The relationship between Johan Bruyneel and the Schleck brothers appears to have reached a new low when the RadioShack manager questioned whether Fränk Schleck's injuries had been sufficient enough to pull out of the Giro d'Italia.
Schleck pulled out of the Giro after less than 30 kilometers of stage 15 with a shoulder injury and Bruyneel could not hide his feelings at the finish, telling reporters he was 'disappointed' in Fränk Schleck.
According to nieuwsblad.be Bruyneel added: "I can not say much ... but I am surprised and disappointed by his statement. This morning I had hoped that he could finish on the podium, I was convinced that his condition was good enough to finish among the best."
Bruyneel also denied that Schleck had earlier sought to abandon the Giro in order to prepare for the Tour de France in the company of his brother Andy. On Sunday morning Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Bruyneel, Schleck and Kim Andersen held a meeting on the matter on Saturday night at the RadioShack-Nissan hotel in Cerro Maggiore, but Bruyneel said the story did not have substance.
At the start of stage 15 Bruyneel said, "As far as I'm concerned, his physical condition is good. There is an injury. It will probably be a problem sometimes to stay with the best guys but it's definitely not an injury to consider an abandon."
Schleck's decision may have serious ramifications on his Tour de France place. Asked if the Giro abandonment would affect any selection for the Tour de France, Bruyneel would only add that 'nothing had been decided.'
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