Video Rating: 4 / five
2010 Tour France champ Andy Schleck has reportedly announced retirement from riding. The news is quite a shocker in the light of the successful cyclists mere 29 years of age.
“There has been huge speculation and now I need to confirm all the speculations”, stated a morose Schleck while addressing a press conference from his home town.
I won’t be a rider next year. I actually hurts. I had to take this decision following my ill health after the crashes.”
The younger of the Schleck brother-duo, won Tour France 2010, after Alberto Contador was suspended on doping grounds. He was also victorious at Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2009 7 has got many podium finishes under his sleeve. But sadly, the serious crashes of late pulled the brake for him.
His last race was Tour France 2014 where he succumbed to a bad crash on the London streets.
“I had my operations in Basel, I was able to cycle but it was my knee which did not stop swelling. I was very painful. My physician said that he cannot do anything further. I was hopeful that it would get better, yet it did not”, Andy was having a hard time collecting himself.
“Thoughts came- what would I be doing with the knee, especially my life & cycling career? It was not easy for me but I had to come up with this decision that riding is over for me and I decided that I would draw an end to my career by the final of 2014.”
The younger Schleck brother had his last ever triumph atop Tour France championship’s highest finish, at Col Galibier 2011 stage 18.
‘I recall back with smile. I am quite proud of my achievements”, he added on. “Like the Galibier stage. It was completely my idea since nobody agreed to do that in the squad.”
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One month after winning world time trial, Sir Bradley Wiggins said that he is focusing on preparing for Rio Olympic to be held in 2016.
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling is sure that Wiggins will be able to reach a career high at Rio Olympics after which he can retire. In the announcement of British Cycling crossing 100,000 members milestone, Ian Drake said that Bradley Wiggins’s return to the Commonwealth Games is something he regards as fantastic and his display of commitment to the Olympic program will give cycling and also the Great Britain Team a boost.
Ian Drake regards Sir Wiggins’s career to be extraordinary. He is sure of Wiggins winning a medal in Rio just like he won at every Olympics since his first one at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He is confident that Bradley Wiggins will be adequately prepared for Rio.
He also thinks that Wiggins is providing a role model for the new generation of British Cyclists.
According to Ian Drake, Sir Wiggins’s winning Tour de France also further encouraged the British team; they felt like they have won the first medal of the Commonwealth Games.
Drake said that Wiggins’s win coupled with the success of other British Cycling Champions like Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Scott has helped the sport become more popular and encouraged a huge number of people to take up the sport.
Drake said that around the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they decided to increase the number of membership by using their success at all the major events.
Wiggins said they want to make Britain a cycling nation. He also said that their membership figure is comparable to that of some major political parties and hence their voice cannot be ignored.
Wiggins said that he has been a member of British Cycling since he was a teenager. How cycling has evolved into a sport since Chris Boardman won gold in Barcelona in 1992 is something that is incredible to Wiggins. It is very satisfying for him to see that cycling has become mainstream.
Andy Schleck has been a star performer for Trek Factory Racing ever since he became a pro cyclist in the year 2005. However, recently the racing team officials are very uncertain about Schleck’s future with the team because of the serious knee injury he suffered from during the third stage of the Tour de France 2014.
There were many speculations about whether Schleck’s contract with Trek will be renewed at the end of this cycling season or not. But on 5th of September, 2014 it was confirmed by Trek that Schleck will not be signed for the 2015 cycling season.
According to Tim Vanderjeugd (spokesmen of Trek team), Andy Schleck’s knee is not at all good. Even if the Schleck’s rides his bicycle for an hour or so, his knee gets swollen and this fact is not at all encouraging. Vanderjeugd even said that Schleck is still a preferred choice for the team so they will have to wait in order to see how he recovers.
The doctors have reported that Schleck has injured both his cruciate and collateral ligaments. Along with that his meniscus is torn. This ultimately means that Schleck needs lots of recovery time.
Trek team has extended the contract with Andy Schleck’s brother- Frank Schleck. It has also signed Bauke Mollema (Dutch rider) who is perhaps going to lead the Trek team in the grand tours next year.
Danish media people have reported rumors that Andy Schleck might join Cult Energy. But such rumors were dismissed by Kim Anderson (sport directors of Trek team).
Vanderjeugd surely thinks that Trek team is all set for the grand tours and GC with inclusion of Mollema and Frank in the team. He claims that the team composition will not undergo much change next year.
Only time will tell what future Schleck will have with Trek Factory Racing.
Yesterday, the Rolland Garros could have seen one more big upset. Philipp Kohlschreiber had almost pushed Andy Murray to the verge of defeat. The Scot eventually managed to come out of that situation though. He showed tremendous fighting spirit in the final set to get through to the pre quarter final round.
The final score line of the match was 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 in the favour of Murray.
The match actually started yesterday, but, it couldn’t get completed. It had to be stopped because of bad light when both the players were tied at 7-7 in the fifth set. It started again today in the morning and Murray, with some delightful shots, didn’t waste too much time in pulling it off.
Speaking in the post match interview, Murray said, “I was struggling with a bit of cramp towards the end of yesterday, but, I felt alright when I got off the bed today. I came out fresh and thankfully, finished things off well.”
“That’s the difference between the grass court and the hard court. If you play a match on hard court, you don’t feel that good when you wake up the other day. Your body will be quite sore. But, that’s not the case with grass court.”
“I think Philipp was also looking better today. Some of his shots were quite remarkable.”
The match that went Murray’s way at the end could have gone Kohlschreiber’s way as well if he had converted the break point that he got in the 19th game, but, he wasted that opportunity and that proved to be the difference.
Now, Murray will get a couple of days’ break before he takes on Fernando Verdasco in his next match on Monday. Verdasco reached the pre quarter finals by defeating Richard Gasquet of France.
The much talked about Tour de France, one of the world’s toughest events, has a new difficulty level for its riders. Fans have taken it to selfies to put a stamp on their presence in the games on the social networking sites.
As there is no issue with the fans’ proximity to the cyclists, especially on the difficult climbs of the Pyrenees and Alps, fans have started crowding the narrow lanes to click themselves with the riders. Around a million people flocked the narrow streets between London and Cambridge, and the near 200-strong bunch of riders had to take an extra care to the rushing spectators.
According to official estimates, around 2.5 million people watched the Le Grand Depart that took place in Yorkshire. However, with most people carrying mobile phones, the risk of them posing right in the middle of the streets was very high, especially when cyclists gushing at a speed of 45 km per hour are only a few inches away. Geraint Thomas, team Sky’s star, who was otherwise thankful to his fans for supporting him as a home cyclist, also said selfie takers were a big pain.
Further, TJ Van Garderen, an American rider took it to twitter in order to send a strong warning. Calling it a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity, Garderen said I was annoying to see people standing in the middle of the street with their backs turned while 200 riders are coming at them. The stage on Monday saw David Lopez, one the team mates of Thomas, almost brushing shoulders with a spectator who did not pay any attention, fortunately both of them escaping unhurt. In spite of being a working day of the week, the rush of spectators was immense, mostly in small villages and towns that are on the route and in London central, which has huge fan parks.
The Trek Factory Team has selected Frank and Andy Schleck for Tour de France 2014. The Schleck brothers are both going to take part. The squad was announced on 25th June . The line up begins on 5th July in Leeds.
Andy won the Tour de France in 2010. In 2011 Andy and Frank ranked second and third as Cadel Evans won the title. After 2011 the performance of both the players have declined. In 2012 tour Frank proved positive for Xipamide which is banned hence he made a comeback this year in January for the Tour Down Under. Andy in the same year got his pelvis fractured and since then he is struggling.
Luca Guercilena the manager of Trek Factory Racing stated that the Schleck brothers will return to form by 2014. As far as Frank is concerned he has been trying hard to come out as aggressive and for Andy everything is depended on his condition. In the Weekly Magazine of the Cycling Guercilena also pointed out that both the brothers might not get a renewed contract in their team due to their performance.
The riders have not won since 2011. The brothers will be joined by Danny Von Pappel of Netherlands, Mathew Busche of U.S.A, Gregory Rast and Fabian Cancellera of Switzerland, Haimar Zubeldei of Spain and Jens Voigt of Germany. In the stage of mountain Frank Schleck has been counted to be in top form. The tour will witness lot of climbing. Haimar and Frank are the two who are coming in with experience.
Frank coming in with confidence leaves Andy’s condition in a shaky position. However 2011 saw Frank winning Criterium International’s first stage and Andy holded Tour’s stage 18. Though both are capable but winning will be icing on the cake after a long time
Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara claimed his second victory on the trot at the Tour of Flanders taking his overall tally at the event to three at the end of a pulsating race last weekend which saw a four man sprint to the finish line with Cancellara taking the victory by the skin of his teeth.
The Trek Factory Racing team rider managed to pull out one of his finest displays in recent memory as he pulled away from the main group of pre-race favorites before the penultimate climb over the mountain and was a part of a four man breakaway group that managed to steer clear of the other contenders for most of the race.
It looked as if the Swiss rider did not have the energy to finish ahead of the other three in the pack and seemed to be wilting under the tremendous heat but he somehow dug deep into his energy reserves for one last gasp of breath and took the win ahead of Dutchman Greg van Avermaet of BMC who finished in second place.
This was the seventh victory for Cancellara in a Monument and he now becomes part of an elite pack of just six riders who have claimed the top race in Belgium for three times or more during the respective careers.
This win at the Tour of Flanders was also the perfect preparation for the Paris-Roubaix which is scheduled for this week and he is targeting another double at the Flanders-Roubaix for the second year running which will indeed be some achievement for him and will also hold him in good stead as he prepares for the Tour de France later this year.
He has claimed the Grand Tour as his prime target and his preparations for it have been great so far.
Online video Rating: four / five