Three DNF in his first objectives of the season were hardly what Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) was looking for in the Ardennes Classics and the news that he will now miss the Tour of Romandie as he recovers from a knee injury will no doubt make this week a harder pill to swallow.
"Ask me how my week was because it was just shit," Schleck told Cyclingnews at the finish of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.
"I crashed in Amstel and since them I've constantly had pain in my knee."
"I had a scan and they told me to rest but can't really rest because I was really motivated for today. I was supposed to do Romandie but about half an hour ago we decided that it makes no sense. I need to stop now for four or five days and then I hope I feel good."
That short break from racing will offer Schleck with time to reassess his season. It's no secret that he has struggled for results in the last few seasons with illness, injuries and a lack of form combining to leave him a rather forlorn figure in comparison to the one that helped to light up a series of Tours, and of course he won Liège in 2009.
"I need to start to training hard and well because I know this is shit," he said.
"I know that I need to prove something to the team because who would send someone to the Tour who rides a bike like I do at the moment? No one, and no one will want to ride for me so I want to show something in Suisse. I know that. I want to."
With Romandie off the schedule Schleck will next race in the Tour of Luxembourg before a final Tour warm-up at the Tour de Suisse in June.
"My form is not so bad. My form is good and I insist on that. I was training hard and was doing five hours behind the scooter. My form is good. It's just the knee."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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