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Fränk Schleck sees a future at Flanders

Andy and Frank Schleck roll out together

Andy and Frank Schleck roll out together (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Fränk Schleck has says he will one day put aside a career-long focus on the Ardennes Classics to target victory at the Tour of Flanders. Schleck, who will share captaincy of Saxo Bank with brother Andy at Liège–Bastogne–Liège on Sunday, said the cobbled Classic can form a legitimate objective for him in the future.

"One day, I'll shove aside the Ardennes for a year to race Flanders and go there looking for the victory," he told the Belgian Sportmagazine. "I am a huge fan of the Tour of Flanders."

Schleck, 30, is yet to make his debut at Flanders, having prioritized the Ardennes Classics in each of his seven seasons as a professional. He said his participation in the Flemish race would require a significant shift in his established season schedule.

"Unfortunately you have to race the Tour of the Basque Country to be ready for the Ardennes and that stage-race begins the day after the Tour of Flanders, which can't be combined," he said.

Schleck pointed to his 2006 victory at Amstel Gold Race as an indicator of his ability to reach the podium at Flanders. His theory given credence by Belgian great Johan Museeuw, who recorded victory at Amstel in 1994, two years prior to the first of his three Flanders titles.

"Those who can win the Amstel Gold Race, I think can also have opportunities in the Tour of Flanders," said Schleck.

Despite his desire to race Flanders, Schleck said the Ardennes Classics will remain his major spring objective for the immediate future. On Sunday, he will race Liège–Bastogne–Liège, where Saxo Bank will aim to defend the title won by Frank's brother Andy in 2009.

"I can't do Flanders now," he said. "The Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège are important. I think the team management would murder me."