Andy Schleck has opted to forgo participating in the Tour of Luxembourg in order to focus on his preparation for the Tour de France. His brother Fränk will lead the Leopard Trek team in his home tour, which begins on June 1.
After competing at the recent Amgen Tour of California, Andy Schleck decided to remove the Tour of Luxembourg from his programme, and as was the case in 2010, the Tour de Suisse will be his sole stage race in June.
“When his programme was being made out, it still wasn’t certain that he would take part in the Tour of California,” Leopard Trek manager Kim Andersen told Le Quotidien. “Given that he was in the United States, going on to do a training camp, the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse would have been a bit much. It would almost have been the equivalent of a Giro.”
Schleck's main Tour rival Alberto Contador is currently dominating the Giro d'Italia, and reports from Spain suggest that the Court of Arbitration for Sport would not deliver a verdict on his Clenbuterol case before the start of the Tour.
For their part, the Schleck brothers began a training camp in the Alps on Thursday as they reconnoiter some of the Tour's decisive stages in the company of teammates Linus Gerdemann, Jakob Fuglsang and Maxime Monfort.
“Logically, they should all be part of it [Leopard Trek’s Tour line-up – ed.], so long as they’re in form,” Andersen said. “The aim is to go and discover the Alpine stages, which should be crucial. It’s now or never to do this kind of reconnaissance. Afterwards, we won’t have time to do it.”
The Leopard Trek quintet’s Alpine training camp began on Thursday and will last four days, as they tackle the key climbs of the Tour’s third week, chief among them the Col du Galibier, which the race crosses twice in as many days. It is understood that the riders will spend two days testing the Tour’s Pyrenean passes at a later date.
“We did the same thing last year,” Andersen explained. “A reconnaissance is always useful.”
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