Frank turns on Andy after Alp d’Huez.

Frank. I will destroy Andy.

The gloves are off and two Luxembourgers brothers are about to kill each other.

At the finish of the Tour de France’s epic stage up the legendary Alp d’Huez, the brothers Schleck are living a double dream, first and second in the general classification.

While Andy Schleck has the maillot jaune, his brother Frank is just 53 seconds behind. Less than a minute to fulfilling his own dream of winning the Tour de France.

Until now, the two brothers have worked together but all bets are now off. Frank pulled no punches outside his hotel at the conclusion of the agonizing Alp d’Huez stage.

“I am going to kick my brothers’ ass in the time trial and win this goddamn French race for myself.” said Frank. As media people crowded around, the older Schleck made his priorities clear.

“I am five years older than Andy. This is my time and I’ve only got one shot, said Frank Schleck. “I have to take this Tour now and I can’t let my little brother get in the way.”

That may or may not have been a bad translation — Frank was exhausted and his post stage hot coco was in fact lukewarm.

Still, it appears that blood is not thicker than the Tour de France.

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  • beth

    Much has been said and written about the family dynamics going on there, but I have noticed something that I haven't yet heard anyone else comment on. Both in 2009 and 2010, Andy was interviewed by someone during the podium ceremonies; both times he talked right away about how sad he was to have it all be over and everyone saying good-by and going their separate ways. Both times. This was his main emotion and I really think equal to or greater than his disappointment at coming second both times. He's just one of the boys and loves that "all of us boys together" bit. He reminds me a bit of Eric Forman in the 70's show, but I found his remarks touching. Maybe because as a fan about to go into acute tour withdrawal, I was glad to know that at least one of the riders felt the same way. The other riders mostly seemed bloody glad it was over and couldn't wait to get out of there. But Andy loves being part of the vast experience of it, and I like him a lot for that. Even if it isn't super grown-up.

    • mark

      Andy is good value on and off the bike. He was petulant with his comments after losing time on downhill finish on Tuesday, he was majestic in winning on Thursday. I'm going to miss the tour next week too – but only 49 weeks until it starts again! I think Andy will hold on tomorrow, his time trial last year was competitive, Evans could not produce his best when in same position three years ago against Sastre so why will it happen tomorrow? They are all tired now which will be a great leveller and Andy will be last on the road and will have time checks the whole way round, just needs to pace himself to stay within 57 seconds – sounds simple!

      • Lea

        Mark: just found your blog and twitter feed a couple of days ago. And have found your opinions quite congenial. I couldn't agree more with both you and Beth–I'm already feeling anxious about the end of the Tour, can't imagine how I'll fill my summer evenings without the competition, the personalities and (no shame!) the eye candy.

        I don't blame Andy one bit about his comments re: downhill finishes–after the tragedy of Weylandt they're understandably concerned for their own–and others–safety. It has always seemed to me that the core group of Cancellara, the Schlecks, Voigt etc take responsibility for the safety of the peloton and I admire them for that although others might complain. His performance yesterday was what I'd been waiting to see in the Pyrenees instead of all that hesitation and turtling. It was worth the wait. Really courageous.

        The last two days have been nailbiters and tomorrow promises to be no different. I think Andy will hold on–it'll be very close, tho–and Frank won't finish in the top 3. Would love to see Cancellara bust a move.

      • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

        Lea, thanks for finding the blog — I also write occasionally for Cyclesport magazine and am writing a thing on the Basque passion for cycling. Everybody loved what Andy did on the Galibier. It was bold and who doesn't like that. An thrilling race and although I'm not a huge Evans booster, I admire his tenacity. Matt

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I think of Andy as this super talented boy scout goofball. He certainly enjoys himself and nobody else had a smile on their face climbing Galibier. But Andy did and I think that also says something about his personality. Matt

  • Lea

    (*ack* please substitute "Matt" for "Mark" in previous comment and apologies all around) (too much Versus today)

  • Lyndon

    I generally like to hear what Andy has to say. But it took some nerve to complain that Evans hadn't been willing to pull on Alpe d'Huez today. This is the same Evans who dragged Frank onto the podium the day before! Everyone knows Evans is a better time trialist, of course he's not going to ride on the front! Get real Andy!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Have to agree with that one. Cadel basically carried Frank across France. The man hardly ever hit the front and still takes third. Smart but no heroics in that one. Matt