It’s been a regular occurrence over the last few years, Fränk supports his brother in a bid to win the Tour but Andy comes up short. Fränk then watches his brother stand atop of the podium - on the second step - in Paris.
Fränk finally got his chance to join his younger sibling last year. At the completion of the 2011 Tour Fränk lay in third-place overall behind Cadel Evans (BMC) and his brother Andy (RadioShack-Nissan). He didn’t win a stage (that was in stage 17 of the 2009 edition) however, he did complete a one-two with Andy on stage 18 by taking second-place.
After Andy’s removal from the RadioShack-Nissan Tour team following a fall at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Fränk was called upon to take the leadership role. However, as quickly as Andy was diagnosed, Fränk was attempting to shun the ability for him to perform like a true leader. An inspired few days at the Tour de Suisse suggested he would be a favourite for the Tour but Fränk insisted his form would not last throughout the three-week race. Some of his rivals shared a similar sentiment but nothing will be certain until the race hits the mountains.
Without his brother by his side he’ll look to Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner for help when the road rises. His opening performance in the prologue was dismal but the Schlecks have never appeared comfortable when faced with a time trial. A year featuring additional time trialling won’t favour the Luxembourger so if he wants to make an impact he’ll have to look elsewhere. This year could be Fränk’s opportunity to rise up from his brother’s shadow but he will need to show the kind of initiative and leadership that has been until now, invisible. His director, who is absent from the Tour believes he’s a leader, but does Fränk?