"There is never an easy way to stop doing something you love to do, but I've always wanted to retire at a level where I was still competitive and fit. I'm really proud of having spent a large part of my life riding my bike for a living and, above all, I'm extremely thankful for the friends I have made along the way.
The memories of the victories and the great times I have experienced in some amazing teams will stay with me forever. I will always be a bike rider, but leaving the professional side of things will allow me to spend more time with my family and to see my two kids grow up. I have mellowed over the years, and my family and kids became more and more important to me.
I could mention a lot of moments that have stood out for me, but finishing on the podium of the Tour de France has to be my proudest moment as a bike rider - that memory will never be far away. But, to be fair, right now I don’t want to become too nostalgic because the season is still long and I really want to give 100% to the team until the very end of it. I would love to get a victory in the coming months; that would be a dream, the perfect scenario, really.
I want to thank all of the friends, fans, and sponsors I have been privileged to meet these many years and I look forward to seeing this sport develop even more in the years to come. It has given me a lot, and I retire feeling proud of having been part of it.”
Funny: I have never talked with Fränk in almost ten years I spent after Andy. I apreciate his dedication, as a rider he's ambicious, less gifted than his little bro but way more consistent, serious and realistic. Cycling is Fränk's passion, no doubt, but it's moreover his job, he was eager to do well and to earn his pay. Ready to listen and to learn, Fränk improved all his career long, and it has been a long career.
Now, with both the Schleck brothers retired, I feel a period ends. Procycling has changed a lot, in a good way mostly. It's more about the sport and less about the stars. I'm sure that Fränk will enjoy his new life. Only, when I read this press release, it sounds weird to me that he never name his bother, not even once, not even about his podium in the Tour de France. So many times Andy has been criticised because he looked like riding more for Fränk than for himself... But life is a complicated stuff.