy Schleck was forced to call time on his career due a knee injury, and announced the news at a press conference convened in his home country of Luxembourg, in October. The news ended months of speculation after Schleck damaged the cartilage in his right knee in a crash at the Tour de France. Despite an extended rehabilitation period, medical advice forced the rider into a rather premature retirement at the age of 29.

The two brothers recently returned from a holiday in Mallorca where they, and their respective families, were able to privately come to terms with the development.

"When Andy first retired I didn't want to come out and say that much because I felt like I would just be repeating things," his brother Fränk told Cyclingnews.

"Obviously I knew that the news was coming. For about two or three weeks he'd already decided and we talked through everything. We understood that there was no way back and that, because of the damage to his knee, it was all over. It was a very hard moment but everyone has to slow down at some point. The wheels stop for every rider. You can't ride forever and for Andy that moment is now. If he could change it he would have but that's how it is."

The brothers - who have been virtually inseparable during their racing careers – used their trip to Spain as a chance to digest Andy's retirement, and Fränk admitted that there have been tough moments in the weeks since the formal announcement.

"There's been some time to understand the news and I've personally come to accept it but it was like a punch in the stomach when he first told me. Since then, I have to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to us, and especially to Andy, because a lot of fans, riders, and our friends have said a lot of nice things. They've reminded us that the memories we shared and created on the road, they will last forever."

Despite the well-wishers and the nostalgic trips down memory lane, the emotional wounds are still visible. Andy Schleck was understandably upset during his press conference, regularly having to compose himself as he answered questions from the media surrounding several injuries he picked up in the latter stages of his career and his legacy. In Mallorca the brothers' conversation would automatically turn to cycling but Fränk would shift the topic depending on his brother's response.

"I'd be lying if I said that everything for him has been good. He's had a hard time and at moments he has been miserable. Maybe what people didn't see is that he tried everything to come back. He was out in Mallorca for three weeks before the decision was taken, and he was there with a medical team and was riding to try and come back. Everyday he tried.

"So he's been down and he's needed this recent break in order to try and get over these feelings. Still, even today when we were together, when we start talking about cycling it's tough. We automatically start talking about it because it's our passion, it's our life, and you can see straight away that it's a tough thing to talk about. He is coming to terms with the situation and he is coming around to the fact that one chapter has closed but that another can begin. He's looking forward to that future."

Fränk trained sporadically in Mallorca but in the coming week he will head to Trek Factory Racing's winter training camp, and within a few months he will be back in full race mode. At that point he believes his brother may face another difficult patch but he is adamant that he can overcome it.

"There are moments when he's okay but I think the second wave will come. I'll start going to training camps and then the races, and I think it's going to hit him again. It's not going to be easy but there has to be acceptance. That's how it is and we just have to rally around him."

"It's like when we were back in races. We can read each other really well so I can tell from just one look if he wants to talk about cycling or not. Sometimes it was good to talk about the sport but there were other moments when it was just better to talk about family or fishing, anything but cycling."

At the end of his press conference Andy spoke about a possible return to cycling in a non-competitive role.

"I'd love for him to stay in cycling but it's too early to talk about that. He still has to fight the emotions he's going through before anything can be decided. He wants to stay in the sport and we're going to see him around, he just needs more time."

 


 

Hit by a car

27-05-2013 @ 12:03u / Posted by Antoine

In the morning of Monday May 27th Frank was hit by a car. "It will never get boring! Car running me over in early training ride. Outsch that hurts", reported Frank via Twitter. Frank will be back in competition Mid June.

 


 

TEAM LAUNCH IN LUXEMBOURG

10-01-2012 @ 02:36u / Posted by Rosso

After three months off the bike and plenty of re-shuffling and re-organizing, the RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK team, kit and bikes were finally presented to 5,000 enthusiastic fans on hand and via streaming to the rest of the world. A surprise concert by Karl Bartos made for an unforgettable night.

While the riders have had time to return home and spend time with family and friends, behind the scenes the people behind RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK have been very busy preparing for this unique moment, where the look-and-feel of the team was finally presented.

The 90 minute show in the ‘Rockhal’ in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, was broadcast on RTL Luxembourg and streamed online to all of the fans beyond the Luxembourg borders. The roster of the team was divided into categories of “sprinters”, “climbers”, “time trial specialists”, “all rounders”, “classics riders”, “indispensables” and “captains”.

When the captains were interviewed, humor was in the air. Andreas Klöden referred to Andy Schleck as “a little clown”, because of his impetuous, short attacks at the training camp in Calpe. Fabian Cancellara charmed the crowd by trying to have a conversation in Luxembourgish and attempting to sing a national song, while Chris Horner claimed that his fans back in the US know all too well where Luxembourg is situated and that they love the small country.

After the presentation, a surprise concert by Karl Bartos (Kraftwerk) put a musical end to a successful night.

 


 

Andy Schleck reported to be out of Tour de France

13-06-2012

Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is said to have been more seriously injured in the Critérium du Dauphiné crash than previously thought, and will not be able to ride the Tour de France, according to Luxembourg websites.

Examinations have shown that he fractured his pelvis and will be out for six weeks, tageblatt.lu reported. According to rtl.lu, he fractured a vertaebra which is part of the pelvis.

Cyclingnews tried to call Schleck for comment, but he did not respond. RadioShack-Nissan has called a press conference for Wednesday afternoon.

He was the victim of a crash in the Dauphine's time trial, ridden in heavy winds. Rounding a sharp right hand bend 12 kilometres into the stage, a sudden gust caught his rear disc wheel, and Schleck hit the ground.

A day later Schleck declared that while he was sore, he had no intentions of leaving the race. “I’ve abandoned too many times this year already,” he said. The pain proved to be too much, though, had he dropped out during the sixth stage.

 


 

 

 

STARS GATHER FOR AMSTEL CURAÇAO

04-11-2011 @ 12:59u / Posted by Rosso

The stars of the 2011 peloton gathered in the "after-party" of the season, the Amstel Curaçao, on the tiny former Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela.

Andy and Fränk Schleck, Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel, Johnny Hoogerland and Johan Vansummeren were amongst the assembled riders and press who travelled to the Caribbean for the festivities, which included scuba diving, volleyball and a hilarious tug-of-war between bony-chested bicyclists.

Hoogerland emerged victorious in the warm-up Jan Thiel criterium on Thursday. The main event gets underway Saturday morning at 11am local time.

 


 

FRÄNK AND ANDY TRICKED BY USHI FOR DUTCH TELEVISION

18-10-2011 @ 10:23u / Posted by Rosso

Last summer Fränk and Andy were interviewed by Ushi Hirosaki from Tokio Broadcasting, a rather peculiar Japanese journalist. She's really Wendy van Dijk, a Dutch TV host, and has tricked a lot of famous people around the globe for her tv show Ushi and the Family.

The interview starts just before the 15 minutes mark.



Ushi interviewed Fränk + Andy Schleck!
Funny spoof interview for dutch TV with Frank and Andy Schleck! About time it was re-uploded to youtube :-)

 


 

 

 

SCHLECK BROTHERS ANTICIPATE 2012 TOUR DE FRANCE WITH EVOLVING TEAM

14-10-2011 @ 04:03u / Posted by Cyclingnews

Andy and Fränk Schleck have seen the Tour de France 2012 parcours and it is full of time trial kilometres, the sub specialty which is their greatest weakness. The brothers are already contemplating how they will face the challenge, and are looking forward to accepting the challenge along with their new sport director, Johan Bruyneel.

The parcours which was accidentally published earlier this week has 96 kilometres of time trial, as compared to only 60 in 2011, of which only 42.5 were individual. “The time that you lose there must be made up on other terrain,” Fränk Schleck told Tageblatt.lu. “But we must focus more on time trialing.”

They will do that by “increasing muscle mass this winter and working on aerodynamic position. We have already talked to Johan Bruyneel about it. He insists that we work further on this.”

Andy Schleck is finally over the infections and problems associated with his dental problems. “I am swimming a lot right now and running and weight lifting, but I also know that I can't ignore cycling. At the end of this week, I will start training on the road again.”

While the Schlecks have already spoken with Bruyneel, they know that he will not be able to turn his full attention to them until the current season is over. They hope to set up a meeting for the new team in the next few weeks, and then will discover what the Belgian has in mind for them.

“I know that he has many ideas and maybe will plan a different programme from the last few years leading up to the Tour de France,” Andy Schleck said. “I think there will also be different preparation for the Spring Classics.”

He called Bruyneel, “one of the best and most important men in cycling, maybe the man we have been missing.”

Fränk Schleck also praised “our strong new captain Johan Bruyneel. He will surely steer this boat well. He has a very strong hand and behind him to co-ordinate things is Kim Andersen, our right hand in training, who puts our programme together.”

As to the composition of the new team, Andy Schleck said that “I think the right choices have been made, at any rate I am satisfied.” While he regrets losing Stuart O'Grady, “On the other hand, we will have riders like Andreas Klöden at our side. I know 99.5 percent of which riders we have and which staff, and it is a team that we will be proud to be with in the future.”

 


 

FRÄNK SCHLECK LEADS LUXEMBOURG TEAM AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

15-09-2011 @ 07:21u / Posted by Rosso

Fränk Schleck will lead the Luxembourg team at the World Championships road race, while their Leopard Trek teammates Stefan Denifl and Thomas Rohregger will support Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad) in the Austria team.

Fränk will be joined by the four other Luxembourg pro riders: Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Ben Gastauer (AG2R), Jempy Drucker (Verandas Willems-Accent) and Christian Poos (CCI Differdingen).

Andy Schleck has decided to miss the world championships. He has not raced since August 28 in Colorado, and has recently missed several races due to the effects of dental surgery.

None of the Luxembourg riders were selected for the men's Elite time trial.

 


 

Stars gather for Amstel Curaçao

04-11-2011 by Ross

The stars of the 2011 peloton gathered in the "after-party" of the season, the Amstel Curaçao, on the tiny former Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela.

Andy and Fränk Schleck, Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel, Johnny Hoogerland and Johan Vansummeren were amongst the assembled riders and press who travelled to the Caribbean for the festivities, which included scuba diving, volleyball and a hilarious tug-of-war between bony-chested bicyclists.

Hoogerland emerged victorious in the warm-up Jan Thiel criterium on Thursday. The main event gets underway Saturday morning at 11am local time.

 


 

Fränk distanced rivals and is now fourth overall

13-09-2010 @ 04:27u / Posted by Rosso

Fränk demonstrated great courage and cool determination launching a series of attacks on the way to the top of the Cotobello climb on today's 181 kilometer...

 


 

I've come to win the Vuelta

13-09-2010 @ 09:13u / Posted by Cyclingnews

Fränk Schleck still believes he can win the Vuelta a Espana. The Saxo Bank rider used his climbing skills over the weekend to move up to seventh on...

 


 

Fränk suffered on cold and wet mountain finish

12-09-2010 @ 04:27u / Posted by Rosso

A very tough and demanding mountain finish in pouring cold showers was on the menu on today's fifteenth stage covering 187 kilometers from Solares to...

 


 

Fränk captains Luxembourg team at world championships

09-09-2010 @ 08:50u / Posted by Cyclingnews

Fränk Schleck will lead the three-rider Luxembourg team in the World Championships in Melbourne.

The Luxembourg Cycling Federation has selected...

 


 

Andy Schleck, O'Grady removed from Vuelta

07-09-2010 @ 03:21u / Posted by Cyclingnews

Bjarne Riis has removed Andy Schleck and Stuart O'Grady from the Vuelta a Espana after the pair violated team rules by drinking alcohol after dinner.

Andy...

 


 

Fränk Schleck targets overall success in the Vuelta

06-09-2010 @ 07:50u / Posted by Rosso

 



 

Luxembourg's Frank Schleck wins the 2010 Tour of Switzerland

The oldest of the Schleck brothers is the first Luxembourger to win the Tour of Switzerland

20-06-2010 / 20-06-2010

On June 20, 2010, Frank Schleck, a Luxembourg cyclist, won the overall classification of the 74 th Tour of Switzerland thanks to a superb time in the closing time trial at Liestal, near Basel.

Frank Schleck at the Tour of Switzerland

For Luxembourg, this is a historic victory as Frank Schleck is the first Luxembourger to win the TourTwin ProTour event. Only the Luxembourger Kim Kirchen was before he managed to get on the 2 th place on the podium in 2007.

The rider of the Saxo Bank team, winner of the Amstel Gold Race in 2006 Tour of Luxembourg 2009 and 5 th overall in the Tour de France was in 2009 need 35h02'00 '' to finish first before Lance Armstrong (2 thplace) and Jakob Fulsang (3 th place).

With this greatest success by stage of his career, Frank Schleck will approach the Tour de France in good conditions.

"I'm dedicating my victory to Kim," commented Frank Schleck, referring to the admission, on June 19, at the University Hospital Zurich of his compatriot Kim Kirchen for a cardiac arrest. The condition of the rider placed in an artificial coma improved slightly Sunday in the late afternoon.

Andy Schleck, the younger brother of Frank Schleck, loop the Tour of Switzerland in 14 th place, 1'57 '' of his elder.

 

 

"I feel well in the captain role"

January 15, 2011 By: Christophe Junker / http://www.tageblatt.lu/

Tageblatt: Frank, you and your brother Andy have been in Mallorca for the past week. What happened in this first week of training so far?

Frank Schleck: "Above all, I am very happy that we have already traveled to Majorca two, three days before the rest of the drivers after the team presentation at the Coque. That was three days cycling. All you have to do is look at the weather in Luxembourg at the moment. In addition, it snowed a lot in December. So we had some catching up. On January 10, it started with the actual program. Three days mainly 'endurance'. Time has passed so far very fast. In addition to the rest periods and massages, the days are very busy: interviews, photos, etc. That's part of it. "

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Since the beginning of the course you have been "persecuted" by the press. Was this whole hype attributed to the new team, the No. 1 in the world? Or was it the usual "scenario"?

FS "I would consider it a combination of both. Of course you know that. Of course, the factor 'new team' is added. And third, that's because many of them are very strong drivers in this team. Of course, all these factors are of interest. We also try to present ourselves as open as possible and we usually try to appear on time for the interviews and not like me now (grins and looks at his watch, red.). "

In fact, it's amazing how open you all present. Nobody lets hang out the Zampano or has Starallüren. Is this a deliberately chosen form of occurrence, after cycling in the past often had to be reported negatively?

FS: "The question is justified. We also live from the press and the people who follow us through the press. One needs the other. It's a steady take and give, a wheel that turns constantly. Unfortunately, in cycling is still a lot of political, which Brian (Nygaard) at the presentation in the Coque has indeed synonymous. Much has been written about the 'bad' cycling. The sport had fallen into the background. 'De Velo ass béis. Et must make a whole vill Sacrifice. Then déi all Chutten. Seng Famill leases ee vill aleng doheem. Dat measures och mol méi respects ginn. '"

Do you feel the interest in Luxembourg here in Spain?

FS: "Yes, it's all or very much about the team at least. That really makes us all happy. We get everything here, too. "

In March last year, the Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported on the first rumors of a Luxembourg team.What was it about these rumors?

FS: "I do not want to deny that we too had heard that someone wanted to start a Luxembourg team. There was a lot of talk. But all these talks were not interesting for us. "

Why not interesting?

FS: "Because nothing was concrete."

"T": When did it become concrete?

FS: "We also talked to other teams. There were many contacts. We interested many teams. That which is now there was a dream. A dream that has come true. After the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg a concrete offer was made. Of course we were more than happy to accept this offer. Four days later, we drove to Switzerland in a small training camp, where we met Bjarne Riis and informed him immediately. We were 100% honest with him and informed him in good time. Bjarne was not able to make us any offer at that time because he did not have a sponsor. "

When did you hear about the rumors surrounding Alberto Contador?

FS: "Like every human during the Tour de France. At that time in March was also the name of Marc Biver in the Gazzetta, and and and. The same little article also said that Contador would switch to Riis. "

Your relationship today?

FS: "There are no problems. Of course, we were disappointed that he (Riis) portrayed us as a liar a month or two ago. Meanwhile, we are over it. We also do not know how the press did it. "

Looked back enough. You were very light-footed on the bike this week despite the backlog of training. You were often in the front row. As befits a captain.

FS: "I still think we have a backlog. We are missing miles. I actually feel like a captain. If anything is, the boys come to me too. People respect me, and in this position I feel very good. But that is also because I feel very comfortable in this team, despite the backlog. I was surprised how well today's test went. Andy and I had some panic in between. However, I have gained almost no kilos during the winter. And I can not consciously step on the brakes. "

What goals does the team have in the first few weeks of the first races?

FS: "One team is already down under '. Will Clarke, who is Neoprofi, won five carnival races in Belgium last year in six weeks. To win, you really have to have something on the box. I have seen his kick and I am convinced that he has a great future ahead of him. At Paris-Nice I try to ride fast together with Jakob Fuglsang. But without pressure. If I succeed in a result, so much the better. If not, not bad either. "

Also from you please a word to Flavio Becca, who is behind the project.

FS: "My father knows him longer. He had the idea with this team. We owe him a lot. "

How did you start the team? Surely he did not call one day and said that he wants to start a team?

FS: Yes, yes, but that's about it. He was, like his father Aldo, always a big cycling fan. The whole thing has increased, more and more, and so it came about. One day he gave us his word, and since he is a 'homme de parole', it also came about. That he has given us this chance to drive for a Luxembourg team, we now want to repay him in the future. "

 



 

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