Fränk Schleck: “I’m confident that I’ll be part of the Tour de France team”
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fränk Schleck: “I’m confident that I’ll be part of the Tour de France team”

by Ben Atkins at 12:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour de Luxembourg
Luxemburger still feels pain in shoulder; Bruyneel claims he just wanted to shock a response from his riders

frank schleckFränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) fully expects to be part of the Luxembourg-registered team’s line up at the Tour de France, despite the public spat with team manager Johan Bruyneel over his abandoning of the Giro d’Italia. The Luxembourg champion told Het Nieusblad that, since he still felt pain from the shoulder injury he picked up in a crash on stage 11, he would not be at his best for his home Tour, but will be ready in July to ride alongside his younger brother Andy, as usual.

The elder Schleck brother was asked during the presentation of the 2010 yellow jersey to Andy yesterday and, while he was not keen to talk on the subject, confirmed that he expected to be part of Bruyneel’s plans in July.

"This is a special day for my brother," he said. "I don’t want to start any polemics. I had, and still have, pain in my shoulder; I know what I feel.

“I do not have much confidence for the Tour of Luxembourg,” he admitted. “But I'm confident that I will be part of the Tour team.”

Bruyneel meanwhile, was also at the event, and explained the motivation behind his very public criticism of one of the RadioShack-Nissan team’s biggest stars.

"It was not addressed personally," he said to Het Nieuwsblad. "I just wanted everyone in the team to wake up; that is my role as team leader. Perhaps it is strange to express my displeasure through the media, but I hope I both Fränk and the other riders are motivated to do better in future. I know that riders are not machines, but sometimes you need a shock to make things change. I hope this had an effect.”

For one of the most star-studded teams in the peloton, 2012 has been a very disappointing year so far for RadioShack-Nissan. Fabian Cancellara was looking like his usual self in the early spring; picking up victories in the Strade Bianche, and the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, as well as finishing second in Milano-Sanremo. The Swiss champion broke his collarbone in the Ronde van Vlaanderen however, and nobody else in the team has been able to step up and take his place.

Cancellara’s two victories in March are the only ones taken by the team this season, and - after Schleck and sprinter Daniele Bennati withdrew - it took very little from the Giro d’Italia.

“We are performing below expectations,” Bruyneel admitted. “I want everyone realise that, from the Tour of Luxembourg I will see results.”

RadioShack-Nissan team for the Tour of Luxembourg
Laurent Didier, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Gregory Rast, Fränk Schleck and Jens Voigt


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