The head of the Luxembourg Cycling Federation has doubts about Andy Schleck's chances of making a successful comeback frtom injury in 2013, saying “right now it doesn't look good. All the evidence indicates that Andy this winter simply didn't work and train enough.”
Jean Regenwetter told Wort.lu: “Andy let things get away from him in training the last two years. He must pull himself together, otherwise he can just write off the 2013 season right now.”
The younger Schleck brother's talent is not enough, Regenwetter said. “Andy has a good engine but such a engine wants to be used and tested to its limits. When a top athlete's muscles are not used, they go to sleep.”
Schleck has had limited racing so far this season. He began the year at the Tour Down Under but abandoned on the sixth stage. His only other race was the Tour de Med, which he abandoned on the first stage due to a breathing problem.
It is not too late for the RadioShack-Leopard captain to save his season, Regenwetter said. “There is enough time before the Tour de France for him to find his old strength. And Andy is someone who can quickly throw the switch when his season highlight nears.”
He must not wait too long, though. “Contador, Froome or Rodriguez have already shown that they are in good shape. Andy is running behind and that is never a good sign.”
Regenwetter said Fränk's doping problem has not helped, but should not be an excuse. “His brother's suspension surely didn't help Andy. But to be honest, Andy should already have trained before the decision was announced.
“As is often said, there's always hope. Andy can still change things around.”
After deciding to miss the Tour du Haut Var-Matin, Schleck headed to Mallorca to train. He is expected to part in the Grand Premio Città di Camaiore, in Tuscany on February 28.