Schleck brothers confident of Tour podium positions
Alberto Contador & Andy Schleck, Tour de France 2009, stage 17Tour de France 2009, stage 17
Frank and Andy Schleck celebrated a special day at the Tour de France with first and third on the stage to Le Grand Bornand.
They also moved up to second and third overall in the overall classification behind Alberto Contador.
Like a double act, they also answered questions together in the press conference, confident about holding second and third overall and perhaps even trying to topple Alberto Contador on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
“I’m very proud of myself, my brother and my team,” Frank said emotionally.
“It all started well this morning at the team meeting when we heard that Jens Voigt was okay. We didn’t have anything to loose and Andy said ‘Lets go for it’ in the team meeting and that really motivated me. He sacrificed a lot to help me and I’ll certainly pay him back for that.”
Andy was happy to have helped his older brother win a stage at the Tour de France.
“It’s tough to find words to describe what happened today. This morning Bjarne Riis came up with a special plan. I had a lot of respect for this stage and knew it would make a difference. Frank was there to help me and that was fantastic. On the last descent I told him were going for the stage win on radio and I lead the descent because I’m a better descender.”
Schlecks expect to lose time in time trial
The Schlecks know they will lose time in Thursday’s Annecy time trial but are confident they can get it back on the slopes of Mont Ventoux on Saturday, especially after the damage they caused together on the slopes of the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombiere.
“Were second and third overall and even though were not time trial specialist, were not worried, there is still Mont Ventoux to come after that,” Frank said.
“It’s not a secret if I say that he (Alberto Contador) is very strong and hard to beat but he’s human and makes mistakes. We’re just going to wait for him to make a mistake and then if we don’t make a mistake, we can be there and take advantage. If we don’t believe we can beat him, we may as well as stop now. But we believe we can do something and were going to keep attacking.”
Andy predicts that the final climb of the Tour de France to Mont Ventoux will create similar time gaps as the stage to Le Grand Bornand.
“It’s the third week and everybody is tired. I didn’t feel good, I was tired today but then in the end the legs were what mattered and we saw that today. On the Ventoux people are going to be even more tired. We recover well and if the climbs are steeper, it’s better for us.
"I think we’re going to be up there and then we’ll see what happens. Maybe it’ll be the same scenario as today but he (Frank) has got to pull the sprint for me…”
Stage 17: Schleck brothers overhaul Wiggins as Frank wins the stage
Stage 16: Astarloza snatches Alps stage win as contenders wind up the pace
Stage 15: Contador wins in Verbier as Tour explodes into life
Stage 14: Ivanov wins as Nocentini clings onto yellow
Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar
Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green
Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban's record
Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win
Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire
stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out
Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance
Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs
Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage
Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second
Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage
Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador
Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint
Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial
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