10.06.2014

2007-2014: who's still racing? A reflection on Andy Schleck's career

I didn't check so I probably left somebody who retired or deleted somebody who's still racing, maybe in a small team. I was curious to see how the peloton changed: riders in green are still racing, riders in red doped (or had doped) and riders in blue are now in a team staff. 
Of course I missed who didn't race the big tours so probably young riders who maybe now are in the lightspot. No doubt it can be done better. Anyway it gives you an idea. Riders still racing are a minority and a few are going to retire this year. It would be interesting to check their age.
The fact is that in 2007 Andy Schleck was 22, already a pro rider since 2005 and suddenly a star dued to his incredible 2nd place in the Giro d'Italia final GC. In 2008 he started his first Tour de France as a deluxe domestique for his bother Frank (finished 12 because of an off day in Hautacam). In 2009 he won Liège and started the Tour as team leader, finishing 2nd behind Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong. In 2010 he was 2nd again still behind Contador but the Spaniard got a bann for doping so Andy won that Tour on paper. On real he won a splendid stage in Avoriaz and a second one on the Tourmalet, after a face to face duel with Contador. In 2011 Andy and Frank Schelck finished both on the podium in Liège - behind an unstoppable Gilbert - and in the Tour. Andy lost the Yellow Jersey in the last stage, an itt that Cadel Evans interpretated as a masterpiece. 
After that... only a very bad luck. Andy didn't like to work with the new Team Manager, Johan Bruyneel. Also the team owner Flavio Becca wasn't... ehm... the best team boss to deal with. In add and for the first time Andy was having a serious relationship so maybe his focus wasn't anymore on cycling. That's just normal, a phase every man or woman passes unless he/she is a career fanatic. The problem is that Andy not only got poor results: in 2012 he also crashed and got a severe injury. He was lucky anyway: he could even be left paralysed. But he's ostinate, he came back on bike too early, worsened his situation: he couldn't get back his top form and in 2013 collected a series of DNF that just made him the object of odious jokes. I lived it with him and I can tell it wasn't fun at all.
He wanted to race as many races he can in order to be in a decent shape in July, for the Tour de France, and he didn't care about anything else. He finished 20: not bad not good. Not the expected comeback of the hero. But life is different from fiction. In real life you get injuried, you lost your form and you are not able to get it back in spite you give it all for it. In 2014 Andy's racing was never at his level but he was finishing races. In my opinion he wasn't fit enough for the Tour but I understand why he wanted to start. He crashed again and destroyed his knee. At the first of September he wasn't able to normally train yet and at the moment it's hard to say if he's going to race again. Or to ride.
He's 29. 
Now, when I read on the internet that he is not racing and maybe quiting because of his biological passport... it makes me sick. Really. Andy started racing as a pro before 2008, so still in the 'age of doping'. He has never had a positive, and there has never been any investigation about him. Results are NOT linked to your biological passport values. It is not that when you win you have different values than when you lose. And of course when you get injuried and can't train for months your values can change. 
Last winter I talked with Luca Guercilena and he told me: "An athlete career is like a parabole and when he started very young it can be very short." Yes, just like a bell as somebody wrote on twitter to be brilliant. 
That's sad. Especially because Andy has now got a young family. But he can transform that forced change in a new opportunity. 
I'm not saying he's going to stop, I know nothing. It's possible. It's also possible that he keeps racing in a small team or even that in few years he's back at his level. Personally I don't think it would be the best for him. 

Giro d'Italia
Predictor - Lotto
1  Paolo Bettini (Ita)
2  Addy Engels (Ned)
3  Mauro Facci (Ita)
4  Leonardo Scarselli (Ita)
5  Hubert Schwab (Swi)
6  Andrea Tonti (Ita)
7  Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
8  Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel)
9  Giovanni Visconti (Ita)
161  Robbie McEwen (Aus)
162  Dario David Cioni (Ita)
163  Josep Jufre Pou (Spa)
164  Matthew Lloyd (Aus)
165  Mario Aerts (Bel)
166  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel)
167  Wim Van Huffel (Bel)
168  Stefano Zanini (Ita)
169  Nick Gates (Aus)
Astana
11  Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)
12  Maxim Gourov (Kaz)
13  Benoît Joachim (Lux)
14  Assan Bazayev (Kaz)
15  Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz)
16  Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita)
17  Andrey Mizourov (Kaz)
18  Steve Morabito (Swi)
19  Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz)
Saunier Duval - Prodir
21  Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
22  Rubens Bertogliati (Swi)
23  Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat)
24  David Cañada Gracia (Spa)
25  Angel Gomez Gomez (Spa)
26  Manuele Mori (Ita)
27  Iban Mayo Diez (Spa)
28  Leonardo Piepoli (Ita)
29  Riccardo Riccò (Ita)
Lampre - Fondital
31  Damiano Cunego (Ita)
32  Matteo Bono (Ita)
33  Marzio Bruseghin (Ita)
34  Marco Marzano (Ita)
35  Danilo Napolitano (Ita)
36  Gorazd Stangelj (Slo)
37  Sylvester Szmyd (Pol)
38  Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)
39  Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa)
Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
41  Stefano Garzelli (Ita)
42  Dario Andriotto (Ita)
43  Alexandr Arekeev (Rus)
44  Gabriele Balducci (Ita)
45  Massimo Codol (Ita)
47  Simone Masciarelli (Ita)
48  Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita)
49  Branislau Samoilau (Blr)
AG2r Prévoyance
51  Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
52  Hubert Dupont (Fra)
53  Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr)
54  Julien Loubet (Fra)
55  Laurent Mangel (Fra)
56  Lloyd Mondory (Fra)
57  Carl Naibo (Fra)
58  Christophe Riblon (Fra)
59  Alexandre Usov (Blr)
Bouygues Telecom
61  Olivier Bonnaire (Fra)
62  Nicolas Crosbie (Fra)
63  Pierre Drancourt (Fra)
64  Yohann Gène (Fra)
65  Arnaud Labbe (Fra)
66  Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra)
67  Alexandre Pichot (Fra)
68  Franck Renier (Fra)
69  Thomas Voeckler (Fra)
Caisse d'Epargne
71  David Arroyo Duran (Spa)
72  Eric Berthou (Fra)
73  Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa)
74  Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa)
75  Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa)
76  Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa)
77  Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa)
78  Alexander Markov (Rus)
79  Mathieu Perget (Fra)
Ceramica Panaria - Navigare
81  Emanuele Sella (Ita)
82  Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col)
83  Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex)
84  Andrea Pagoto (Ita)
85  Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
86  Fortunato Baliani (Ita)
87  Paride Grillo (Ita)
88  Luca Mazzanti (Ita)
89  Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg)
Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
91  Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col)
92  Frédéric Bessy (Fra)
93  Mickaël Buffaz (Fra)
94  Hervé Duclos Lassalle (Fra)
95  Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Spa)
96  Mathieu Heijboer (Ned)
98  Tristan Valentin (Fra)
99  Steve Zampieri (Swi)
Crédit Agricole
101  Pietro Caucchioli (Ita)
102  Francesco Bellotti (Ita)
103  Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra)
104  Julian Dean (NZl)
105  Angelo Furlan (Ita)
106  Patrice Halgand (Fra)
107  Christophe Kern (Fra)
108  Thor Hushovd (Nor)
109  Nicolas Roche (Irl)
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
111  Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
112  Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr)
113  Stephen Cummings (GBr)
114  George Hincapie (USA)
115  Pavel Padrnos (Cze)
116  José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa)
117  Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel)
118  Brian Vandborg (Den)
119  Matthew White (Aus)
Euskaltel - Euskadi
121  Beñat Albizuri Aransoro (Spa)
122  Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Spa)
123  Dionisio Galparsoro Martinez (Spa)
124  Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)
125  Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa)
126  Antton Luengo Celaya (Spa)
127  Aketza Pena Iza (Spa)
128  Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa)
129  Joseba Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa)
Française des Jeux
131  Carlos Da Cruz (Fra)
132  Arnaud Gérard (Fra)
133  Timothy Gudsell (NZl)
134  Lilian Jegou (Fra)
135  Ian Mcleod (RSA)
136  Cyrille Monnerais (Fra)
137  Francis Mourey (Fra)
138  Fabrice Patanchon (Fra)
139  Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)
Gerolsteiner
141  Davide Rebellin (Ita)
142  Robert Förster (Ger)
143  Thomas Fothen (Ger)
144  Oscar Gatto (Ita)
145  Tim Klinger (Ger)
146  Sven Krauss (Ger)
147  Volker Ordowski (Ger)
148  Matthias Russ (Ger)
149  Oliver Zaugg (Swi)
Liquigas
151  Danilo Di Luca (Ita)
152  Enrico Gasparotto (Ita)
153  Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro)
154  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
155  Andrea Noe' (Ita)
156  Franco Pellizotti (Ita)
157  Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita)
158  Alessandro Vanotti (Ita)
159  Charles Wegelius (GBr)
Rabobank
171  Michael Rasmussen (Den)
172  Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col)
173  Graeme Brown (Aus)
174  Koos Moerenhout (Ned)
175  Max van Heeswijk (Ned)
176  Dmitry Kozontchouk (Rus)
177  Leon van Bon (Ned)
178  William Walker (Aus)
179  Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa)
Team CSC
182  David Zabriskie (USA)
183  Andy Schleck (Lux)
184  Juan José Haedo (Arg)
186  Michael Blaudzun (Den)
187  Matti Breschel (Den)
188  Volodymir Gustov (Ukr)
189  Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor)
Team Milram
191  Alessandro Petacchi (Ita)
192  Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita)
193  Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita)
194  Christian Knees (Ger)
195  Brett Lancaster (Aus)
196  Martin Müller (Ger)
197  Alberto Ongarato (Ita)
198  Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
199  Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita)
Tinkoff Credit System
201  Salvatore Commesso (Ita)
202  Evgeny Petrov (Rus)
203  Daniele Contrini (Ita)
204  Ivan Rovny (Rus)
205  Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez (Spa)
206  Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus)
207  Pavel Brutt (Rus)
208  Elio Aggiano (Ita)
209  Nikolai Trusov (Rus)
T-Mobile Team
211  Michael Barry (Can)
212  Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita)
213  Adam Hansen (Aus)
214  Gregory Henderson (NZl)
215  Axel Merckx (Bel)
216  Aaron Olson (USA)
217  Marco Pinotti (Ita)
218  Frantisek Rabon (Cze)
219  Thomas Ziegler (Ger)

Tour de France
Caisse d'Epargne
11  Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa)

13  José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa)
15  Vladimir Karpets (Rus)
16  Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa)
17  Nicolas Portal (Fra)
18  Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa)
19  Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa)
T-Mobile Team
21  Michael Rogers (Aus)
22  Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
23  Mark Cavendish (GBr)
24  Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
25  Linus Gerdemann (Ger)
26  Bert Grabsch (Ger)
27  Kim Kirchen (Lux)

29  Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger)
Team CSC
31  Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa)
32  Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor)
34  Iñigo Cuesta Lopez De Castro (Spa)
35  Stuart O'Grady (Aus)
36  Fränk Schleck (Lux)
37  Christian Vande Velde (USA)
38  Jens Voigt (Ger)

Predictor - Lotto
41  Cadel Evans (Aus)
42  Mario Aerts (Bel)

44  Christopher Horner (USA)
45  Leif Hoste (Bel)
46  Robbie McEwen (Aus)
47  Fred Rodriguez (USA)
48  Johan Vansummeren (Bel)
49  Wim Vansevenant (Bel)
171  Tom Boonen (Bel)
172  Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa)
173  Steven de Jongh (Ned)
174  Juan Manuel Gárate Cepa (Spa)
175  Sébastien Rosseler (Bel)
176  Gert Steegmans (Bel)
177  Bram Tankink (Ned)
178  Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
179  Cédric Vasseur (Fra)
Rabobank
51  Denis Menchov (Rus)
52  Michael Boogerd (Ned)
53  Bram de Groot (Ned)
54  Thomas Dekker (Ned)
55  Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa)
56  Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)
57  Grischa Niermann (Ger)

59  Pieter Weening (Ned)
AG2r Prévoyance
61  Christophe Moreau (Fra)
62  José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa)
63  Sylvain Calzati (Fra)
64  Cyril Dessel (Fra)
65  Martin Elmiger (Swi)
66  John Gadret (Fra)
67  Simon Gerrans (Aus)
68  Stéphane Goubert (Fra)
69  Ludovic Turpin (Fra)
Euskaltel - Euskadi

72  Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa)
73  Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa)
74  Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa)
75  Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa)
76  Inigo Landaluze Intxaurraga (Spa)
77  Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa)
78  Amets Txurruka (Spa)
79  Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa)
Lampre - Fondital
81  Alessandro Ballan (Ita)
82  Daniele Bennati (Ita)
83  Paolo Bossoni (Ita)

85  Claudio Corioni (Ita)

87  Daniele Righi (Ita)
88  Tadej Valjavec (Slo)
89  Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa)
Gerolsteiner
91  Stefan Schumacher (Ger)

93  Marcus Fothen (Ger)
94  Heinrich Haussler (Aus)
95  Bernhard Kohl (Aut)
96  Sven Krauss (Ger)
97  Ronny Scholz (Ger)
98  Fabian Wegmann (Ger)
99  Peter Wrolich (Aut)
Crédit Agricole

102  William Bonnet (Fra)
103  Alexandre Botcharov (Rus)
104  Anthony Charteau (Fra)

106  Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz)
107  Patrice Halgand (Fra)
108  Sébastien Hinault (Fra)
109  Christophe Le Mevel (Fra)
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
111  Levi Leipheimer (USA)
112  Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa)

115  Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa)
116  Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa)
117  Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por)

119  Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu)
Bouygues Telecom
121  Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra)
122  Stef Clement (Ned)
123  Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa)
124  Anthony Geslin (Fra)
125  Laurent Lefevre (Fra)
126  Jérôme Pineau (Fra)
127  Matthieu Sprick (Fra)
128  Johann Tschopp (Swi)

Agritubel
131  Juan Miguel Mercado Martin (Spa)
132  Freddy Bichot (Fra)
133  Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa)
134  Romain Feillu (Fra)
135  Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa)
136  Cédric Hervé (Fra)
137  Nicolas Jalabert (Fra)
138  Benoît Salmon (Fra)
139  Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)
Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
141  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
142  Stéphane Auge (Fra)
143  Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra)
144  Cristian Moreni (Ita)
145  Nick Nuyens (Bel)
146  Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col)
147  Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel)
148  Rik Verbrugghe (Bel)
149  Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
Liquigas
151  Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
152  Michael Albasini (Swi)
153  Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa)
154  Kjell Carlström (Fin)
155  Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)
156  Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr)
157  Manuel Quinziato (Ita)

159  Frederik Willems (Bel)
Française des Jeux
161  Sandy Casar (Fra)
162  Sébastien Chavanel (Fra)
163  Mickaël Delage (Fra)
164  Rémy Di Grégorio (Fra)
165  Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
166  Lilian Jegou (Fra)
167  Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)
168  Thomas Lövkvist (Swe)
169  Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra)
Team Milram
181  Erik Zabel (Ger)
182  Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita)
183  Ralf Grabsch (Ger)
184  Andriy Grivko (Ukr)

186  Brett Lancaster (Aus)
187  Alberto Ongarato (Ita)
188  Enrico Poitschke (Ger)
189  Marcel Sieberg (Ger)
Astana
191  Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz)
192  Antonio Colom Mas (Spa)
193  Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)
194  Serguei Ivanov (Rus)
195  Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz)
196  Andreas Klöden (Ger)
197  Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa)
198  Grégory Rast (Swi)

Saunier Duval - Prodir
201  David Millar (GBr)
202  Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa)
203  David Cañada Gracia (Spa)
204  Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa)
205  David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa)
206  Ruben Lobato Elvira (Spa)
207  Iban Mayo Diez (Spa)
208  Christophe Rinero (Fra)
209  Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa)
Barloworld
211  Alexander Efimkin (Rus)
212  Félix Rafael Cardenas Ravalo (Col)
213  Giampaolo Cheula (Ita)
214  Enrico Degano (Ita)
215  Geraint Thomas (GBr)
216  Robert Hunter (RSA)
217  Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita)
218  Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr)
219  Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col)

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