Andy Schleck to open 2013 campaign at Tour Down Under

Earliest season start ever for RadioShack-Nissan rider

Andy Schleck will start the 2013 season as early as possible, tackling the Tour Down Under for the first time. The RadioShack-Nissan rider hopes to ride a full and successful season after his disastrous year in 2012.

L'Equipe reported that the younger Schleck brother will be at the start of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide on January 20. In the past he has not started his season until mid-February at the earliest.

Schleck's 2012 campaign started out modestly, as he rode but did not shine in the Ardennes Classics while working towards his season goal, the Tour de France. However, all his hopes were dashed when he crashed in the time trial of the Criterium du Dauphine in early June. He was later found to have fractured his pelvis in the crash.

The injury forced him to miss the Tour de France and London Olympics, and in fact he was unable to come back to racing until the Tour of Beijing in October.

Schleck ended the year with only 28 racing days. He had no wins, with his best result being 22nd overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe. Of the six stage races he rode, he finished only two, the Tour of Oman and Sarthe.

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