Pain forced Leopard Trek rider to quit on Saturday
Fränk Schleck abandon Paris-Nice due to back pains on stage seven but sport director Kim Andersen insisted he was satisfied with his performance.
Schleck finished 26th in the time trial, 2:11 behind winner Tony Martin, but he struggled with his position on the bike.
“Especially the saddle caused me major problems on Friday,” he told wort.lu. “As a result, I couldn't sit pain-free during the stage on Saturday.” The Luxembourger abandoned Saturday's stage with 37km to go after racing in the rain for most of the stage.
“Fränk didn't feel well the whole day, and then there were the extreme weather conditions as well. It was a miserable day for him,” said Andersen.
The combination of the pain and the weather lead Schleck to quit Paris-Nice. “At times it was only three degrees Celsius. My hands were so cold that I could barely hold on to the handlebars properly,” he said.
Andersen said the team will now work on resolving Schleck's back problems.
“We must work on his position on the time trial bike. After the 27 km on Friday he had back pains,” Andersen said. “We will find the solution, there's still enough time.”
Andersen was otherwise satisfied with Schleck's performance in France. “Everything is going according to plan. Fränk did a good race up until he left it.”
“He has without doubt the form to rival the best. Looking towards the Ardennes Classics, we don't need to worry.”
“Overall we put in a good performance with the team, even when we didn't get a win or a top placing. Many times there were only details missing which could have lead to a win. If we keep on working hard and stay concentrated then the glorious moments will come.”