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Fränk Schleck hopes to stay with Bjarne Riis

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
February 06, 2010, 9:00 GMT,
Updated:
February 06, 2010, 11:58 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, February 6, 2010
Race:
Tour de France
Frank Schleck and team manager Bjarne Riis take part in a Team Saxo Bank training ride

Frank Schleck and team manager Bjarne Riis take part in a Team Saxo Bank training ride

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Schleck brothers to remain together regardless of Team Saxo Bank's sponsorship woes

Fränk and Andy Schleck hope to stay with Bjarne Riis' team after their contracts expire the end of this season but say the most important thing is that they ride on the same team. “What is certain is that Andy and I will always stay together,” Fränk said.

The elder Schleck has ridden for Riis since turning pro in 2003 and told Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien he would like the co-operation to continue. “I am really happy. I was able to grow there, to progress slowly over time. I would be happy it if went even beyond the 2010 season.”

Saxo Bank recently announced it would end its sponsorship of the squad at the end of the current season, leaving team owner Riis to search for a replacement.

But wherever Schleck rides in 2011, it will be on the same team as his brother. “Right now, we concentrate on riding and this should not upset us," he said. "Because we know we will still be riding in 2011. We will discuss it again after the Tour [de France].”

Fränk, who turns 30 the middle of April, is looking forward to 2010, both personally and professionally. He and his wife are expecting the first child this spring and he is eager to return to racing after knee surgery shortened his season last year.

One of his goals this year is to finish in the top-three of the Tour de France, along with his brother, of course. Andy Schleck has said his elder brother could even win the race. “I like especially that Andy never does the calculations without me,” Fränk said. “And I also think that I can do better than last year. … For 2010, I say: why not the podium? And if I get onto the podium, why not win?”

Fränk finished fifth at both the 2008 and 2009 Tours de France. Brother Andy finished second overall at the 2009 edition of the race, 4:11 behind winner Alberto Contador (Astana).

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