RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel was on hand in Luxembourg yesterday as Andy Schleck was presented with his 2010 Tour de France yellow jersey however the tension in the camp refused to go away.
The mood follows Bruyneel's public questioning of Fränk Schleck and whether his shoulder injury was sufficient to warrant the 32-year-old's withdrawal from the Giro d'Italia on stage 15. Bruyneel told nieuwsblad.be that while it was not something that he "addressed personally" with the elder Schleck, he wanted the team to be on their toes.
"That is my role as team leader," Bruyneel explained. "Perhaps it is strange that I air my displeasure through the media, but I hope I both Frank and the other riders are motivated to do better in future. I know that riders are not machines, but sometimes you need to focus their energies through the season. I hope this happens. We are performing below expectations. I hope that from the Tour of Luxembourg I see results. "
Meantime, Fränk was keen to avoid another war of words saying that he would prefer to concentrate on the celebrations for his brother the day before the start of the Tour of Luxembourg.
"I do not want to start controversy," he said. "I had and still have pain in my shoulder. I know what I feel. I do not have much confidence for the Tour of Luxembourg. But I'm confident that I will be part of the Tour team. "
His last statement may be at odds with Bruyneel however, who pressed that it is the results over the coming weeks which will decide who lines up for RadioShack-Nissan when the Tour de France kicks off with a prologue time trial through Liege one month from now.
"Andy is until today the only one who had already won the Tour and finished second," he said. "He is the natural leader, but nobody just gets a place in the team. I want to see results in the coming weeks.
"We're going to have to take big risks to win the Tour. It will be a matter of tactical and inventive drive to claim the yellow jersey. "