Andy Schleck today at the Tour

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I generally like the way Andy Schleck rides. And I enjoy reading what he write about the sport. And I really liked the way he dressed for the unveiling of this year’s Tour’s route. But, I didn’t much like the quote he said today after the stage-

“And I know that my mother is watching the race. I know that she walks into the kitchen and paces back and forth. I told Bjarne on the top to call my brother and say that I wouldn’t take any risks in the descent.”

I was hoping Cadel had a good Tour for obvious reasons. It doesn’t seem like the media have made enough of a big deal out of Cadel’s broken elbow, but that is just part of the race. I’m not a Contador fan, so that left Andy Schleck. I can’t be for anyone that would say something that basic and childish. All he had to do is coast down a long dry descent. I don’t want to see a winner of the Tour de France that worries about such basic technique. It should come 2nd nature to him. He should know how to descend. And descend fast. That is one thing a professional stage race rider should be able to do. And do it well. Without even thinking of taking risks.

So, looking through the top ten currently on GC, I don’t see anyone that I am partial towards. I guess I’ll just enjoy watching the race without any favorite. The team classification is really close. Maybe I’ll focus on that.

11 thoughts on “Andy Schleck today at the Tour

  1. Forrest

    Don’t be so hard on Andy. Mom’s worry about their kids even if the fear is unfounded, so he was just reassuring his mom everything was going to be ok. Remember his mom probably watched in horror as her other son broke his collarbone in 3 places. My wife sometimes gets too worried about our boys, but thats being a mother and being a good son you say things to help calm her down.

  2. Richard Wharton

    Steve, great post. I remember when you taught me how to ride a mountain bike, way back in ’93 and ’94. You made descending seem so… EASY. It was fascinating to watch you perceive every turn in the trails in Mesa, not analyze them, like I was doing. I have to wonder if another lesson from you might be something you’d consider. You were, and remain, one of the best all-rounders I’ve ever had the privilege to follow.

  3. Chria Hazlitt

    For your comments about Andy to make sense, it would mean that all pro cyclists descend at the same speed. You know this isn’t the case. From your history of winning almost every fatboy crit in the 90’s, I’d guess that you are probably a better road descender than almost every pro MTB racer and most pro roadies, too. If you were with Andy in a breakaway in the tour and started riding at your limit, it would very possibly be beyond his comfortable limit, at which point he would be taking risks to stay with you. Wanting his loved ones to know that he wasn’t planning to take such risks just shows that he is a good guy who values his life over his profession. IMHO this is not childish or basic, it is refreshing.

  4. tilford97 Post author

    Chria-I understand that every bike rider doesn’t have all the same abilities. But, I want a rider that has aspirations to win the Tour de France to have the skills and confidence to descend any climb. Especially if his specialty is climbing. Most all climbs have a descent. He doesn’t have to be able to stay with every rider. But if he is putting the smack down with Contador and only has to descend with one other him, I don’t think it should even cross his mind that he needs to call home and tell his family, during the race, that he is planning on descending cautiously.

    What if Contador had the skills such as Paolo Savoldelli? Do you think that Andy Schleck would just let him ride away on the descent without “taking any risks”? I think not. The sport is dangerous. No question about it. But, if you’re a professional cyclist, at these levels, you need to have the confidence and the ability to do certain things. And one of those things is coast down a descent at a good clip. That’s just my opinion.

  5. cl

    Didn’t Contador and Schleck take time out of the break on the descent?

    What do you have against Contador?

  6. JV

    We all understand your greatness… I didn’t know mindreading along with inferring SO much from a 3 senetence quote was one of your mastered skills… damn you are gooder than good…

  7. Brent Wiruth

    You don’t have kids do you? or a wife? any family? He’s just comforting his mom like a good boy should. not childish at all.

  8. Tigweld_McGee


    You should have heard the British commentators (including Sean Kelly) tear into Schleck about his descending. They basically said he’s not relaxed, with lousy entry/exit and poor planning and laughing all the way.

    The rider who was catching Schleck/Contador on the descent (Sanchez?) was the class of the descending field. The way the video feed was running it was easy for Kelly to compare the two.

    Still, the guy’s in the lead. It’s hard to criticize too much.

  9. Chria Hazlitt

    If Schleck went over that climb with Savoldelli he definitely would have had to make the choice I described regarding taking risks, and it’s likely he would have given Bjarne an “if I die” message for Frank and his mom, because Savoldelli goes THAT fast. That being said, I agree, he would have had to try to stay with him. I still think he was, as Brent said, just being a good boy.

  10. poyntell

    I think he meant “call my mother”, not my brother. Otherwise, why talk about how she paces.


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