Andy Schleck needed solitude and time to get over losing the Tour de France by 39 seconds. “I was not physically tired, but gutted mentally, exhausted and very disappointed,” he told the French newspaper L'Equipe.
“Just at the foot of the podium in Paris, when I saw Contador in the yellow jersey, was when I realised that I had lost the Tour and it fell upon me like a boulder,” he said. “I needed to isolate myself, to put some distance between myself and others.”
Schleck, who in 2010 rode for Saxo Bank, acknowledged that the turning point of the Tour was when he dropped his chain on stage 15. While the Luxembourger struggled with his equipment, Alberto Contador attacked and went on to take the leader's jersey, which he held until the end.
“Without this incident, he wouldn't have gotten away,” Schleck said. “I have regrets.”
The 25-year-old, who now rides for Leopard Trek, also said that their “hug” on the Tourmalet, several stages later, was not any kind of show of friendship, but a staged act by the Spaniard.
“I have my arm on his shoulder, but I am not doing anything. It was his way of saying, look, we are friends (….) But he knows what I think of him, and he knows that if we find ourselves in the Tour, I won't wait for mechanical trouble.”