“I have full faith in Johan to make the right decisions.” These are the words Andy Schleck used to describe the delicate situation involving mentor and sports director Kim Andersen, who has been left out of RadioShack-Nissan’s management team for the Tour de France.
Friday’s news that Andersen would hand over the keys to the RadioShack-Nissan team car in July came as quite a shock to many but in reality it may have been on the cards for some time, with team boss Johan Bruyneel seemingly intent on breaking the Schleck brothers from the comfort zones they’ve occupied in previous seasons.
Andersen has played a pivotal role in the brothers’ careers, helping them to podium places in the Tour de France as well as setting up the Leopard-Trek team around them in 2011.
But Bruyneel’s latest tactic can be traced to the team’s presentation in January, where he hinted at the possibility of sending older brother Frank to the Giro d’Italia, before utilising him as a super domestique at the Tour de France for Andy.
Perhaps Bruyneel simply wanted to spur the Schlecks on, perhaps he’s still unsure about his best Tour de France line up, or perhaps he genuinely thinks he can win the Giro with Frank before attempting a Tour bid with Andy? Either way it remains to be seen whether the manoeuvring of Andersen will pay off.
In this exclusive interview for Cyclingnews, Andy Schleck talks about his current form, his progress before the Tour de France and his thoughts on Kim Andersen at the Tour de France.