Andy Schleck received the winner’s yellow jersey from the 2010 Tour de France on Tuesday in his home country, Luxembourg. He became the Tour winner in February when the Sport’s high court, CAS, found Alberto Contador “guilty of a doping offence.”
“It’s good to receive this jersey, but it doesn’t change much. It doesn’t feel like a proper victory,” Schleck said in a team RadioShack-Nissan press release. “It’s not the same as winning the Tour on the road and taking the yellow jersey to the Champs-Élysées.”
He received the jersey from Tour Director Christian Prudhomme, five-time winner Bernard Hinault and Luxembourg’s Minister of Sport, Romain Schneider.
At the 2010 Tour, riding for team Saxo Bank, he won two stages and placed second to Contador (Astana) by 39 seconds.
“He beat me on the road and it wasn’t my decision to strip him from that victory,” added Schleck. “I’m the official winner of that Tour now, but I’m hungry for a victory on the road.”
Contador failed an anti-doping test for Clenbuterol on the second rest day in Pau. He maintained that he ingested the banned drug via a contaminated steak. The CAS found him guilty and stripped him of his wins, including the 2010 Tour and last year’s Giro d’Italia.
“It has taken a long time for the decision to arrive and we all agree that this was not good,” Prudhomme said. “Paying homage to Andy was very important.”
Bruyneel gets tough on Schlecks
RadioShack team manager, Johan Bruyneel is standing his ground with riders Andy and Fränk Schleck. According to Belgian’s Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, he said on Tuesday “nobody just gets a place in the [Tour] team.”
Bruyneel said he was upset with the brothers following their poor performance in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He gave them separate programmes and sent Fränk to race the Giro d’Italia at the last minute. Fränk abandoned the Giro in stage 15, prompting Bruyneel to say that no one had a guaranteed post in the Tour de France team. He underlined that on Tuesday when Andy received the 2010 yellow jersey.
“I just wanted everyone in the team to wake up. That is my role as team leader,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “Perhaps it is strange to voice my displeasure through the media, but I hope I both Fränk and the other riders are motivated to do better.”
Andy Schleck placed second twice and won the Tour once. “He is the natural leader, but nobody gets just a place in the team,” Bruyneel added. “I want to see results in the coming weeks. We’re going to have to take big risks to win the Tour.”
Rogers on form for Tour
Michael Rogers (Sky) proved on form for the Tour de France by winning the Bayern-Rundfahrt stage race on Sunday.
“Having been professional for 12 years I’ve been part of some big and successful teams but it’s really nice when everyone’s riding well across the board,” Rogers said in a Sky press release. “It means the morale of the team snowballs. Everyone is performing well and laughing and smiling.”
Rogers won two stages. He took the leader’s jersey after winning stage two in a sprint and defended it until the end, helped by winning the 26km TT. Three other Sky team-mates placed in the top ten overall: Richie Porte in fourth, Kanstantsin Siutsou in fifth and Christian Knees in seventh.
They were part of a group which trained at altitude in Tenerife with Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome in the last month.
Soler returns to Europe after serious accident
Mauricio Soler returned this week to Europe, where he suffered a serious crash last year, on June 16 in the Tour of Switzerland. The Colombian visited the intensive care unit in Switzerland, where he recovered in the weeks after his crash.
“He doesn’t remember anything from what happened there, but he felt it was something he needed to do,” his wife, Patricia said in a team Movistar press release. “Mauricio had only known of the doctors and staff from some pictures, but felt like those voices weren’t unconnected to him, but something familiar. They were also moved and grateful about the visit, because it’s not normal for patients to come back to there. They were big cycling fans and always kept attention on his status.”
Soler and his wife are staying in Pamplona, his former European base since April 10. He continues recovering and waits for the results of several medical checks to evaluate the status of his injuries. In his free time, he watched the Giro d’Italia, cheering on his former team-mates and fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao.
He won the Tour’s mountains competition in 2007 and, four days before his crash, the Tour of Switzerland’s stage to Crans-Montana. He spent several days in a medically induced coma, was transferred to Pamplona and then travelled to Bogotá on December 20.