Today, Andy Schleck announced at a press conference in Luxembourg that he will not be riding this years Tour de France.
He confirmed that he had fractured a bone in his pelvis, and that the injury was caused by his crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial last week. Schleck added that he would be out of action for over a month, and that he hopes to return for the Olympics before going on to the Vuelta.
With this year’s Tour featuring more time trialing kilometres than we have been accustomed to in recent years, perhaps this injury will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Andy. A potentially mouthwatering clash with the returning Alberto Contador awaits, a showdown which should make up for his non-appearance at the Tour.
This injury is yet another setback for the seemingly ailing Radioshack-Nissan team. Their Spring Classics season was disastrous, with leader Fabian Cancellara crashing out of De Ronde and missing Paris-Roubaix, while team manager Johan Bruyneel seemed to fall out with Andy’s brother Frank during his ill-fated Giro attempt. Chris Horner has just found out that he missed the Tour squad after his wife read about it on Twitter. With this injury to Andy it would not have been unreasonable to see him leading the team in France next month. Meanwhile, Bruyneel has said that Horner effectively gave up his chance when he didn’t ride the recent Tour de Suisse.
If anything is certain, it will take some effort next month to make up the farcical season the team have had so far.