6.30.2010

Freak bros go rocking the Tour!


Pic by Jesse Wild

Andy's diary of June

About to explode

http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/andy-schleck/about-to-explode
Pic by Jesse Wild

Andy's ready to take on the Tour d e France

In just four days the first rider w

ill roll down the start house at the Tour de France, in Rotterdam. There will be great cr

owds and even greater pressure as months of tension, preparation and effort euphorically exp

lode with each pedal stroke. The Tour is upon us.

And it's upon me too. There is pressure on my shoulders, I'm one of the favourites – as so many keep of you keep reminding me – but

I'm relaxed and calm. My preparation has been very good – not excellent – but my form is coming and by the time the race hits the Pyrenees in four weeks time, I'll hope to be in the for

m of my life.

As a rider in the pro ranks you have to handle pressure, it's part of the job descr

iption, part of the ethos of being a rider in the spotlight. Thankfully, I've got some really good people around me: there are my teammates, the team staff, and of course my brother, who I hope will have a strong Tour too.

There has been a lot of speculation about my team for next year but all I can say is that there's no news from Frank or myself and I'm utterly focussed on performing at the Tour. If you must know I have four options for next year: staying with Bjarne, Kim and Brian's new team and two others that I can't discuss. But right now I'm a Saxo Bank rider and the most important thing is the Tour de France and where I finish come the end of the race.

I spoke with Bjarne at the Tour de Suisse and we'll see him tonight and we'll chat about the future, I'm sure of that. Yes, I have a few options but there are no new negotiations with Bjarne – they can't start until there's a sponsor.

As for my form I'm in recovery mode right now. After winning the national time trial championships I crashed my bike while training. There was a large rock in the road, I couldn't avoid it and you can guess what happened next. Just like the time I was hit by a car last year, the first thing I did was check my body for broken bones. Luckily I was fine, but I've lost a fair amount of skin. It's a bit sore but I'll ride a bit before Saturday.

I'll do a few hours today and then tomorrow I head to Belgium to recon the cobbles again. You can never get too much practice on such difficult terrain. But other than that I'll be using up as little energy as possible. It's a case of saving as much energy, too. A rider doesn't want to pick up any illness or injury before the Tour. We've spent our entire year getting ready for this race, so putting in that final effort now will make a big difference.

The objective is to win but it's going to be a very long Tour. There are the cobbles of Belgium, the cross-winds in Holland, the Alps and the Pyrenees. The Alps will be tough but they won't house the decisive action as the main guys will want to save their powder for the Pyrenees when things will be harder. Want a prediction? How about this… the top three from the Tourmalet won't change all the way to Paris.

And I'll be just there!!

6.29.2010

Article by Radsport and more

Dudes I don't like all that and avoided to post anything about that stuff till the official news came out. But 'boatos' about that new Luxembotgish Team involving Schlecks are around since a long time, since last Tour de France at least, since that friendly chat of Andy and Sir Lancelot and if you are a little smart you could also follow the adding of 'friends' and 'followers' on Twitter and FB to find out a growing net including somebody and excluding somebody else...
Ok. I don't care. Really, for me it's the same
. I'm not shocked. I would probably be if Uncle Bjarne had a solid sponsor for the next seven years but in spite of all victories and sex appeal of his team he doesn't. Things change, that's normal. You must change with them if you want survive or better you can change them, be yourself the maker of something new. Less poetically: money come and money go, to win the Tour de France you - also - need a lot of money. Unfair but true. If the Luxembourgish project can actract more money for a longer time that is the best choice for the best racers. They must do that. Friendship, loyalty, previous agreements are nothing in front of the possibility - or not - to achieve the top goal of your career.
There are big risks. Of course. Probably the moment wasn't the best one. But you have to risk anyway if you really want to get something important. And Riis decided the moment no Kim Andersen who in short was found out and fired. But honestly could he wait till the end of that season to organize seriously a new top team? Of course he couldn't. Could Riis wait and stand that situation? Maybe he could. But we don't know all. Probably that ambiguity started affecting the mood in team and clearing up was unavoidable.
In anycase yes, I fear and treambling but I support that choice because I trust in Andy and Frank and I'm sure they pondered it with their family and - probably - with the FCL. I'm worried and cross my finger because a wrong decision can wast a big talent and we already saw that many times in cycling. Finally, I think I know Andy a little bit and if he really wants something it makes no sense to try to change his mind. Good luck guy and keep living your dream!

Pic by F.Clement
http://www.radsport-news.com/sport/sportnews_63704.htm

Torsten Schmidt stellt das Saxo Bank-Tour-Team vor

"Wir haben ein kleines Luxusproblem"

Von Torsten Schmidt

28.06.2010 - (rsn) - Torsten Schmidt ist seit 2008 Sportlicher Leiter beim dänischen Saxo Bank Team und wird die ProTour-Mannschaft um den Vorjahreszweiten Andy Schleck bei der Frankreich-Rundfahrt gemeinsam mit Teamchef Bjarne Riis betreuen. Der 38-jährige ehemalige Gerolsteiner-Profi stellt die neun Saxo Bank-Tourstarter vor.

Jens Voigt: Es ist ein Muss, Jens mit nach Frankreich zu nehmen. Seine Einstellung ist bewundernswert, zudem verfügt er über sehr viel Erfahrung. Er ist ein absoluter Teamplayer. Er hat in der Vergangenheit aber auch schon häufig gezeigt, dass er seine Fähigkeiten in eigene Ergebnisse umsetzen kann, zum Beispiel aus Fluchtgruppen heraus. Privat genießt bei Jens die Familie höchste Priorität: Er ist schließlich fünffacher Vater.

Andy Schleck: Andy hat in den vergangenen Jahren bei Giro und Tour gezeigt, dass er bei großen Rundfahrten um den Sieg mitfahren kann. Er ist in diesem Jahr gemeinsam mit Vorjahressieger Alberto Contador der große Favorit. Seine große Stärke ist das Berghochfahren. Trotz seines noch jungen Alters ist er taktisch schon sehr ausgebufft. In seiner Freizeit geht Andy zum Ausgleich Jagen.

Fränk Schleck: Fränk hat nicht zuletzt bei seinem Gesamtsieg bei der Tour de Suisse gezeigt, dass er einer der weltbesten Bergfahrer ist. Er wird im entscheidenden Moment im Hochgebirge immer an der Seite seines Bruders Andy sein. Fränk kann aber auch selbst die Gesamtwertung anpeilen – da haben wir ein kleines Luxusproblem. Fränk ist Vater einer Tochter geworden, was ihm sehr viel Kraft gibt. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass er bei der Luxemburg-Rundfahrt und der Tour de Suisse zuletzt noch aggressiver gefahren ist.

Stuart O`Grady: Er ist unser Road-Captain. Stu ist das Verbindungsglied zwischen Sportlicher Leitung und den Fahrern. Er bewahrt immer einen kühlen Kopf und trifft die richtigen Entscheidungen. Stuart ist ein Kämpfer, der sich in den letzten Jahren auch durch schwere Stürze und Verletzungen nicht zurückwerfen lassen hat. Der Radsport ist seine große Passion. Ich kenne Stuart jetzt schon seit knapp 20 Jahren. Wir sind 1993 bei der Bahn-WM in Oslo im Finale der Mannschaftsverfolgung gegeneinander gefahren. Er hatte damals die Nase knapp vorne.

Jakob Fuglsang: Jakob ist vom Mountainbike auf die Straße gewechselt. Er hat seine tolle Form mit Rang drei bei der Tour de Suisse und dem Sieg im Zeitfahren der Dänischen Meisterschaften unterstrichen. Er ist ein netter Typ, der 24 Stunden am Tag für den Radsport lebt. Er wird in Frankreich einer der großen Mannschaftshelfer im Hochgebirge sein. Und: Er weiß, wann er gefordert ist und ist immer zur Stelle.

Matti Breschel: Im letzten Jahr hat er das Tourticket knapp verpasst. In diesem Jahr hat aber kein Weg an ihm vorbeigeführt – auch wegen seiner starken Leistungen im Frühjahr. Als endschneller Mann ist Matti sehr gut für Fluchtgruppen geeignet. In seiner dänischen Heimat zählt Matti zu den populärsten Fahrern überhaupt.

Fabian Cancellara: Wenn Fabian „drauftritt“, dann kann man immer was Gutes erwarten. Er peilt den Prologsieg in Rotterdam an – und damit wäre auch das Gelbe Trikot verbunden. Mit Tony Martin hat er jetzt in den Zeitfahren einen neuen Kontrahenten dazu bekommen. Auf dieses Duell kann man sich im Kampf gegen die Uhr sicher freuen. Fabian liebt die normale Hausmannskost. Im Training ist er aber sehr fleißig und arbeitet sehr hart, so dass er sich dieses Essen auch mal gönnen darf.

Chris Anker Sörensen: Er ist ein sehr starker Bergfahrer. Seit seinem Sieg am Kitzbüheler Horn bei der Österreich Rundfahrt 2008 ging es bei ihm stetig bergauf. Chris Anker gibt immer mehr als 100 Prozent, was dazu führen kann, dass er schon mal mit Schaum vorm Mund ins Ziel fährt. Er weiß, was er kann – und das ist einiges. Das hat er nicht zuletzt beim Giro d`Italia mit seinem klasse Etappensieg gezeigt. Doch auch abseits der Strecke hat Chris Anker einiges drauf: So hat er im letzten Jahr ein Buch geschrieben – Thema: Natürlich Radsport.

Nicki Sörensen: Auch ihn kenne ich schon sehr lange, ich habe seine Anfänge als Profi als Teamkollege mitverfolgt. Er ist ein absoluter Teamplayer. Gerade deshalb habe ich mich sehr über seinen letztjährigen Etappensieg bei der Tour gefreut. Er ist ein ganz erfahrener Mann, den jedes Team gerne in den eigenen Reihen hätte. Privat ist er ein besonnener Typ, der sich durch nichts aus der Ruhe bringen lässt. Nicki ist ein absoluter Italienfan, lebt dort mit seiner Familie und ist großer Fan des italienischen Lifestyles.

6.28.2010

Interview with Kim Andersen by Tageblatt.lu

http://www.tageblatt.lu/sports/42379.html

Kim Andersen plant ProTour-Team in Luxemburg


image Kim Andersen mit den Schleck-Brüdern und Laurent Didier (Foto: Marcel Nickels)

RADSPORT - Kim Andersen ist nicht mehr sportlicher Leiter beim Team Saxo Bank. Der Däne arbeitet daran, ein neues ProTour-Team in Luxemburg aufzubauen. Und damit sind natürlich auch die Brüder Frank und Andy Schleck im Gespräch, deren Verträge bei Saxo Bank auslaufen und zu denen Andersen ein fast familiäres Verhältnis hat.

Kim Andersen dürfte gestern ein letztes Mal in einem Saxo-Bank-Wagen auf dem Platz des sportlichen Leiters Platz genommen haben. Der Vertrag des Dänen mit dem Team von Bjarne Riis wurde aufgelöst. Andersen arbeitet derzeit daran, ein neues ProTour-Team in Luxemburg aufzubauen, zusammen mit Brian Nygaard, 2009 noch Pressesprecher bei Saxo Bank und zuletzt beim Team Sky.

Die ersten Kandidaten für ein solches Team sind natürlich Frank und Andy Schleck. Allerdings haben beide immer betont, dass sie vor der Tour nicht über neue Teams sprechen wollen: „Wir wussten das mit Kim schon länger“, so Andy Schleck, „er hat eben entschieden, etwas anderes zu machen. Was uns angeht, das werden wir später sehen. Jetzt stehen Bjarne (Riis, d. Red.) und das ganze Team hinter uns. Nach der Tour werden wir weitersehen.“

Bjarne Riis konnte allerdings bis dato noch immer keinen schlagkräftigen Sponsoren für die nächste Saison präsentieren. Und die Schleck-Brüder sind nicht nur ob ihrer auslaufenden Verträge heiß begehrt.

So berichtete das Tageblatt bereits am 9. April dieses Jahres über einen Artikel in der Schweizer Sportwoche, wo als potenzielle Geldgeber für ein Team um die beiden Brüder u.a. die Luxemburger Gerard Lopez, Eric Lux und Flavio Becca genannt wurden.

Bestätigt hat sich das zwar bisher nicht, aber mit der Nachricht, dass Kim Andersen ein Luxemburger ProTour-Team aufbauen will, werden die Gerüchte mit Sicherheit nicht abflauen.
Der Däne hält sich in Sachen Fahrer und Geldgeber allerdings noch bedeckt, wie aus dem Tageblatt-Interview hervorgeht.

Tageblatt: Kim Andersen, heute kam die Nachricht, dass Ihr Vertrag bei Saxo Bank aufgelöst wurde und Sie dabei sind, ein neues luxemburgisches Team aufzubauen. Wie sieht es aus damit?
Kim Andersen: „Ich hoffe, dass es gut aussieht, denn sonst wäre ich nicht sehr klug, so einen schönen Platz beim Team Saxo Bank aufzugeben.“

„T“: Warum geht es nicht weiter mit Saxo Bank?
K. A.: „Das ist ja klar. Wenn ich etwas Neues aufbaue, kann ich nicht zwei Stellen besetzen. Ich hatte eine gute Stellung bei Bjarne, ich war der erste sportliche Leiter und es kann ja nicht sein, dass der gleichzeitig an einem anderen Projekt arbeitet. Das ist ja verständlich.“

„T“: Ist das eine neue Chance für Sie, die es einfach zu ergreifen galt?
K. A.: „Das ist eine Herausforderung. Ich denke, dass jemand mit meinen Ambitionen das nicht einfach vorbeiziehen lassen kann. Das muss ich annehmen und schauen, was ich daraus machen kann.“

„T“: In dem Luxemburger Team sollen aber auch die Brüder Schleck nächstes Jahr fahren, oder?
K. A.: „Wir müssen sehen, was jetzt alles passiert. Das ist die Arbeit, die jetzt auf uns zukommt, die Rennfahrer zusammenzustellen. Und jeder weiß auch ganz genau, dass man neue Fahrer erst später bekannt geben darf (1. September, d. Red.). Und bis dahin bleibt das alles unter uns.“

„T“: Es wird aber bei der Tour de France jeden Tag Thema sein. Wird das die beiden nicht destabilisieren?
K. A.: „Ich denke nicht. Bei der Pressekonferenz am Anfang der Tour wird das einmal gesagt werden und dann kommt irgendwann eine Entscheidung.“

„T“: Es wurden auch schon viele Luxemburger Geldgeber für ein neues Team genannt.
K. A.: „Ja, aber da gibt es so viele Gerüchte. Da soll man gar nicht daran denken. Alle professionellen Teams haben keinen Geldgeber, sondern Sponsoren. Und auch das wird irgendwann bekannt gegeben werden. Im Moment arbeiten wir und das kommt alles an die Öffentlichkeit, wann wir es wollen.“

„T“: Wann ist die Idee überhaupt geboren worden, denn die Gerüchte gibt es schon länger?
K. A.: „Es gibt die Idee schon eine Weile, aber wir haben erst in letzter Zeit richtig daran gearbeitet. Aber im Kopf hatte ich das schon länger. Das war einfach ein Traum, wenn man sieht, was für eine Werbung Luxemburg für den Radsport macht. Hoffen wir, dass wir das gut machen.“

„T“: Und Kim Andersen wird dann Teambesitzer, Manager oder ...
K. A.: „Nein, nein, ich bleibe 'directeur sportif'. Das ist das, worin ich gut bin und was ich gerne mache. Ich habe keine Lust auf etwas anderes.“

khe

LNC: pics by K.Kalmes




"Everyone has the right to make their own choices and take responsibility for their own life"

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/riis-admits-that-schlecks-will-join-new-luxembourg-team

Riis admits that Schlecks will join new Luxembourg team

By:Stephen Farrand

Nygaard confirms ambitions of new team for 2011

Bjarne Riis has conceded that both Frank and Andy Schleck will leave his team at the end of the season to join a new team in Luxembourg being created by his former directeur sportif Kim Andersen and former press officer Brian Nygaard.

On Sunday morning Andersen confirmed that he has been released by Riis and will not work with the Saxo Bank team at this year's Tour de France. Nygaard also recently left Team Sky where he had been head of communications.

Nygaard confirmed the creation of what he hopes will be a major new team in 2011 to Cyclingnews and issued a statement. The team is expected to apply for UCI ProTour licence.

"The economic foundation for the team for next year is in place and now that I have hired Kim Andersen as senior director of sports, the sports management is also as strong as it can be. We may not yet say anything concrete about the sponsors or riders who will ride for our new team," Nygaard said in the statement.

Andersen raced as a professional in the eighties, winning a stage in the 1983 Tour de France and wearing the yellow jersey for six days. He failed at least two anti-doping tests and was banned from competition before retiring in 1992.

He said in the statement: "It is clear that we are now going out and get riders to our new teams. It is also clear that our ambition is to reach deals with some of the world's best riders because we are very determined to create a team that is at the very top of the cycling sport. I have therefore also confirmed to several media that we are interested in the best riders in world, but I cannot say anything more specific at this time."

Riis emotional about split

Riis confirmed that he had ended Andersen's contract after it became apparent he was working on the Luxembourg project while still being employed by Riis' Saxo Bank team. He also expects Jakob Fuglsang to join the Schlecks in the new Luxembourg team.

"I can not imagine a new Luxembourg team without Frank and Andy Schleck in it," Riis said after seeing Nicki Sørensen win the Danish national road title for Saxo Bank.

"I have talked with both Andy and Frank about the future but we're not in negotiations right now, and that suggests that things will go in the direction that they seem to be going."

Riis spoke emotionally about the split on Danish television. He knows it could mean he will lose other key riders and staff unless he secures a new sponsor for his own team. However he refused to be angry about the news.

"I'm neither disappointed or angry about what has happened. I cannot be because everyone has the right to make their own choices and take responsibility for their own life," he said.

"The rumors have been out there for some time. I also have eyes and ears, and I get to know things. When I found out that Kim had other interests rather than just Team Saxo Bank, I saw no alternative than to part ways. The decision (about the releasing Andersen) was already made at the Tour de Suisse, when it became clear that things couldn't carry on as they were. Most of the riders who will ride the Tour were in Switzerland, and they were told, and all others who needed to know, were informed."

Riis insisted the split would not affect the Saxo Bank team at the Tour de France, where Fränk and Andy Schleck will try to beat Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong

"When I gave riders the report on Kim's departure, I stressed very clearly that they and I still have the common goal of winning the Tour. If along the way, a rift develops in the team, I will make sure that things are put in place."

6.27.2010

LNC: pics by G.Noesen

FRANK new road lux national champion!!


1 Frank Schleck
2 Andy Schleck
3 Ben Gastauer

Pics by P.Kalmes

WOT


Honestly I'm worried and not happy about that. Maybe I'm simply too worried. It seems to me the wrong moment... just before the Tour.... But ok. Good luck Kim. And good luck to who will share that new adventure.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/andersen-quits-saxo-bank-to-create-luxembourg-team-with-schlecks

Andersen quits Saxo Bank to create Luxembourg team with Schlecks

By:Susan Westemeyer

New ProTour team being created for 2011

Directeur sportif Kim Andersen has left Team Saxo Bank to work on creating a new ProTour team for 2011 in Luxembourg that is set to be captained by Fränk and Andy Schleck.

There have been rumours that the Schleck brothers were keen to create their own team ever since Saxo Bank announced it would end it's sponsorship this year. So far team owner Bjarne Riis has failed to secure new backing for his team and is now set to lose his two Tour de France contenders.

The new Luxembourg team has the support of politicians and strategic businesses in Luxembourg. Cyclingnews understand that former Astana team manager Marc Biver is no longer involved in the creation of the team. However Brian Nygaard, the former press officer with Saxo Bank and most recently with Team Sky, is expected to become a manager and possibly a directeur sportif with the team.

On Sunday morning, Danish broadcaster TV2 Sport reported that Riis had fired Andersen. “That's not quite right and it's not entirely wrong,” Riis said, adding that Saxo Bank would release a statement later on Sunday.

However Andersen told the broadcaster in a telephone interview from Luxembourg that his contract with the team has been terminated. He confirmed the plans for the Luxembourg team.

“I do not see this as a firing. I've had some wonderful years and have learned a lot and had a good position. And it's a big leap to say farewell to the team but I've got a chance you only get once in life and I have to take it, " Andersen said.

“We have made an agreement to stop now. It is clear that in that I'm working on a new project, so it's hard to have time for much else. I fully understand Bjarne, and there are no bad feelings.”

“We will work on a new project here in Luxembourg. It's me and Brian Nygaard working on a ProTour team, but it is new and we have a lot to see, so when we have something more specific, we will report on it,” he said.

Italian Road Champioships: Visconti but...



...Emanule Sella 5th!! in front of Riccò, only 10th!! I'm so happy!! But on today Gazzetta you find a pic of Riccò and nothing at all about Sella. That's Italy: mafia rules. Visconi made a great race, he deserved that second title - and to race better races maybe, but ISD is a small team, that's cycling: mafia rules! I'm happy also for Santaromita and Ballan, both on the podium. And for Nocentini: he wore the yellow jersey in last TdF but his season was ruined by a very bad crash. Nice to see him in top ten!
Bad day for Vincenzo Nibali: he cramped and must retire. We'll see him again in the Tour.

Today is TT time in Italy and Road time in Luxembourg. The Ing. Pinotti is the favourite here as Andy or Frank are supposed to win there, but a surprise can never be excluded. Sadly there is no way for me to watch those races.
Good luck to all friends...and to somebody specially..
. but no, you don't need it. Do you?

Pic 2 is by Bettini
1 Giovanni Visconti (ISD Neri Giambenini) 6:46:36
2 Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas-Doimo) 0:00:46
3 Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) 0:00:50
4 Fortunato Baliani (Miche)

5 Emanuele Sella (Carmiooro-NGC)

6 Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre - Farnese Vini)

7 Pasquale Muto (Miche)

8 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2R La Mondiale)

9 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni) 0:00:58
10 Riccardo Ricco' (Ceramica Flaminia) 0:01:25

6.26.2010

a big bump

...but you don't look bad... not at all!

Andy Schleck crashes in training

By:Stephen Farrand

Saxo Bank riders suffers cuts and bruises

Andy Schleck was left with cuts, bruises and a dent in his pride after a training crash on Saturday. Fortunately the injuries should not cause concern for the Tour de France that starts next Saturday in Rotterdam.

Andy was out training with his older brother Fränk when he hit a bump in the road and fell, he revealed the news of the crash on Twitter.

Andy said: “Was out training with@schleckfrank hit a big bump in the road, went down pretty hard, lost quit lot of skin all over my body but I be okay”

Fränk also tweeted about his brother’s crash: “@andy_schleck went down in training this morning I was really scared. tought about tdf, but finally its just skin n wounds.autch.he is ok”

Fränk also tweeted this photograph, showing Andy treating the minor cuts to his legs, shoulders and chin.

On Thursday Andy finished ahead of Fränk to win the Luxembourg national time trial title.

6.24.2010

TT: ANDY NEW LUX NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!

TIP TOP!!!
1 Andy Schleck
2 Frank Schleck
3 Christian Poos
pic by J.Gruber


6.23.2010

Interview with Andy by Sport France tv

Thx Angela!
http://sport.francetv.fr/cyclisme/andy-schleck-en-meilleure-forme-que-lan-pass%C3%A9

TOUR DE FRANCE 2010

Publié le 22/06/2010, mis à jour le 23/06/2010

Andy Schleck: "En meilleure forme que l'an passé"

Par AFP

portrait Andy  Schleck (Saxo Bank) 05 2010

"J'ai beaucoup sacrifié pour le Tour", affirme Andy Schleck, bien décidé à s'illustrer sur les routes françaises
© AFP - Doug Pensinger

Le Luxembourgeois Andy Schleck affirme à l'issue du Tour de Suisse, qu'il a terminé dimanche en 14e position, se sentir "en meilleure forme que l'an passé" à la même période, alors que se profile le départ du Tour de France le 3 juillet à Rotterdam.


Etes-vous satisfait de votre Tour de Suisse, notamment de vos sensations lors de la grande étape de montagne ?
"J'ai eu de très bonnes sensations. C'était l'étape où je voulais me tester. J'avais beaucoup roulé dans le groupe, j'ai attaqué. A la fin, il m'en manquait un petit peu mais c'est normal avec l'énergie que j'avais dépensée dans la montée. Je voulais essayer de mener la course. Je suis très content de ma forme du moment, elle est meilleure que l'an passé. J'ai beaucoup plus travaillé dans tous les domaines: j'ai vu les Alpes, les Pyrénées, je n'ai pas couru le Tour du Luxembourg pour faire des entraînements spécifiques avec le vélo de contre-la-montre... J'ai beaucoup sacrifié pour le Tour et je suis très content de là où j'en suis maintenant."

Qu'avez-vous pensé de la forme affichée par vos rivaux cette saison, notamment Alberto Contador ?

"J'ai roulé la Flèche Wallonne et Liège-Bastogne-Liège avec lui. Il n'était pas mieux que moi. A la Flèche, il fait deuxième mais on était au même niveau. Sur Liège, j'étais devant lui. Il va être fort, aucun doute. Ce sera le coureur à battre."

Même s'il n'est pas apparu dans sa meilleure forme au Dauphiné ?

"Oui, mais ça c'est bien pour lui. Il sera mieux au Tour. Il y a Lance (Armstrong) aussi qui arrive bien..."

Vous attendiez-vous à le voir si bien, notamment dans la montagne ?
"Oui. Il a la forme, il va être là. L'année dernière, il était fort aussi mais devant, il y avait Alberto et moi et Frank et après lui..."

La hiérarchie a changé cette année ?
"C'est différent, il y a plus de coureurs forts. Cadel (Evans, le champion du monde), c'est toujours difficile à savoir mais il est toujours bien, sauf l'an passé (au Tour). Peut-être qu'il aura appris de l'an passé et qu'il va être bien. Ivan (Basso, vainqueur du Giro) aussi, il va être bien."

Quel rival vous a le plus impressionné cette saison ?
"Robert Gesink (vainqueur de la 6e étape et maillot jaune pendant deux jours) m'a vraiment impressionné en montagne. Il était tranquille toute la saison et là, on voit que son objectif c'est le Tour. Avec Menchov, ce sera un bon duo."

Le fait de rouler avec votre frère, également en forme, vous enlève-t-il de la pression ?

"Pas tout à fait. Cette année, j'ai beaucoup de pression, plus qu'Alberto qui a déjà gagné deux fois, lui. Je pense que je peux gagner. J'étais deuxième l'année passée, je suis encore jeune, je progresse plus que les autres. J'ai beaucoup de pression mais ça me motive."

Cette pression ne vous dérange pas ?

"Je sais que je suis bien, je le vois, tout le monde le voit. Après je suis en forme, j'ai tout fait. Si ça ne suffit pas, c'est comme ça..."

Quel est votre programme jusqu'au Tour de France ?
"Il y a le Championnat du Luxembourg, je vais faire le +chrono+ et la route. Pour le +chrono+, il y a une forte concurrence, ce sera un bon test avant le Tour. Ensuite, on ira reconnaître une dernière fois les pavés."

Et quelques parties de pêche ?
(grand sourire) "Je pense oui ! La pêche est ouverte et j'ai vraiment envie ! Je vais faire une journée pour voir. Parce qu'après, le Tour, c'est 20 jours et il faudrait être concentré à 100%."

Pics of TdS and a wonderful vid of training camp in France

http://www.saxobanktakingthelead.com/
Pics by Lina Michaelis

6.22.2010

Allez KIM!


http://www.cyclingnews.com./news/kim-kirchen-comes-out-of-induced-coma

Kim Kirchen comes out of induced coma

By:Stephen Farrand

Katusha rider recognises wife and father

Kim Kirchen has come out an of an induced coma and shown encouraging signs of recovery, his Katusha team revealed on Tuesday afternoon.

Kirchen had been in an induced coma since collapsing on Friday evening in at the Tour de Suisse. His heart is said to have stopped, and he was revived by team doctor Andrei Mikhailov.

According to the statement issued by the Katusha team, Kirchen immediately recognised his wife and his father, and he asked what had happened because he couldn’t remember anything of the moment he collapsed.

The Russian team revealed that Kirchen is not suffering any major heart or lung damage. However he will continue to undergo tests to ascertain the cause of his problems.

He is being treated in a hospital in Zurich and it is not yet know when he will be able to return home to Luxembourg.


TdF is coming: Article by Wort.lu and Cyclingnews

Only few weeks to the start of The Most Important Race in the Universe and of course The Best Racer in the Universe is already focused on it. Cycling is changed since the times of Coppi and Bartali and Tour de France Big Contenders seem to be now a special kind of racers: they race less then the normal strong racers, and win less.
Sir Lancelot was /is the Tour Specialist for excellence: he used simply train for it and often avoid
races to avoid risks. He won 7 TdF, right. But that's almost all. You can't say the same about other strong lads in the peloton: they race a lot to win a lot - or something at least. Schlecks used to be amongh them, with two or three big aims in a season and playing their cards in less important races.
In my opinion Frank's strategy is still that, whereas Andy is evolving to the typical Tour Big Contender. Ok, he had a problematic start this year, but then, following Uncle Bjarne advise for sure, he didn't try to get immediately a result but definitely addressed his effortes to build the best shape to the Tour. In my opinion - I repeat - he could win a stage in TOC or in TdS
, he could race the Giro, that suited him very well, and the Tour of Luxembourg looking for a good day and a nice victory or the satisfation of a podium. But as a Big Tour Contender he prefered to race less, to win less and to prepare for the Big Goal. I think somebody will be surprised in July. But maybe I'm simply a Big Fan.
http://www.cyclingnews.com./features/top-twelve-tour-contenders

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

Is this the same Schleck of 2009? It’s hard to say, but last year Schleck won Liege-Bastogne-Liege and went on to run Contador the closest at the Tour. But in 2010 Schleck has been plagued by injury and a distinct lack of results. Yes, he was a contender during the later Classics, but the devastating kick that served him so well in Liege last year has been missing.

His recent performance in the Tour de Suisse shows that he’s on the upward curve and while the Tour starts in around two weeks, the real battle in the Pyrenees is a further fortnight away. With brother Fränk, Cancellara, O’Grady, Breschel and Voigt and Fuglsang, Saxo Bank possess the most well-rounded team in the race. To win the Tour he’ll need to drop Contador in the mountains.

..................

Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank)

Fresh from his win in the Tour de Suisse, Schleck comes into the Tour with perhaps the best form and confidence of his career. Fifth in the Tour the last two years, his time trialing will always been a weakness, but he has shown a slight improvement against the clock. However, with brother Andy the better climber, Schleck might find himself being a super domestique rather than a leader.

http://www.wort.lu/wort/web/sport/artikel/2010/06/98047/andy-und-fraenk-schleck-liegen-voll-im-soll.php
Radsport Tour-Vorbereitung
Andy und Fränk Schleck liegen voll im Soll
Die Tour de France verspricht bereits jetzt jede Menge Spannung

Foto: Serge Waldbillig
Ein starkes Duo: Fränk und Andy (r.) Schleck.

(jg) - Kaum ist die Tour de Suisse beendet, spricht die Radsport-Welt auch bereits von dem nächsten, ganz großen Höhepunkt der Saison. In nur zwölf Tagen beginnt nämlich in Rotterdam (NL) die 97. Ausgabe der Tour de France, dem wichtigsten und bekanntesten Radrennen weltweit.

Nach dem tragischen Vorfall um Kim Kirchen (Katusha) ruhen die Hoffnungen der Luxemburger Radsport-Anhänger nun ausschließlich auf den Schultern des Schleck-Duos Andy und Fränk. Und damit fiebern die einheimischen Fans mit gleich zwei der absoluten Topfavoriten auf den Gesamtsieg bei der „Grande Boucle“. Der Kreis der heißen Kandidaten auf einen Podiumsplatz umfasst rund ein halbes Dutzend Fahrer- das Mondorfer Duo eingeschlossen.

Favoriten-Rolle

Das Brüderpaar wird bei der Frankreich-Rundfahrt vom 3. bis 25. Juli zu den großen Animateuren zählen. Man muss keineswegs wahrsagerische Fähigkeiten besitzen, um sich zu solch einer Prognose hinreißen zu lassen. Ein Blick auf die rezenten Ergebnisse genügt. Spätestens bei der am Sonntag zu Ende gegangenen Tour de Suisse dürften Andy und Fränk ihre Fans beruhigt haben. Die Form passt, beide präsentieren sich in exzellenter Verfassung. So kurz vor dem TdF-Auftakt gibt es keinen Grund zur Beunruhigung.

Insbesondere Fränk beeindruckte in den vergangenen Tagen und Wochen mit Resultaten der Extraklasse. Etappensieg und zweiter Platz in der Gesamtwertung der SkodaTour de Luxembourg, sowie Tagessieg und Rang eins im Schlussklassement der Schweiz-Rundfahrt. Diese Indizien lassen nur eine Schlussfolgerung zu: Fränk befindet sich in glänzender Verfassung. Vor allem drei Tatsachen sprechen im Hinblick auf die Tour de France für den mittlerweile 30-Jährigen: Zum einen verlief die Saison 2010 bislang genau nach Wunsch. Der Vater der mittlerweile zwei Monate alten Leea blieb bislang von Rückschlägen verschont.

Stürze, Verletzungen oder andere gesundheitliche Probleme beeinträchtigten seine Saisonplanung nie. Die Trainingseinheiten konnten planmäßig abgespult und die geplanten Rennen alle bestritten werden. 2009 entwickelte sich die Saison noch ganz anders. Lästige Kniebeschwerden machten F. Schleck fortwährend Probleme, nicht selten musste er im Training kürzer treten und auch bei der Tour de France hatte er mit Schmerzen zu kämpfen. Zu den Ardennen-Klassikern wurde dieses Jahr ein erstes Formhoch aufgebaut, dass es dort nicht zu einem Top-Resultat reichte, lag vor allem auch am fehlenden Quäntchen Glück.

„Auf dem richtigen Weg“

Im Mai gestand sich F. Schleck dann eine längere Rennpause zu. Es scheint als ob ihn diese Maßnahme und die somit verbrachte Zeit mit seiner Tochter noch stärker gemacht hat. F. Schleck wirkt souveräner, gelassener und somit auch stärker. Wer ihn in den vergangenen Tagen in der Schweiz beobachtet hat, wird dies festgestellt haben. Und somit auch einige seiner größten Konkurrenten im Juli. „Ich kann Fränk einfach nur von ganzem Herzen gratulieren. Er ist ein toller Kerl und hat sich den Gesamtsieg in der Schweiz wohl verdient.

Bei der Tour muss man erneut mit ihm rechnen“, erklärte u. a. kein Geringer als der siebenfache Tour-Gewinner Lance Armstrong (USA/RadioShack), der diese Woche die im Juli zu absolvierenden Alpenpassagen abfährt. F. Schleck kann sich bei der „Grande Boucle“ aber noch auf einen weiteren Bonus verlassen: Seine unverkennbaren Fortschritte beim Einzelzeitfahren. Mit Rang 13 am Sonntag beim abschließenden Kampf gegen die Uhr der Tour de Suisse hat er ein echtes Ausrufezeichen gesetzt. Die vielen Trainingskilometer hinter dem Scooter und die hilfreichen Tipps von Bobby Julich und Fabian Cancellara haben ihre Früchte getragen.

„Für die Tour de France ist dies ein glänzendes Zeichen. Dieses Resultat belegt, dass er auf dem genau richtigen Weg ist“, konnte auch Kim Andersen, Sportlicher Leiter beim Team Saxo Bank, seine Freude am Sonntag kaum verbergen. Genau im Soll liegt auch Fränks fünf Jahre jüngerer Bruder Andy. Der Luxemburger Meister befindet sich aktuell noch nicht in Top-Form; dies ist auch noch nicht notwendig. Schließlich wird sich die diesjährige Frankreich-Rundfahrt wahrscheinlich erst in den Pyrenäen, also während der letzten Tour-Woche entscheiden.

Bis dahin verbleibt A. Schleck noch die nötige Zeit, um den Feinschliff vorzunehmen und Tourmalet und Co. in optimaler Verfassung in Angriff zu nehmen. Die Schleck-Brüder wollten sich bei der Tour de Suisse eigentlich nur testen. Dieser Test ist mehr als gelungen: Fränk sicherte sich den Gesamtsieg und Andy hat bei der ein oder anderen Tempoverschärfung in den Anstiegen angedeutet, wozu er fähig ist.


6.21.2010

Our thougts for Kim

Probably you saw that Andy wrote on his fb:"very happy 4 frank won TDS but all our feeling our thoughts were with KIM Kirchen last 2 day we were friends for long time even t

he press fucked it up a bit we wish him his wife ca

roline the coming a

ll the best.He is a good guy and does deserve that,Kim keep you head strong an hight an be back with us"

Latest news here say that "According to the team, doctors have said that Kirchen's medical condition is "a little bit improved”, but that they have extended the induced coma. The medical staff has also started increasing his body temperature, which they had reduced to help recovery." http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/kirchen-continues-in-induced-coma

Frank said: "The last hours were not easy for Andy and me,” he told Wort.lu. “After we heard the news about him being taken to hospital, it was difficult to fully concentrate on the sport.”

Waiting for more and better news... fingers crossed for Kim and his family: be strong!


TdS: Surprise! - interview by Cyclingnews

Schleck wins Suisse despite intentions to take race steady

http://www.cyclingnews.com./news/schleck-wins-suisse-despite-intentions-to-take-race-steady

By:Shane Stokes

Saxo Bank rider takes his biggest stage race win, dedicates it to Kim Kirchen

Heading into the Tour de Suisse, Saxo Bank’s Frank Schleck decided that he wanted to hold back and not push to hard in the race. To the surprise of many, himself included, he uncorked a surprisingly strong concluding time trial and jumped from fourth to first in the general classification, winning the event.

“The week before this we did the Tour of Luxembourg. I was good there, getting second,” he said at a post-race press conference. “I said to my friends and to journalists at the race, ‘okay, next week I am going to the Tour de Suisse but I better chill out, so I keep something for the Tour de France.’

“But then it came to the stage where I won [day two to Schwarzenburg]. Suddenly I was fourth in the overall. Before the race, I’d also had it in my mind to try this stage over the Albulapass. I rode that hard, then when the last day came around, I was still fourth. Then of course you tell yourself, ‘okay, you are fourth in the overall, so you cannot just chill out today.’ And it’s a good test for the Tour. So I gave it a try….yep, it worked really, really well and it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Schleck’s lack of time trial results in the past meant that most people overlooked him when assessing the potential winners of the Tour de Suisse. Robert Gesink was in yellow and was one of the favourites, while the second and third-placed riders, Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d’Epargne) and Steve Morabito (Astana) were also touted as candidates. Armstrong was himself thinking big and was on the list of those to watch.

Yet it was Schleck who took it, coming out of nowhere in virtual stealth mode. In fact, even he didn’t realise his showing was so good, according to Armstrong.

“Speaking to Frankie, he said that he got on the bus and his team-mate said, ‘hey, dude, you are going to win.’ He was like, ‘whaaat?’”

Schleck confirmed that disbelief in his post-race press conference. “I am surprised, of course, as I am not a time trial specialist. But I have trained a lot for this and today I didn’t have any stress and was able to do a good time trial. It is a good sign for the Tour de France, that’s for sure.”

He said that there were several elements that brought about the improvement in his time trial performance. One help was talking to Fabian Cancellara, his Saxo Bank team-mate and friend, who is the current Olympic and world time trial champion.

“He always gives me advice for the TT,” he confirmed. “He is the best [at time trials] so I try to follow that advice.

“I did a lot of training behind a scooter. It is useful to keep speed and watts constant. The time trial is a lot in the head, so it is important to concentrate and to maintain the power output. I ride with a SRM, too.”

Kirchen in mind

Soon after starting the press conference, Schleck mentioned something that was weighing on his mind. Fellow Luxembourg rider Kim Kirchen collapsed with a suspected heart problem on Friday evening and Schleck made it clear that he was in his thoughts.

“This victory I dedicate a Kim Kirchen, who fell sick two days ago,” he said. “I want to say to him and his family and that we hope he gets better very, very quickly. I also express all my sentiments to his wife Caroline, who is about to give birth. I am a father myself and I hope that Kim recovers very fast. I dedicate this victory to him.” That was met with a burst of applause from the room.

Looking forward, it’s certain that he has taken a bit confidence boost from his victory. “I am a bit surprised to have won the Tour de Suisse. I won a stage, I was going well, but winning the Tour de Suisse is something which was done by many legends, many big champions and it is something very special. The race is very good and I won it – I think that will take a few days to fully realise that.

“This gives me confidence for the Tour. Andy is also very strong. He attacked very strongly on the Albulapass. He is going very well, and I think he will be very good in the Tour de France.

“We have both worked hard and it is great to see it pay off.”

Pic by Bettini

6.20.2010

TdS winner is Frank Schleck!!!!!!!



Pic by Sirotti

TdS: TT now here...


.....http://www.freedocast.com/opa662

Pic by P.Kalmes

Shit!


http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/kirchen-remains-in-induced-coma

I'm really worried for Kim and of course hope he'll be well soon and moreover then they will understand what exactly he had/has!

TdS: this is the end...

as Jim Morrison used to sing.. The end of a great race that was training for somebody and opportunity of glory for other ones. And we could discuss for hours, days and years about that philosophical problem, that is the legitimacy of using an important race as a training. But in short different racers have different targets and we couldn't see a great Tour de France or Giro d'Italia if everybody was racing every races full gaz till then. Andy was training and testing his shape, he's happy with his result. Frank is 4th at the moment, even if probably will loose something in today TT, and won an hard stage. The team showed to be ready for the big goal. Now... the National Champioship... and the Tour is there. Andy said that to win it is the aim of his carreer. Maybe not this year - but why not? - for sure he will achieve it one day. I'm looking forward. Stage
1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne 4:10:32
2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:15
3 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:19
........................
16 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo BankGC
.......................
19 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank
20 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
GC
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 34:27:47
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:29
3 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:36
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:38
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:42
6 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:54
7 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:55
8 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:01
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:17
10 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:38
11 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:40


6.18.2010

TdS: interview with Andy by Cyclingnews

Schleck's form better than previous years
By:Shane Stokes

Tour contender happy with test on stage six

Despite losing time to the other race contenders on Thursday’s stage to La Punt at the Tour de Suisse, Andy Schleck has said that he is pleased with his condition and is on course for a strong Tour de France.

He was aggressive from the bottom of the day’s final climb, the Hors Categorie Albulapass, surging clear, being joined by Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and then by several other riders, then attacking once more. Gesink caught and passed him and he was then reeled in by the other contenders, eventually dropping back going over the top.

All in all, he said that he had a good chance to assess his form. “We had a couple of objectives today, with the first to see how Fabian would be set for the finish,” he told a group of journalists in La Punt. “When he said it was okay, that he couldn’t climb, I attacked. I wanted to do a little test today, so I attacked and got into a group, but the final col was a little longer than I had hoped. I kept going but Gesink got up to me and attacked right away. At that moment I was a little finished.

“I got into the group with Frank but when they attacked in the final kilometres, I lacked a bit of force as I had been riding a lot since the start of the climb. But okay, it is a good test for me and I am pretty happy.”

The Luxembourg road race champion eventually crossed the finish line with team-mate Jakob Fuglsang and RadioShack’s Andeas Klöden. They were one minute 20 behind Gesink and 38 seconds off the chasing group of eight riders, led home by Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d’Epargne) and also containing Lance Armstrong (RadioShack), Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas).

He felt that if the parcours was a little more typical, with the climb being immediately followed by the descent, that he probably would have been okay as regards the time loss. “I was dropped near the top but was just behind. But the fact is that the last kilometres after the summit is not downhill, it continues with a false flat and that was not too favourable for me. I think if the descent was right away, I would have been okay.”

However had he been focussed on not losing any time, he would have done things differently. “When I look at the circumstances, if I had ridden the whole climb on the wheels, I would have finished with Frank without problems. But at the end, it is good to test the limit.”

Schleck was the second-strongest rider in last year’s Tour de France, taking the runner-up slot behind Alberto Contador (Astana). He’s a year older and should be stronger than he was before. Yesterday was, he said, a chance to really push himself and see where he is at.

“It is like a screw – sometimes you have to turn it and keep turning it…if you never break it, you don’t know how far you can go,” he told Cyclingnews. “So today was a good test…I knew myself if I waited and stayed in the wheels of the guys, I would finish with the group in front. That was basically not the goal, though…I am here to work out well.

“If I compare myself to this time last year, I am ahead…I am better than I was then.” That should be enough to worry his rivals.

So where does he see their form? “Gesink was very strong, he’s pretty impressive right now,” he said. “Lance is going well. Klodi was up there with me. Levi was, for me, also pretty okay. There were not really that many up there.”

Some other riders who will aim for the Tour de France title rode the Dauphiné Libéré. Schleck feels that the level in the Tour de Suisse is higher than in the French race, but said that he knows Alberto Contador is going well. He expects to be battling once again with him in the mountains.

However he underlined that it is still a little early to be judging how everyone is going. “There are still five weeks to the Pyrenees. You have to already by pretty good in the first week, but in the last part of the Tour you have to be really, really good.

“When I think of the level I have now, I am very happy.”

TdS: GREAT!!!




A great Gesink! a great Team Saxo Bank - now Frank is 4 - and a wonderful Andy! I'm looking forward the TdF.
I was on the beach all day yesterday so I could watch a bit of the stage only last night... The sun was nice on my skin, the landscapeso beautiful and on the way back we saw a fantastic rainbow... I'd have liked to share all that with you... One day maybe :)

Stage
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 6:20:53
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:42
3 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
4 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas-Doimo
5 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack
6 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
7 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
8 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
9 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:20
11 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack
12 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
13 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:46
14 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:02:16
15 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank 0:02:17
16 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:02:36

GC
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 25:18:57
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:29
3 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:36
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:38
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:42
6 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:54
7 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:55
8 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:01
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:17
10 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:38
11 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:40

6.16.2010

TdS: today and tomorrow

Today: rain and Burghardt, tomorrow... Good luck!! The itinerary seems nice...
BDW
I was in Bologna with Eva today and we had lot of fun.

6.15.2010

TdS: what a mess!!



I didn't see it because I was in Lucca as a tourist with my friend Eva, but it seems that the final sprint of today stage was an awful mess... I like the results - but where is Andy? safe anyway, fortunately I know - of course I don't like to see bikes and bikers on the floor, against the barriers and everywhere!
Pic 1 by J.Gruber pic 2 by Sirotti
Stage
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

2 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo Bank

3 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil

4 Jose Jaquin Rojas (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne

5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha

6 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Team Sky

7 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

8 Bauke Mollema (Hol) Rabobank

9 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack

10 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step


GC
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia

2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:01
3 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:08
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0:00:09
5 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step 0:00:10
6 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:12
7 Jacob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:13
8 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team

9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:14
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:16