Andy Schleck says he will go into the 2014 season regarding it as “a new beginning” as one of the leaders of the newly established Trek Factory Cycling team, and with his elder brother Fränk back alongside him following his two-year ban.
The 2010 Tour de France champion describes his goal for the season as a simple one after two seasons of turmoil. “I just want to enjoy cycling,” he says in an interview with Le Quotidien in his home country of Luxembourg. Yet he admits his goal is still to win the Tour, while recognising this task is now tougher than ever given the strength of the competition.
“I am still very motivated, as I’ve mentioned before. Naturally, everyone asks me about the Tour de France and the Classics. “Will you be up at the front? Honestly, how could I be sure now about getting back up onto the podium. I only want to enjoy my cycling. That would be a very good feeling,” says Schleck, who finished 20th at this year’s Tour.
Now heading into his ninth pro season, Schleck admits his focus is still on the sport’s biggest event. “My dream is to win the Tour. Perhaps that isn’t possible. Who can say? The competition is perhaps stronger than it was four or five years ago. I simply want to go into the season feeling enthusiastic and motivated. And, inevitably, with Fränk at my side,” he explains. “It’s good to have him there after all that has happened. We’re happy to be starting over.”
Speaking in more detail about Fränk’s return to the cycling fold, Schleck admits it’s been hard for his elder brother to get back to where he wants to be. “Since the 2012 Tour he’s had lots of ups and downs. Mentally, he’s had more lows than highs. Personally, as soon as the 2013 season ended, I thought that we could start our careers anew… We have both experienced moments of high intensity, some of them not happy. And now we’re both starting on a new career. It’s a new beginning and that really motivates us.”
Schleck reveals that after spending parts of December and January at training camps with the Trek team, he will begin his season at the Tour of Oman in February.