In spite of the high-profile reinforcements made by both teams ahead of the 2012 season, Andy Schleck does not believe that there will be any particular rivalry between his RadioShack-Nissan squad and the star-studded BMC team of Cadel Evans.
Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, Marco Pinotti and Tejay Van Garderen were among the BMC signings during the off-season, while the merger of Leopard Trek and RadioShack means that Johan Bruyneel has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal next year.
However, Schleck pointed out that a similar rivalry between Leopard Trek and Saxo Bank was hyped in the media last year, but in reality riders think only about winning, rather than beating any particular rivals.
“We go out there and we don’t want a match against other teams. We got asked last year a lot – ‘Do you want to beat Saxo Bank?’ No. We go there to win the race, I don’t care who’s second, if it’s one from BMC or from FDJ,” Schleck told reporters in Calpe, Spain.
While the Tour de France is the centrepiece of the Schleck brothers’ campaign, Fränk said that the world championships in Valkenburg would be their primary goal at the back end of the season. As a former winner of the Amstel Gold Race (2006), Fränk Schleck knows he has the aptitude for the Dutch course.
“I think that’s going to be a nice course for us,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard, but it’s more or less the course from Amstel, so especially with 260, 270km, that’s going to be really good for us. It’s going to be a real classic. Both of us would like to focus on Ardennes and keep some energy maybe for the last part of the season.”