Andy Schleck withdraws from another race as stuttering start to 2013 season continues

It's said his respiratory problem is on the mend though

by Sarah Barth   February 17, 2013  

Andy Schleck after dropping his chain on the Aubisque © PhotoSport International.jpg

Andy Schleck has withdrawn from this weekend's Tour du Haut Var-Matin in a further blow to his attempts to get a season in which he hopes to challenge for the overall in July's Tour de France under way.

The rider has been suffering from an infection of the respiratory tract, which has already forced him out of the Tour Méditerranéen, and although he says he feels back on form, his team, Radioshack-Leopard Trek, say they don't want to push him.

“We were happy to see Andy doing well in training the last few days,” team manager Luca Guercilena told Eurosport.

“There is however a big difference between training and race situations. We want to prevent a relapse because of the race. Andy’s main goals are situated later in the season. It’s better that we are cautious now instead of taking steps backward.”

It's a further setback in Schleck's ongoing battle to recover full fitness, with his struggles starting in June last year when he fractured his sacrum in a crash during the time trial in the Criterium du Dauphine, forcing him out of last summer's Tour.

Earlier this month, Guercilena expressed concern about the 27-year-old Luxembourg cyclist’s state of mind, which won't have been helped by brother Fränk having received a 12-month ban after testing positive for a diuretic during last year's Tour.

The team is also said to be concerned about Andy's 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.

Schleck returned to racing at the end of last season in the Tour of Beijng but abandoned after struggling on the climbs, and it's now 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 Andy's brother 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!”

8 user comments

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I guess the withdrawal of performance drugs is making for his "shacky" start Devil

Maybe he's just missing holding his brothers hand up the climbs Thinking

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8198 posts]
17th February 2013 - 17:07

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I can see him retiring permanently within 6 months. He's lost it mentally Silly

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2451 posts]
17th February 2013 - 17:40

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I feel bad for him, must be incredibly frustrating, he is now miles behind the competition. Fingers crossed he will be back on form soon.

posted by SammyG [290 posts]
17th February 2013 - 18:53

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Fuentes in court... major drop in performance - brother is named in Denmark newspaper as the "Friend of Birillo"

http://www.sporten.dk/cykling/avis-schleck-er-amigo-de-birillo

coincidence ?

No its an illness I'm sure Thinking

posted by Gary613 [31 posts]
17th February 2013 - 22:38

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Stumps, I don't think he ever had it mentally. I always felt that it was his mental attitude which stopped him being at the very top of the sport.

SammyG, he ALWAYS was behind the competition!

posted by Welsh boy [83 posts]
18th February 2013 - 7:45

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Welsh boy wrote:
Stumps, I don't think he ever had it mentally. I always felt that it was his mental attitude which stopped him being at the very top of the sport.

SammyG, he ALWAYS was behind the competition!

^ totally - his half-arsed efforts to get better at TT'ing attest to that.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [298 posts]
18th February 2013 - 12:43

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I think I must be the only person on here who's a Schleck fan then?!!

Watching Andy & Contador in the 2009 tour was what inspired me to get back on a road bike after several years off. In 2010 and 2011 Andy rode very well in the tours, he's a natural climber and so is never going to be strong in TT.

I will agree that sometimes his attitude isn't all it could be for someone of his public profile, but then not every rider is as good at PR as they are at riding.

Whatever negativity you have to say about Andy & Frank, you can't deny that Andy's win on Galibier in the 2011 tour was one of the most exciting stages ever, and a fantastic win for him. I'll freely admit that there's not been a great deal to celebrate since then though!

-Gordon

posted by gordonmarkus [42 posts]
18th February 2013 - 16:01

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Welsh boy wrote:
Stumps, I don't think he ever had it mentally. I always felt that it was his mental attitude which stopped him being at the very top of the sport.

SammyG, he ALWAYS was behind the competition!


+1
I just won't miss him... the way he only races the TDF & LBL is disresectfull to all the other race organizers IMO... I wouldn't want him in my race.

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posted by Paulo [106 posts]
20th February 2013 - 19:36

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