Last week there was talk on twitter…(Well I saw one tweet, but I have a full time job and don’t sit in front of a computer all day.) forwarding the notion that Andy Schleck should opt out of this year’s Tour and focus on the Giro. I thought that was a fine idea, and I’m pretty sure I retweeted it in agreement (let’s look… yep there it is).
What a great idea! So great an idea that even the great Eddy Merckx thinks its a good plan.
My reasoning here is two fold. The first one, which is the popular one, is that with nearly 100km of Time Trials in this year’s Tour Andy has about as much chance of winning the tour as Spartacus. In other words NOT AT ALL. The second reason is the most important because it lays the foundation for him actually winning the Tour when it begins to favor climbers again.
With fewer Ks of TTs and a more mountainous course Schelck should be able to take this years Giro. Giving him (getting to my point) a much needed mental boost. Remember, the mind is primary. After coming up short the last three years Andy needs a major win to feel like a winner. Winning the Giro (and possibly the Vuelta in the same year) will do just that.
I know that I’m just a hack over here ( and perhaps I’m still a bit hurt that he didn’t respond to my open letter), but this seems like a no brainer. With next year seeing a merger between Radioshack and Leopard, Andy will have more than enough fire power to win in Italy. Giving a better Time Trialist, like Horner, a chance to play lead. Also the team that was built around the Schlecks needs to have a good year next season. For sponsors sake.
Bruyneel has proved time and time again that he’s capable of taking talented riders and turning them into winners. Schelck needs to swallow his pride, look at the bigger picture and sit this year’s Tour out. Unless he wants to go down in cycling history as an also ran. A good, but not great rider. But if he’s going to do that he’s going to have ride the way he did during this year’s stage 18. But he’s going to have to do that for three weeks.