The younger of the Schleck brothers, Andy, had been hailed as one of the favourites for this year's Tour de France after he finished runner-up in the Giro d'Italia last year. But the 23 year-old, excellent climber had a bad day on the Tour's second high mountains stage on Monday. As the race tackled the final ascent of the Hautacam on stage 10, Schleck could not keep up with the rest of the overall contenders and lost almost nine minutes on the stage winner, Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval).
This set him back to 22nd place on the general classification, 8'34 minutes behind yellow jersey Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto). "I had a fringale [hunger knock - ed.] on Hautacam," explained Schleck about his counter-performance on Monday. "I guess it's a lack of experience. It was a short stage. I always said I am here for learning."
Indeed, Andy Schleck went into the race without pressure, as his older brother Fränk as well as Spaniard Carlos Sastre were the designated leaders of Team CSC-Saxo Bank. After capturing the white jersey of best young rider on stage nine to Bagnères de Bigorre - and losing it one the very next day - Andy Schleck now wants to be at the service of his brother and Sastre, second and sixth on GC respectively. But he also has the firm intention of receiving podium honours once again.
"The Tour is not finished yet," he said. "I hope to get back to the podium, to celebrate a stage win."
Read more on CSC-Saxo Bank's plans to conquer the yellow jersey in the Alps by clicking here.