RadioShack team manager says he's worried about Andy Schleck's mental state

Team also said to be concerned over work ethic and attittude towards training as Schleck fails to complete another race

by Simon_MacMichael   February 8, 2013  

Andy Schleck at 2013 TDU (Santos Tour Down Under, Regallo)

Andy Schleck’s manager at RadioShack-Leopard, Luca Guercilena, has expressed concern about the Luxembourg cyclist’s state of mind after the 27-year-old pulled out of the Tour Méditerranéen citing respiratory problems. The team is also said to be concerned about his work ethic and attitude towards training.

"There's more to it than that respiratory problems,” said Guercilena, who was promoted to his current role after Johan Bruyneel was sacked last autumn following the United States Anti-Doping Agency's publication of its Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case.

“Andy’s problems are bigger. The mental side is also important for a cyclist,” added the Italian, who was speaking to Belgian TV channel Sporza.

Besides Schelck's battle with injury and fitness, his brother Fränk’s one-year doping ban handed down last week won’t have helped Andy’s state of mind at all from a personal point of view, and at the same time it puts additional pressure on him to recover his form and fitness in the coming months so he can lead the team in the Tour de France.

The Tour Méditerranéen is the third race that Schleck has started but failed to finish in what is turning out to be a stuttering comeback from the fracture of the sacrum that he suffered during last June’s Critérium du Dauphiné, which kept him out of the Tour de France.

In September, Schleck, runner-up in the Tour de France each year from 2009 to 2011 and awarded the 2010 win after Alberto Contador’s disqualification, started his return to the sport in October's Tour of Beijing.

However, he found himself in the unfamiliar situation of lanterne rouge after struggling on climbs that wouldn’t have taxed him in the slightest had he been fully fit, and he abandoned the race.

Last month, in the Santos Tour Down Under, Schleck was largely anonymous - he compared the experience of riding way back in the bunch as making him feel like a neo-pro again - and he packed in the race due to a puncture on the very last stage.

It’s around ten months since he last finished a stage race, last year’s Circuit de la Sarthe, and his last one-day race was Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a race he’s always placed highly in during the past – indeed, he won it in 2009 – but in which he finished 50th in last April.

Last October, as Fränk awaited his disciplinary hearing and Andy struggled with his return from injury, their father Johny, himself an ex-pro, urged them both to give up cycling, saying, “This is no life!”

24 user comments

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It's a lot harder without the dope isn't it?

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [304 posts]
8th February 2013 - 22:53

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Bedfordshire Clanger - do the right thing and die in a fire.

koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [298 posts]
8th February 2013 - 23:14

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You're out of order koko56.

Thor

posted by Thor Beverley [47 posts]
8th February 2013 - 23:39

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I think its obvious that Andy's head isn't in the right place at the minute and that needs fixing before anything else. There's no reason for him to turn up to these races unless he's going to put the required effort in.

posted by drheaton [3350 posts]
8th February 2013 - 23:57

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Not as much as the other guy is. Wink

koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [298 posts]
9th February 2013 - 0:27

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Whoa, simmer down guys.

I am sure Andy will be back in form and still testing clean as ever in due course. If I had broken my mahugawatcha I would be feeling under form for a couple of years.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1057 posts]
9th February 2013 - 3:46

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that's a despicable comment Koko56

How much further!???????????

posted by Flabby [4 posts]
9th February 2013 - 8:02

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Bedfordshire Clanger wrote:
It's a lot harder without the dope isn't it?

that's no way to talk about Frank. Wink

Or are you suggesting he needs some help from Lance's support team in Radioshack (if any of them are left). Speaking of which, now Bruyhneel is gone are there any of Lance's cronies left in that team? If so, should there be a clean sweep?

posted by robdaykin [153 posts]
9th February 2013 - 8:47

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I'm not sure blabbing about his supposedly weak mental state to Belgian TV is the best method his team manager could have employed to bolster said mental state. He may have personal, familial and (possibly) clean-riding problems, but he has also been cursed with some piss-poor management in his career.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
9th February 2013 - 9:09

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If anyone thinks the Schlecks are clean is living in cloud cuckoo land - with Frank's "training plans" from Fuentes, riding with CSC and RS and finally the positive test

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [346 posts]
9th February 2013 - 9:44

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I agree with Bedfordshire clanger, Bertie caught out, Frank banned, Johan Bruyneel sacked and Andy's form takes a nose dive. Hmm, suspicious if nothing else.

posted by Welsh boy [83 posts]
9th February 2013 - 10:00

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Let me see, Radio Schleck still has the golden oldies of Horner, Klöden and Jensie!

posted by Dr. Ko [108 posts]
9th February 2013 - 12:37

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Although I would be a fool not to think that Andy was untouched by Frank's drug taking, I like the lad. It's pretty sad to hear this happen to him. But I guess cycling has been a big part of his family life. For his dad to come out and say 'this is no life' after his brother was caught cheating and him to lose the chance to win the Tour de France (I could well understand if Andy believed he would have won the 2012 TdF) I can see them being big psychological blows, as well as missing his sibling and the struggle back from injury (strange injury too).

I think Andy may not have enough of his family and their support around anymore. I hope that he is able to turn it around. I liked his youthful naivety.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [978 posts]
9th February 2013 - 13:00

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Koko56, Grow up!

posted by festival [94 posts]
9th February 2013 - 15:00

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Did Andy get that kebab from Tesco's?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
9th February 2013 - 15:01

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No smoke without fire!

posted by festival [94 posts]
9th February 2013 - 15:03

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I just find it really sad that people pretend to know what is going on when they really don't. Callous does not even approach it, hence my "original" comment. I feel it aptly underlines my view on such callousness.

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posted by koko56 [298 posts]
9th February 2013 - 15:11

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Did Andy get that kebab from Tesco's?

Ha ha that made me proper chuckle Big Grin Big Grin

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posted by cidermart [447 posts]
9th February 2013 - 15:15

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As well as the physical damage and loss of condition after his injury, we really have no idea of the effects of the stress of the six months since Frank's positive test, regardless of exactly what happened. I am not yet convinced that they are hardcore dopers.

Last October their father, a former pro himself, publicly advised them both to quit.

Not sure whether Guercilena going public now is a misjudged step or perhaps he knows stuff we don't. Is Andy's heart still in it?

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1790 posts]
9th February 2013 - 18:39

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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Did Andy get that kebab from Tesco's?

Dog just looked at me startled when I burst out laughing at that. I won't be leaving her anywhere near a Findus factory in the near future, either... Schnauzer schnitzel...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7517 posts]
9th February 2013 - 19:24

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Aaaaaargh! The flames! The flames!

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [304 posts]
9th February 2013 - 19:30

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You're a good sport Bedfordshire, not rising to the repugnant comment from koko56

posted by withnails [91 posts]
9th February 2013 - 22:19

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oh the pain you cause me Batting Eyelashes

koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [298 posts]
9th February 2013 - 23:07

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Lanterne rouge you say? Someone just got a spot in my Oman fantasy team!!

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [207 posts]
9th February 2013 - 23:26

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