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Fränk Schleck says he won't be at top form for the Tour de France

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 27, 2012, 13:07 BST,
Updated:
June 27, 2012, 14:07 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Race:
Tour de France
A happy Frank Schleck (Team Radioshack Nissan)

A happy Frank Schleck (Team Radioshack Nissan)

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RadioShack-Nissan rider regrets absence of brother Andy

Fränk Schleck has warned not to expect too much of him in the Tour de France, saying he is no longer at his peak and will not be amongst the top riders.  The absence of his brother Andy is a loss not only to him but to their team RadioShack-Nissan as well, he said.

“My peak form is over, I cannot ride with the topmost and do not want to be the leader of the team,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “If the results are looked at, there will be criticism of me and I do not want that. I am not a machine and can not always be first rate.”

He has raced so much already this season that he will not be able to hold his form, he said. “After the Ardennes classics, my unexpected participation in the Giro, the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse, I have too many race days in my legs.”

Not having his brother there will be a major factor as well.  “A Tour with or without my brother Andy makes a big difference,"” he said. “We feel each other instinctively, much better than you do  with teammates. Our second and third places in the Tour de France last year were no accident.”

“The loss of Andy is a bad thing for the team, because Andy was the leader. I do not feel like the  leader for the Tour.”

He also denied that he had difficulties with team manager Johan Bruyneel, who said after Schleck dropped out of the Giro that he was not assured a place in the Tour de France.

"There is no problem with Johan. When I crashed, I spent three days fighting. I was in pain and he was very disappointed when I gave. Nobody can imagine how much pain you have. I am not the type to give up without a reason. I was not satisfied with his response in the press, but we have talked about it. He had the right to be disappointed, but not to be angry, but hey: it's a closed chapter.”

As to Bruyneel's involvement in the USADA doping case, “This affair does not concern our team, but dates from the past. I don't let it make me crazy. "

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