The Schleck brothers will not ride the Giro d'Italia in 2012 but will continue to concentrate on the Tour de France. Fränk Schleck called the Tour “the number one goal,” but said the World Championships in Valkenburg also interest them, especially Andy.
In an interview with velochrono.fr, Fränk Schleck said that he and his brother “will not do the Giro. What matters is the Tour. We love the Tour. We have already had very, very good results in the Tour. It's a race that makes us dream. This is the number one goal.”
The brothers stood on the second and third steps of the podium, missing out on the victory which went to Cadel Evans. But, Schleck said, “We can't be disappointed. We could not have done better. We end the year with a lot of points, without having the Giro.”
In 2012 the Schlecks will have strong riders as Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner on the RadioShack-Nissan team. As to who will support who in the Tour, he said that, “Yes, on paper there is hierarchy. But once we are at the race, it can evolve. The hierarchy can be thrown out if they have a chance to win the Tour de France.
“The goal is to win the Tour de France,” he emphasised. “This is important.”
The exact plans for the Tour preparation have not yet been made. One option, proposed by Andy, is more altitude training, but Fränk sees problems with that. “The problem is that we race a lot ... If we do a training at altitude, we must remove some races from our program, such as the Tour of the Basque Country.
“In that case, we would not be ready for the classics. In addition, for this to be beneficial, the internship should last three to four weeks.”
Fränk Schleck was very much looking forward to being guided by Johan Bruyneel. “Johan is an extraordinary person. He's a real leader who can lead a team. He wil bring us a lot, especially in the time trial....”
Time trialling is the brothers' weakness, but are working on it. “We work on fitness indoors for stronger back muscles and thighs that you need in a time trial.We will also do wind tunnel tests and work on a velodrome with Trek. To win the Tour, it is essential to progress in this area, although we will never be specialists like Fabian Cancellara.”
The other goal this coming year is the World Championships “at which with Andy we could be competitive. This will be one of the goals of the season.”