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Separating the RadioShack-Nissan brothers didn’t work
After a season that Andy and Fränk would rather forget, RadioShack-Nissan Sports Director Kim Andersen has said it was wrong to try and separate the Schlecks’ racing schedule. Anderson was left out off the management roster for the Tour de France after Johan Bruyneel sought to shake up the brothers racing tactics and dynamic.
Andy hasn’t raced since his crash in the time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné and meanwhile Fränk is waiting for his next appearance on 8 October in front of the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Commission after his positive test for Xipamide at the Tour de France.
Andy endured a troubled lead-up to this year’s Tour de France, struggling to find his form in the Ardennes classics and citing a knee injury for his lack of results but most were convinced he would be ready for the Grand Départ. His Dauphiné fall derailed all hopes of starting the Tour and so Fränk was immediately looked upon as next in line for leadership. Fränk quickly stated he wouldn’t be in the best form for the Tour after a solid ride at Tour de Suisse.
"Andy achieved no results and couldn’t attend the Tour because of a broken sacral bone. Fränk finished second in the Tour of Switzerland, but then tested positive at the Tour for a diuretic and masking agent Xipamide," said Andersen to Nieuwsblad.
Andy has essentially no results to speak of this year while Fränk had a couple of reasonable early season results at Ruta del Sol, the Ardennes classics and the Giro d’Italia - before he abandoned on stage 15 but that all amounts to little considering his current position and impeding doping case.
"Fränk had a good season and had ambitions in the Tour in the Pyrenees. Andy had no season. He sees this as a lost year. It is very difficult for an athlete, but sometimes it's not bad to suffer so much if you can then start again," Andersen said.
The Schlecks have long been seen as a powerful duo when the Tour hits the mountains and Anderson wonders why, if the partnership worked so well in the past, it was altered. Their strength was often seen as a weakness and criticism was duly dished out for the brothers seemingly waiting for each other during selective moments but for the majority of the time, it worked.
"The separation was not a good idea. Why change a winning team? What has that yielded this season?"
"If we want to get something out of Andy, we need a clean slate. To date we have not been talking, but we will still sit together. I am sure that it can still work with both Schlecks at RadioShack-Nissan. There are no issues and if he has a new goal, Andy will be back all right," said Andersen.