"The Road Uphill" documentary follows Luxembourg riders 2011 Tour journey
Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador are not yet film heroes – but Frank and Andy Schleck now are. A documentary about the two brothers, "The Road Uphill", has recently been released in Luxembourg cinemas with the first projection, last Saturday night in Luxembourg City.
The 90-minute film is called by its production studio an "intimate cinematic portrait of two brothers and a team who are under pressure to live up to the expectations of their country".
Alongside the Schleck's atypical brotherhood in the peloton, the launch of a nearly national team in Luxembourg this year, in Leopard Trek, has helped to justify the film making.
The producer, Paul Thiltges, admits he was under the Schleck's spell even before he made the film. "I have six kids, and all of them adore the Schlecks, as he told 352luxmag website.
"Personally, I am from an older generation and was a follower of 'Father Schleck' (Johny) but I love what they do for Luxembourg and what they do for cycling."
The Road Uphill focuses on the Tour de France, following the two brothers day by day. According to the trailer, Andy doesn't hide his ambitions before the race.
"I know that if I ride the Tour de France this year and come second, then I have lost the Tour". Of course, it’s precisely what happened, as Evans triumphed by 1:34 to Andy Schleck.
This defeat, however, gives the film a more interesting aspect than a victory. The maker, Jean-Louis Schuller, not a cycling expert, told L'Essential newspaper:
"Humanly and as a friend, I would have loved he [Andy] won. But if I would have had to write a story, the main character would have not won. Dramatically it's better like this."
Casting includes names of Leopard Trek's road captains, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt and Stuart O'Grady, as well as the general manager Brian Nygaard, directeur sportif Kim Andersen, and Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt who crashed and died in this year's Giro d'Italia.
Johny Schleck is also an important character of the movie. Two journalists also provide their expert commentary, ITV's British icon Phil Liggett and L'Equipe's Philippe Brunel.
The big question about Andy Schleck in 2012 will be how his move to a team run by Johan Bruyneel will affect his racing. Schleck has lacked the competitive edge that Bruyneel is famous for – Schleck’s statement that he’d rather end up in second place on the Tour de France podium with his brother Fränk in third than win the race certainly doesn’t fit the Bruyneel philosophy! But Bruyneel’s attention to detail should aid Andy through this year’s Tour – and with 96km of individual time trialling, notoriously Schleck’s weak spot, he’ll need all the help he can get, if he wants to take that elusive win.
Away from the Tour, look for Andy in the Ardennes Classics, and then aiming to become the World Champion, on the hilly Valkenburg course.