With the Spring Classics season now done and dusted, RadioShack-Nissan boss Johan Bruyneel is focussing on the rest of the season and hoping that his team can pick up the pace in the next few weeks and months.
The team headed into March with high hopes, but things took a turn for the worse at the Tour of Flanders when Classics leader Fabian Cancellara suffered a quadruple fracture to his collarbone and missed the rest of the cobbled and Ardennes races. The rest of the squad were unable to pick up the slack in the Swiss rider's absence and Bruyneel couldn't hide his disappointment at the performances of the team, culminating in a dismal showing at Liege-Bastogne-Liege last Sunday.
“This is absolutely not the result we expected from the team,” Bruyneel told the team website. “If we consider that is the end of the first part of the season, here at the end of the Classics, we are far from satisfied.
"For the first part of the Spring Classics on the cobbles, I was feeling quite confident with our team and with our leader Fabian Cancellara. We had a good start with Milan-San Remo, but then once Fabian was injured, we lost hope for those Classics. Next we looked to the Ardennes Classics and we hoped to see improvement here. But all of it was far from what we expected. [At Liege-Bastogne-Liege] we had no one in the top 20 and we can’t be happy with that.”
Bruyneel's comments were echoed by Andy Schleck, who admitted that both he and his brother Frank are struggling so far in 2012.
"It's still not a good year for us," he said. "It was certainly not as we expected. We often experienced crashes or bad weather but we can not always find excuses. We are responsible for bad results. We must learn to cope with difficult circumstances. These are the same for everyone."