Fränk Schleck on RadioShack Nissan: “We have a lot of potential”
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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Fränk Schleck on RadioShack Nissan: “We have a lot of potential”

by Kyle Moore at 4:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Elder Schleck brother speaks about new super-team at its presentation

RadioShack NissanFränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) was front and centre at yesterday’s team presentation in Luxembourg, being presented to the large crowd in a line of team leaders that included brother Andy, Fabian Cancellara, Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner.

The elder Schleck brother added to what are already some weighty expectations for the team created by the merger of last year’s RadioShack and Leopard-Trek squads.

Schleck and his team were decked out in their new kits, which quite accurately remind the public that the team was created by a merger of two. The jersey keeps most of the design of the Leopard-Trek top of 2011, though one of the horizontal stripes across the chest has turned red, and is now adorned with the RadioShack logo.

The new colouration means that the the Luxembourg-based squad now appears to have its flag on the chest of every rider.

“This for sure on paper looks like the best team, of all the teams,” Schleck said, motioning to his team-mates flanking him. “And now we have to go out and prove to the world that we are the strongest team. We let the pedals and the power in the legs do the talking.”

The Leopard Trek team took a lot of good results in 2011; he appears to believe that this year’s incarnation can raise to a new level. “We definitely have a lot of potential – we have a lot of young guys. We have the climbers and we have the Classics riders. We can cover lots of races, like the Classics, the Tour de France and the Grand Tours. I really believe we’re going to be present through the whole year.”

Schleck had a strong past season, winning the Critérium International and the national road championships, netting second in Liège–Bastogne–Liège and on stage 18 of the Tour, then placing third overall in the latter event.

He was also sixth in the Clásica de San Sebastián and seventh in both La Flèche Wallonne and the Tour de Suisse.

Appearing on the Tour de France podium with Andy Schleck was the highlight of those. “It’s not like you see that every day, two brothers riding second and third in the Tour de France, and being recognized every day,” he said, referring to what was the first time two siblings ended up on the podium in Paris. “I think by the time we finish our careers then we’re going to look back and really realize what happened, and what we did.

“I think it’s going to take some time to realize that.”

The two are known to be very close, training together and looking out for each other in races. In a lighter moment, though, the elder Schleck confirmed to the team launch announcer that fisticuffs had happened in the past.

While he indicated that their relationship had progressed since boyhood, Fränk wouldn’t rule out the occasional tiff. “Yeah, we do fight, that has happened a few times, and I think everybody experiences that,” he remarked with a smile.

“Two boys will throw punches at each other, but ten minutes later they hug each other, and I think with Andy and I it’s the same. We know each other well, we give each other a hug, and we’re cool again.”

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