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New documentary follows Schleck brothers and Leopard Trek to the Tour de France

Andy and Frank Schleck, the brothers who finished second and third respectively behind Cadel Evans in July’s Tour de France, are the subjects of a new film, The Road Uphill, that charts their 2011 season riding for the Luxembourg-based team built around them, Leopard Trek, and the Tour de France in particular.

The 90-minute documentary received its premiere in Luxembourg yesterday evening, the culmination of a project that has had us at road.cc intrigued ever since we learnt about it from London-based director Jean-Louis Schuller, whom we chatted to on the platform at Lille Eurostar station as he lugged his kit back home after filming a segment at Paris-Roubaix in April.

There’s no word yet of when and where the film might be screened in the UK or whether it may be made available as a download or DVD, but we are trying to find out and will let you know any details as soon as we can.

However, the combination of a compelling storyline as Andy in particular tried, and narrowly failed, to shake off his reputation as the eternal second in cycling’s biggest race, spectacular scenery and the behind-the-scenes look at one of cycling’s highest-profile teams of 2011 should make it a must-watch.

The film seeks to answer a number of question, including: “In a sport that more commonly has one leader rather than two, how does the Schlecks’ unique brotherhood affect their race? Does their compassion for one another make them stronger and enable them to overcome greater physical limits?”

The film's backdrop, of course, is Leopard Trek’s debut season on the road, marked by a series of near-misses in races such as Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo, as well as the Tour –despite that epic ride from Andy Schleck on the Galibier stage that put him into the maillot jaune for 24 hours – plus of course the tragedy of Wouter Weylandt’s death during the Giro d’Italia.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

10 comments

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Simon E [2985 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm not sure I can get excited about this. The boys don't interest me as much as many of their rivals and the whining at the Tour didn't help (though Andy's lone attack went some way to make up for it).

Worth watching if Jens Voigt is featured, he's a superstar!

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kaptnkrunch [57 posts] 5 years ago
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^^ Pretty much my thoughts. The Schlecks are total ninny's Andy's only redeeming effort being his stonking performance on the Galibier. I'd like to watch it for Spartacus and Jens though.

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mikroos [257 posts] 5 years ago
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Haha, exactly what I have thought! As much as I adore Andy's talent as a climber, he simply doesn't have the kind of mentality needed to win Le Tour. He's an amazing climber, maybe even better than Bertie, but he's not a true fighter which means he may never win.

The only chance I see for Andy is the fact that this year his DS will be Johan Bruyneel who's well known as a great tactician. Maybe this - and an AMAZING team - will help him...

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step-hent [723 posts] 5 years ago
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Neither of the Schleck's have really hit the high notes this year, and their unwillingness to really attack hard (with the one notable, glorious exception) makes them less likeable too. It's almost like they'd rather finish second and third together than first and nowhere, and I think it's that that frustrates the fans.

But Andy Schleck could certainly win the Tour under Bruyneel. He'll make sure they don't constantly wait for one another when they attack - and when Andy finally makes a break without looking backwards, he makes it stick. Bruyneel should be able to instill the killer instinct Andy needs, and then we might get a proper fight for the top step in July.

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low-fi [29 posts] 5 years ago
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step-hent wrote:

…snip...
But Andy Schleck could certainly win the Tour under Bruyneel. He'll make sure they don't constantly wait for one another when they attack - and when Andy finally makes a break without looking backwards, he makes it stick. Bruyneel should be able to instill the killer instinct Andy needs, and then we might get a proper fight for the top step in July.

Very true. It’s never been a fitness or a preparation thing for the Schleck’s: always tactical (and sometimes mechanical…)

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TheBigMong [212 posts] 5 years ago
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Apparently they were fully invested in producing this thing before they knew that Frandy taking second-third wasn't going to be all that exciting. Or maybe the director just loves a challenge?

Thor Hushovd deserves a feature film all his own.

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Gotta Ride [19 posts] 5 years ago
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 39 Fine, I'll watch it. Perhaps the two cleanest riders in the sport. I'd rather watch a whiner than an cheater.

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Paulo [112 posts] 5 years ago
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Gotta Ride wrote:

 39 Fine, I'll watch it. Perhaps the two cleanest riders in the sport. I'd rather watch a whiner than an cheater.

 13 The Shlecks are about as clean as the rest of the top tour contenders... Contador included  3

Hey 'Gotta Ride' you never heard that Frank admited paying over £10,000 to Dr Eufemiano Fuentes for 'training program's' LOL this was part of Operación Puerto if you wanna do your own research?

I will watch them tho I'm not a Schleck fan at all, but I find them less anoying behind the scenes than on the bike!

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rubberbullet [5 posts] 5 years ago
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Any news on when this might be shown, at all...?

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Simon_MacMichael [2477 posts] 5 years ago
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rubberbullet wrote:

Any news on when this might be shown, at all...?

I'll see if I can find out.