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.