RadioShack Leopard's Maxime Monfort has added his surprise to the news that Frank Schleck has been dumped by RadioShack Leopard.
Monfort, currently riding the Tour de France at the assistance of Frank's younger brother Andy, told Cyclingnews that he did not understand why the team management had decided to ditch Frank Schleck with his ban set to expire within a matter of days.
"It's sad to hear that news. I think Frank deserves to be back in the peloton, especially as it wasn't a doping case," Monfort said after the conclusion of stage 7 to Albi.
Frank Schleck now finds himself without a team for the remainder of the 2013 and no contract for the following season. The matter is complicated by the brothers' repeated instance that they will always ride for the same team.
Monfort added his support, adding that he wished Frank Schleck a speedy return to racing. "We don't understand but we have to accept the situation and I hope he'll be back this year, and if not then next year with big morale and fight," he said.
"It's the management who decide and I'm not in the management. I don't know what happened but it's true that it's strange."
With Trek confirmed as the owners of the team's licence for 2014 the American bike company are currently in the middle of organising their roster for next season. Monfort, like the Schlecks is another rider without a confirmed future, although the Belgian all rounder should have little trouble finding suitors should Trek fail to capitalize on the rider's availability.
"I don't know yet," Monfort said when Cyclingnews asked him about his future and if he will stay with the team.
"I hope and I feel good in this team but no body has discussed this with me yet. We'll see. It will be decided during the Tour or soon after."
Matters at hand mean the Belgian will have to put aside contract thoughts with the mountains of the Tour de France edging ever closer. With Andy Schleck surviving the first week relatively unscathed - bar the news of his brother - the team will be hoping that the 2010 Tour winner can rekindle his top form when the road points upwards.
"He looks good but we have to wait for the first mountain stage. The Tour has been hard but not super hard with mountain climbs," Monfort added.
Of course Monfort was by Schleck's side during arguably the Luxembourg rider's greatest hour when on Stage 18 of the 2011 Tour he soloed to a memorable win atop the Galibier.
"It will be difficult to make the same scenario once again and that was a super day and my best souvenir as being a teammate, ever. I hope to make it [happen] once again."