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Injuries suffered in Dauphiné worse than originally thought, now targeting Vuelta

Andy Schleck of RadioShack Nissan this afternoon confirmed that he will not be able to take part in this year's Tour de France, describing it as the "biggest disappointment" of his career. The 27-year-old confirmed at a press conference in his native Luxembourg today that an MRI scan yesterday had revealed that he had broken a vertebra when he crashed during in the individual time trial during last week's Critérium du Dauphiné. The extent of his injuries were not immediately apparent and he carried on racing for two days before abandoning on Saturday, but once back home, the pain continued to worsen.

Earlier this month, Schleck was presented with the maillot jaune for the 2010 Tour de France, which he was awarded after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title earlier this year. Schleck finished second to the Spaniard that year, as he had done 12 months earlier, and in last year's Tour was runner-up to Cadel Evans. Brother Frank completed last year's podium and will presumably be sole team leader in the Tour.

Eve before that crash in the Dauphiné there had been question marks over Schleck's fitness and commitment earlier in the race, amid reports that he and Frank have fallen out with team manager Johan Bruyneel, giving rise to speculation over how those issues would affect his performance in the Tour; that is something to which we will never know the answer.

Schleck hopes to return in time for the Olympic Games at the end of July and is now targeting the Vuelta - a race that should see him go head to head with Contador, who returns from his ban in August, a potential showdown that will no doubt be welcomed by organisers Unipublic.

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.

17 comments

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othello [359 posts] 3 years ago
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The odds on Wiggo drop even further

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GrimpeurChris [60 posts] 3 years ago
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It will be "Cuddles" next!

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arrieredupeleton [574 posts] 3 years ago
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It's the best thing that could have happened for Frank though. He can now ditch the wing mirrors and forget about nursing little brother Andy up those hills. The Brothers Schleck have always been a case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts in my opinion.

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othello [359 posts] 3 years ago
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It also means Andy vs Bertie on the Vuelta

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Super Domestique [1596 posts] 3 years ago
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Ouch.

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Chuck [521 posts] 3 years ago
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arrieredupeleton wrote:

The Brothers Schleck have always been a case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts in my opinion.

Well put. The fact that they're brothers often seems to end up holding them back rather than giving them an edge.

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bikeandy61 [500 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds nasty - I wonder how Johann has taken the news?

Re Frank - as many have said I agree that they have hindered each other as much as helped each other in the past.

Wiggo - TBH IMHO I didn't really think the Schlecks posed a threat. His biggest rival is Evans other than a 2nd teir rider making a sudden leap up to the top echelon. I suspect that other than the tension of if Brad can do it, that it will be pretty dire viewing wise for the GC. I think Brad just needs to do what Cadel did last year and I can just see it being a game of eyeball to eyeball sitting on each other and seeing who comes out on top in the TTs. Unless CE can get a couple of decent gaps on BW on descents and make them stick.

Of course the danger is if it becomes a BW/CE watch and wait game someone else might steal it from them.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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I think Wiggo's mum has just got a load of ninja's killing off the rest of the peleton.

Anyone else wondering if this injury is a little 'convenient' given his form and team argy-bargy?

That's the brothers bucktooth moving to a different team in the winter then.

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Chuck [521 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Anyone else wondering if this injury is a little 'convenient' given his form and team argy-bargy?

Well, I don't believe he either injured himself deliberately, or that he/the team are lying about the extent of his injury, which is what suggestions that it's a little too convenient are implying.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Obvs he just wanted to race Alberto

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arrieredupeleton [574 posts] 3 years ago
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I agree that Andy Schleck was never really likely to win this year. Whilst he is capable of a long breakaway like last year on the Galibier, that only earned him around 2 minutes on Cadel. Wiggins would wipe that off him in any one of the three TTs but he also has the strength of Team Sky with Froome, Uran, Porte, EBH or Rodgers all capable of closing down breakaways.

I think the biggest threat to Wiggins is a 'chute' and that there'll be 188 other riders trying to keep upright for 3 weeks. Read the first couple of chapters of Cav's book to understand just how hard it is to get out the neutralised zone in one piece! Having said that, Wiggins has become a lot more savvy in the regard over the last year or so.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Guardian reporting that Schleck's confirmed he's out of the TdF.

Dissapointing, partly because even off colour he's a great rider and would have lit up the mountain stages, but also because with Contador and Schleck missing there'll probably always be the questions hanging over Wiggins if he wins that it was against a field missing two of the best riders in the world.

A win's a win and you have to beat the riders that turn up but who, hand on heart, wouldn't expect Contador to win this year's TdF if he was racing?

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds nasty - I wonder how Johann has taken the news?

Maybe it woz Johann wot done it! A simple and unthreatening injury quickly ramped up with the help of a maniacal hammer attack...just a thought

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

I think Wiggo's mum has just got a load of ninja's killing off the rest of the peleton.

Anyone else wondering if this injury is a little 'convenient' given his form and team argy-bargy?

That's the brothers bucktooth moving to a different team in the winter then.

There will certainly be some warm summer days spent indoors....

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badbadleroybrown [17 posts] 3 years ago
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1. There's nothing convenient about a broken vertabrae and anyone who saw Andy crash isn't very surprised he broke something... I was actually surprised he carried on at all.

2. Both brothers are still under contract for 2013, they're not going anywhere.

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seanieh66 [196 posts] 3 years ago
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Johann has other worries re the USADA case  3 26

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andyp [1438 posts] 3 years ago
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'Both brothers are still under contract for 2013, they're not going anywhere.'
when did contracts mean anything in professional sport?