1.15.2013

In short: a - not new - interview with Andy Schleck

andys_yellowThere is a long interview here:
 http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=11067&status=True&catname=Interview (part 1)
..and here:
 http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=11078&status=True&catname=Interview (part 2)
But it's almost the same as the vid I posted earlier, that is the press conf at the trainingcamp. Anyway there are a few interesting things:
In short:
1. Schedule: "Basically I ride every race that there is. It’s Down Under, Tour Med, Haut Var, then in Italy for some races; GP Nobili and then Tirreno and then Critérium and Pays Basque.[...] I think it’s important for me to get as much racing in my legs before the Classics and then after the Classics, we are not 100% sure, but probably it’s California, the Tour du Suisse is ideal for now, but that can change."
2. In Beijing: "Yea, but those sensation were not good at all in that race. In Beijing; I almost couldn’t ride before, I went there and had a little pain, but that wasn’t the reason I was behind every day, almost every day. But I was happy to finish the race, I was going to the bus smiling because it was a good feeling to be in the peloton again, the result didn’t really matter for me, I didn’t expect more than before. It wasn’t like years before; it was a really hard race. [...] Yes, maybe I shouldn’t have done it because it wasn’t good for my image, but it didn’t really matter, I know what I am capable of and like I say I was just happy to finish, I didn’t finish the last and I was a bit later to the bus than everyone else, but I was happy to be with the team and at the race."
3. Winter: "Most riders maybe take a month off and go on holidays, I know I had the whole summer off, so it started really early for me with the training with quite a few hours in the gym also and I had to go three to four times a week to the physio to work on my back, touch wood, but its good now and I hope I won’t have problems in the future."
4. Trainingcamp: "Actually OK, I was surprised; we do three groups every time for training. Let’s say the Down Under group who maybe do half an hour more or harder than the others and my sensations are good right now. They (the sensations) are OK, it’s not like we attack each other to see who is the first on the climb, but the other day we did eight intervals, that’s quite a lot. The most important thing when you do a three block training here is that you don’t go crazy the first day so you can start again the next day, but I would say I am where I would expect to be. I need to get my condition back and I need to lose three kilos, but I think this is the smallest issue."
5. Ardennes:  "Now, it’s the Ardennes Classics are my first goal, the Tour is a long way to go and this year I don’t go into the Tour as a favourite, I will go to try to do my best, but maybe it’s not for this year, maybe the next year, of course I put everything in there and I’m good at the Tour, but the Ardennes Classics; it was only last year when I wasn’t good, previous years I was always in the front, one year I won, so it’s the first goal of the season."
6: Merger troubles: "...between the riders there was never an issue and at races there was never anyone who didn’t want to ride for the other one. But I would say there was an issue between staff because when I come to a team I have my soigneurs who have worked with me for all the years before and then they go with me to all those races and maybe someone else would like to be there and maybe that was a little issue. This year we had the team meeting in Luxembourg and everyone is pulling with the one string and yes its better this year."
7. Bruyneel, Andersen and Guercilena: "He was the team manager, but he was not guy following us in training every day, he was not the guy who was at training camps with me, he was sitting a lot in the office, of course he was there sometimes, but we don’t feel we miss that he’s not there. [...] I work with Kim and I worked with Luca all the years before, I hope we can go back to the way it was before, maybe two years ago with Kim in the Tour and the important races. [...] Luca is a guy who is present all of the time; he is really into the training and nutrition and everything. Now he’s the team manager, but he is also there, he follows in training and he advises, he is there to take care of everything, but Luce is, I would say, closer to the riders, he is very important. I did a lot of years before, I remember with Bjarne, in the first years he was really into the training and nutrition and everything and that is maybe what I missed sometimes last year, sometimes I was kind of left alone by Johan because he had a lot of other things to take care of."
8. Wiggins and Froome:  "I believe that Wiggins could be the guy to help Froome next year, I mean Froome had an exceptional Tour last year; really, really strong in the mountains, Wiggins is to go to the Giro next year and if Wiggins go to race he goes to win the race, last year he didn’t go to many races he didn’t win, he will go to the Giro with big ambitions and Froome will not be there, so it could be the kind of tactic that they have to go there for Froome. It would have been hard last year without Froome for Wiggins to win because he did a lot of work. I don’t think it’s an issue. I also read that with Wiggins that he wanted to stop at one point last year in the Tour, but I don’t believe it. If I were in the yellow jersey and a team mate attacked, I would go hard on him, but I wouldn’t think about stopping. Was it a bluff? Yea maybe a bluff, you can take it as you want, it could also be a tactic. When we go in with two captain to a race, like two years ago in Liége, on paper I was maybe the leader, but I knew that Fränk was better that day, they were looking at me, in the end Gilbert won, but when we entered the race we knew that we would go for Fränk that day even though it was me on paper. It will be interesting to see, there is Froome, Wiggins, but there is Ritchie Porte as well as other guys who can be up there."
9. Fränks: "Its different [than Contador's case] clenbuterol is a banned substance and it’s a positive test, Fränk’s is an irregular test, it’s not a positive test, so it’s quite different. Honestly before Fränks case; if there was something, I would think, mmmm! But it has really changed my way of thinking. I believe that riders can be really be treated unfair in cycling, so I don’t point my finger at a case like Contador, maybe when someone is positive, like we have seen in the past, they get caught with EPO or with blood transfusions in the past Tours, you can say what the fuck they want, for sure that’s a clear situation, but Contador is not today a clear situation and Fränk’s case made me think differently. So I don’t point my finger at anyone if it is not clear."
10. L’Alpe d’Huez twice in a day?: "The media are wrong with that. The World record is of a guy who climbed eight times, Mont Ventoux in one day and he was not a professional cyclist, so why can we not do two times up l’Alpe d’Huez or why can we not do Telegraphe, Galibier and l’Alpe d’Huez in the same day. Its misunderstood by the media, but you can do l’Alpe d’Huez twice in one day…well maybe not you!!!! [Big laugh-Ed]. OK so you would do it slower than we do, but I have to laugh when I hear that people say it’s not possible to ride that much without taking something, but it is. Everybody who rides a bike knows also it is possible."
11. UCI:  "If there a new commission coming what will it change, we cannot do more against doping and to show the people we are clean. And if there is a new commission coming then everybody jumps on it, it’s just more to cost money; we should work on what we have now, instead of opening a new commission. Everyone voted for Pat McQuaid a few years ago and there will be a new election and there will be new candidates and you have to vote and I don’t think you have to turn everything around now because of the Armstrong case which was a long time ago, so we should work on the things we have now."

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