Frank and Andy Schleck took their seats in the Palais des Congres in Paris on Tuesday and watched as Christian Prudhomme unveiled his 2012 Tour de France route. The brothers were instantly relegated by commentators from the top favourites due to the nature of the parcours, but older brother Frank confirmed to Cyclingnews that they would still head to Liege committed to winning the race.
While there are fewer mountaintop finishes compared to recent years, Frank pointed out that there were still more climbs than last year – 25 compared to 23. Yet the pair's biggest disadvantage will come in the time trials. While the 2011 Tour had less than 65 kilometers against the clock, next year's route will see riders battle through almost 100 kilometers of time trialing. It's a discipline that the Schlecks have never properly mastered and led to their new boss Johan Bruyneel suggesting that the pair would have to try new tactics if they are to make the top step of the podium next year.
In this video Frank Schleck talks about the route, dispels the discussion that there are too many time trial kilometres but remains undecided if he and brother Andy could one day target the Tour and Giro d'Italia.
"We've finished second and third last year and that was great for the team and for Luxembourg and the Schlecks. We'd never done that. We still have one space left towards the top and we should play those cards. The Tour is still the biggest ambition."