7.01.2014

In Short: Interview with Andy Schleck (and a personal post scriptum)

There is a lon interview here: 
http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/andy-schleck-im-still-here

In Short:
1. Love:  “Why do I love cycling? It’s about being there, it’s about having a goal, it’s about winning a race, or suffering in the final and no matter what comes at you it’s about finishing with nothing left so that when you cross the line you can be satisfied and proud of what you’ve done. That’s what I love about cycling.”
2. Low expectations: “I go into the Tour and I’m not setting my ambitions too high. I’ll see where I stand at the end of the race but I’m going there to be good on the climbs, to help Haimer Zubeldia and my brother Fränk, and then we’ll see. Since Suisse I’ve been tired. It was a hard race, harder than before and since I’ve been home I’ve slowly built up training again.”
3. Happy dad: “Right now, what makes me the happiest is my son. He’s lying here and smiling up at me. That makes me happy. I thought that being a father would be beautiful but it’s actually even better than that. This little guy smiles up at me and it’s hard to leave to races for that. I know I’ll go to the Tour and when I get back he’ll have grown so much. I can see him on Skype and that’s great but I’m scared the little guy will forget about me. He’s only four months but he’s learning all the time.”
4. Bruyneel and Riis: “Johan didn’t want to change. Johan was our boss and we had to respect but of course we were not happy with the situation but that was the situation and you can’t have everything you want, but I actually had a lot of respect for him when he came into the team. We had different ideas but I also had that situation with Bjarne too so it could have worked. I’ve always been open to learning and I don’t have one way of thinking all the time. I was okay with Johan being there until his case with USADA exploded. Then it had to change.”
5. Hard Days: “At night you sit there in your room and you know that you have to go through it all over again the day after. Then it’s onto the next race and it’s the same scenario again and again and at night when it’s just you and your thoughts and no one to talk with you lie there and you ask yourself ‘what’s wrong with you?’ It was all going good, my career. It was all going good but it can’t always be like that. It can’t always carry on but throughout all of it I always had my feet on the ground. Even when I had super good results I always came home and reminded myself of who I was and of the person I wanted to stay as but at some point all the good luck I had went away. I don’t know why that happened but that’s just life. I went from one crash to the next, one injury to the next and yes there was a lack of motivation at points. I was training and training and then I was going to races and I was being dropped. I’d ask myself what I was doing wrong but I needed to fight.”
6. Fränk: “I was at home when I found out about Fränk’s test. His wife called me and I did what I thought I had to. I went home I went to tell my mum and dad. At the time we thought that it must just be a horrible mistake. Of course it’s one of those things were you don’t even need to ask. You know your brother is innocent. At the same time he was fired from the team at the Tour. I don’t know why Becca kept him so long and then did that but on the morning of a really hard stage guys on the team bus came to me and said, ‘Hey, they’ve fired your brother from the team.’ And you know, I had to carry on racing, I had to pull on my jersey because it’s my job and I had to carry on. There was already a lot of talk and chatter but I had to go outside and be professional. I had to go out there and face the media who were asking me about my brother being sacked and I had to race with all of that going on. That wasn’t the lowest point, there were harder moments but that was tough. There were a lot of knocks, one after the other and they all leave their scars. The biggest scar? I want to keep that to myself.
7.Criticism: “I read some things but I can also tune a lot of it out. Of course it hurts you but you need to be strong. I race my bike for me and my family and not for others. I don’t ride my bike to please others. Of course if some people take happiness or inspiration that’s great, but first and foremost I have to be happy with myself. Then I hope that my family are proud of me. That’s why I go out there and suffer so much. What’s important is the people around me. No matter what I do, the friends that I have, they like me because I’m me, not because I’m Andy Schleck who won on Galibier. The close ones are there for me in good and bad times. There are those that are there to pat you on the shoulder when it’s all smiles and they talk bad about you when you’re in hard times but I don’t consider them friends. I’m okay with them but I know who I am and what matters.”
8. More realistic: “You know you always stay the same. You never really change so I’m still that guy who won on the Galibier but I’m also more realistic in life now. When I was young, my dream was to be a professional cyclist. I never said it was going to be easy but I believe that I’m a fighter. I could stop tomorrow, look back at my career and be proud of what I’ve achieved but I still want to be here and be part of the peloton. I want to be there with my teammates and be in the finales of races. Unfinished business? Maybe, maybe not. I believe I can get back to where I was but it takes time and it’s not the most important thing. I’m training a lot. I’m working hard and I’m going to head to the Tour and do my job.”

PS
I'm not sure that Andy still considers me a friend. To be honest I neither know if he had ever considered me a friend. I have been by his side in good and bad times, that's sure. Even hours in the rain outside a bus or sending a good luck or a 'how are you' when he was - or looked - very isolated in the team. I'm still there of course and yes, I like him exactly because he's him. But there is a limit. I don't know if he cares but he should know what I mean.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time and ,in my opinion, you have been a very good friend to Andy. You have been loyal and true.

If he does not see you as a friend, I am sad for him.

B

Ilaria said...

I still hope so.