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tagaproject6 05-25-11 10:47 AM

The Schleck Brothers
 
My following of the Amgen ToC is very sporadic at best. Whatever happened to the Schleck brothers? I always thought that they would be the next hopefuls for the TdF. Or is this a matter of racing for second seeing that Contador is in top form.

SouthFLpix 05-25-11 11:01 AM

Andy Schleck did the Tour of California. He was not in top form however, and subsequently got dropped on the climbs. He should be in better shape in time for the Tour. Andy does appear to be improving his time-trialing. He's still not what I would call a good time-trialist, but he's gone from awful to mediocre.

Caretaker 05-25-11 12:31 PM

Watch for the Tour de Suisse starting June 12th. That will be a better indicator.

Still about 6 weeks to the TdF.

rogwilco 05-25-11 12:38 PM

We don't know yet if Contador is even going to be at the Tour de France, but the Schlecks are the sort of riders who are basically only interested in one race all season long (slight exaggeration) and everything before that is just training.

kimconyc 05-25-11 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tagaproject6 (Post 12692079)
My following of the Amgen ToC is very sporadic at best. Whatever happened to the Schleck brothers? I always thought that they would be the next hopefuls for the TdF. Or is this a matter of racing for second seeing that Contador is in top form.

A. Schleck did not ride the ToC to win, only as a training ride, if that.

Last year, stage 6 ToC, Big Bear stage, I was sitting near the top of the climb and Andy was chasing the breakaway group, which included G. Hincapie, and there was about 15 miles to go.

In those 15 miles, which were basically flat, A. Schleck lost 14+ minutes.

M. Cavendish, in a small gruppetto, was about 50 meters away from the broom wagon, which actually has two brooms on the back. M. Cavendish eventually got dropped and did not make the cutoff time.

A. Schleck still managed to finish 2nd in the TdF later that year; Cavendish managed to dominate in the TdF last year as well.

FlashBazbo 05-25-11 07:53 PM

Andy looked worse than usual at the ToC. To me, it looked worse than just an out-of-phase training issue.

Stage 4 The cameras stayed on him while he pretended to take water bottles so that the car could tow him halfway up the Sierra Road climb. After he finally let go, he dumped all the bottles he had just taken. Blatant cheating, on camera. Went on to place second on the stage! Taking tows from the team car is no way to train for the Tour.

I think Andy has gotten soft. He looked off-season soft in the ToC. I'm not convinced that seven more weeks in the saddle will have him ready for the Tour.

kenji666 05-25-11 08:03 PM

Do you think he has stopped doping?

FlashBazbo 05-25-11 08:06 PM

No, I really don't.

I think he just took a massive Leopard-Trek payday and is living large.

I don't think he's got the integrity (or the fear) to stop doping.

DXchulo 05-25-11 11:20 PM

Andy didn't give a crap about the ToC, and as sad as it sounds he's probably right to feel that way. The TDF is still relatively far away. I know they keep saying the ToC should be an important prep race for the TDF, but the way the calendar is set up and with all the travel I just don't see it. I love Horner, but the odds of him outclimbing Schleck in July are slim.

Meanwhile, Contador is showing that he's still the best. He clearly had a bad year at the TDF last year and Schleck still couldn't beat him. I know it's not likely Alberto will get to ride the TDF this year, but it would make for a very interesting race. How well could he recover from the Giro and could he beat Schleck at less than 100% again?

Even if Contador is gone it won't be easy for Schleck. He doesn't strike me as a guy who would deal well with the pressure of being the favorite. Basso and Evans are both 100% focused on the TDF this year and I'd give both of them the mental edge. The bad news for them is that there's hardly any TT action this year.

prettyshady 05-26-11 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlashBazbo (Post 12694969)

Stage 4 The cameras stayed on him while he pretended to take water bottles so that the car could tow him halfway up the Sierra Road climb. After he finally let go, he dumped all the bottles he had just taken. Blatant cheating, on camera. Went on to place second on the stage! Taking tows from the team car is no way to train for the Tour.

I love the ways people cheat, I hope a video emerges of that one

luxroadie 05-26-11 02:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlashBazbo (Post 12695051)
No, I really don't.

I think he just took a massive Leopard-Trek payday and is living large.

I don't think he's got the integrity (or the fear) to stop doping.

Well - there you go ... from saying one of the smartest things on BF (comment on Lance thread about Second Place dopers) and another spot-on point (Leopard payday and living la vida loca) to one of the worst (I'm from Lux mind you).

How can a guy how gets thrashed for NOT being good enough and never being prepared be doping to the gills. You think he's both a bad rider and a BAD DOPER? Ha ha!

Rogwilco - can't agree with your assessment that the Schlecks are one race guys - they treat the Spring Classics with as much if not more focus. In fact, it is my conclusion that Andy can never win a grand tour while he continues to delude himself with the belief he can "peak twice". He's a great cyclist but he isn't like Gilbert who can peak in the Spring and again in the Fall.

Andy should go for the Tours, Franck for the Classics. Then they can swap after a few years or after Franck retires Andy can focus himself (honed on three week grand tours) on popping a few more Semis and Classics.

Good - but not good enough for both.

rogwilco 05-26-11 03:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luxroadie (Post 12696176)
Rogwilco - can't agree with your assessment that the Schlecks are one race guys - they treat the Spring Classics with as much if not more focus. In fact, it is my conclusion that Andy can never win a grand tour while he continues to delude himself with the belief he can "peak twice". He's a great cyclist but he isn't like Gilbert who can peak in the Spring and again in the Fall.

I did say it's a bit of a exaggeration. ;) I really think Andy is more like Armstrong than like Contador in that regard though. I'm sure they each have their favourite races where they want to do good, but what really counts is the Tour and nothing else. Contador wants to win the Tour too, but also lots of other races.

luxroadie 05-26-11 05:39 AM

Rogwilco -

I do agree that Contador (boy I just pray he isn't a doper) is more of a "throw-back great one" - sure he has his targets but he truely seems to want EVERY race he is in.

Armstrong, Schleck, and many many others have their targets and their training races. In fact my biggest gripe with Andy is ... no matter what he says before the race (and he is trying to be "meaner" and more competitive) once the first tire starts to roll he'll be happy with whatever happens and if it doesn't work out he thinks of it as a great training ride!

He's moving into the Evans category (outside of cycling it is called the "old Phil Mickelson" category) where he'll become the greatest rider to never win anything important (not putting down LBL obviously but you get my drift).

In fact, I'm about ready to designate an Andy Schleck category ... greatest trained cyclist of all time!

Caretaker 05-26-11 05:49 AM

They should be know from now on as:

The Brothers Schleck

Like characters in some great Russian novel.

rogwilco 05-26-11 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luxroadie (Post 12696355)
greatest trained cyclist of all time!

Hehe.

Although I would be more optimistic (assuming you like Schleck), he's a couple years younger than Contador so regardless of what happens at CAS in June, he could win the TdF some day. And who knows, maybe someday he'll say "**** France", I'm going for the Giro/Vuelta and he'll certainly have a shot there.

FlashBazbo 05-26-11 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luxroadie (Post 12696176)
How can a guy how gets thrashed for NOT being good enough and never being prepared be doping to the gills. You think he's both a bad rider and a BAD DOPER? Ha ha!

For the record, my wife is a 2nd-generation American whose grandparents were Luxembourgers. I would love to see the Schlecks do well. But, having said everything, doping is not the magic silver bullet. It takes tons of training and toughness on top of good chemistry to win the Tour.

As I mentioned earlier, I just think Andy is enjoying the benefits of his new contract. Maybe a tad too much. I don't see him contending closely for the win in the Tour this year. (Heck, last year, if one teammate hadn't "neutralized" a stage, he would have lost 7 or 8 minutes on the side of the road and on another stage, if he hadn't attacked while brother Frank held up the contenders behind his crash, he would have lost another minute or two. Granted, his TT was a pleasant revelation. But the final statistics were a lot closer than the race ever was.)

luxroadie 05-26-11 11:56 AM

FlashBazbo - agreed ... so I'll fix my new category


"Greatest trained and most enjoying cyclist of all time" - or maybe we go with Caretaker's approach - Andy is the best trained and Franck is enjoying himself the most!

You mean to tell be Bourgers made it to TENN as well?!? I knew they haunted the Minn and Wisc area but the land of Elvis too? Wow. To think how a nation of 500k (with 57% being actual Luxembourgers) has spread so far and wide!!!

Wheater 05-26-11 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luxroadie (Post 12698143)
You mean to tell be Bourgers made it to TENN as well?!? I knew they haunted the Minn and Wisc area but the land of Elvis too? Wow. To think how a nation of 500k (with 57% being actual Luxembourgers) has spread so far and wide!!!

Middle Tennessee is the home of country music. You have to come west to Memphis to hang out in the home of Elvis!! Truth be told, though, I would pick Nashville over Memphis any day.

FlashBazbo 05-26-11 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luxroadie (Post 12698143)
You mean to tell be Bourgers made it to TENN as well?!? I knew they haunted the Minn and Wisc area but the land of Elvis too? Wow. To think how a nation of 500k (with 57% being actual Luxembourgers) has spread so far and wide!!!

Well . . . my wife is an anomaly. The bulk of her family lives in south-central Kansas. There may be more Luxembourgers in south-central Kansas than there are in Luxembourg. (And if you've been to south-central Kansas then, like me, you probably wonder why they ever left Luxembourg. They probably wondered, too.)

colombo357 05-27-11 10:35 AM

I wish I were a top pro cyclist, not for the prestige of being a top athlete in a very demanding sport with a lot of history, but for the money and the free drugs!!!!

Actually I wish I were a pro baseball player. I don't even like baseball. The hotdogs taste like crap and I'm not into dipping.

I wish I were a rap music star.

Caretaker 05-27-11 02:13 PM

Andy in the Tour will not be recognisable from the Andy in the ToC. He has some time to prepare mentally and physically plus he''ll be able to ride himself into form on the early stages of the Tour.

I still see him in the top three this year. Anything can happen in the Tour and he could win it.


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