Andy Schleck will not race this weekend’s Tour du Haut Var-Matin, with the RadioShack leader instead choosing to train in Mallorca. Schleck has raced once this season at the Tour Méditerranéen but abandoned on stage one, citing illness.
It prompted Schleck's team management to defend him after l'Equipe suggested that his comeback from injury is being hit by a lack of motivation rather than a lack of fitness.
He crashed out the Dauphine last June and missed the Tour de France. His brother Fränk was forced to quit the race after testing positive for Xipamide and subsequently received a one-year ban. Meanwhile, Andy has struggled for form and fitness and has failed to finish a race since the 2012 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
"We were happy to see Andy doing well in training the last few days,” explained team manager Luca Guercilena. “There is however a big difference between training and race situations. We want to prevent a relapse because of the race. Andy’s main goals are situated later in the season. It’s better that we are cautious now instead of taking steps backward.”
Schleck is expected to part in the Grand Premio Città di Camaiore, on February 28.