The rise of another Schleck

Andy Schleck (Team CSC) is a third generation

Andy Schleck (Team CSC) is a third generation (Image credit: Sirotti)

The third generation of Luxembourg's Schleck cycling family seems to be the best yet. At the Giro d'Italia, Andy Schleck, second overall and best young rider, indicated that he's got an even brighter future than his older brother Fränk, reports Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet.

The Schleck name first hit the international cycling scene over 70 years ago, when Gustav Schleck contested events in the 1930s. "He was an independent," recalls his son, Johnny, who himself has raced professionally for teams like Pelforth and Bic, "racing against the professional riders without a team." Johnny rode the Tour de France seven times between 1965 and 1973, at the service of '68 winner Jan Janssen and '73 victor Luis Ocaña. "I hardly rode for myself, always for captains," he surmised of his career, although he managed to finish in the top 20 twice: 19th in 1970 and 20th in 1967.

"I've never wanted my sons to become bike riders," he pretends. But now he supports the pair as much as he can. Johnny's oldest, Steve, rode the political route rather than becoming a cyclist, but Fränk and Andy are die-hard racers, a part of the new wave of champions.

The pair's presence in the professional peloton prompts cycling fans to remember their tiny home of Luxembourg, with all 460,000 inhabitants squeezed between France, Belgium and Germany, has given the world three Tour de France champions: François Faber in 1909, Nicolas Frantz in 1927 and 1928, Charly Gaul in 1958.

The next could just be Andy Schleck.

Fränk stunned the world when he won the Amstel Gold Race in 2006, but he sent out a stern warning of things to come as he claimed the victory: "But you haven't seen my little brother, Andy, he's more talented than me," he said.

Fränk's comments are probably true. While Fränk's position at the height of world cycling is a reward for much hard work, Andy's talent is pure and god-given.

Read the rest of The rise of another Schleck.

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