First, lets give clairvoyant credit to RadioShack-Implosion-Nissan-Trek manager Johan Bruyneel for predicting the final outcome. In a strange, altered universe kinda way.
Way back when in the joyful post-merger glow that united Bruyneel’s old grand tour guns at RadioShack with the frisky Brothers Schleck at Leopard, a Tour de France victory looked more than possible. Andy Schleck would have a super team of well-drilled climbing freakazoids at his disposal. Optimism ran high and underage naked maidens in Luxembourg composed songs in anticipation of the triumph. ABBA with a trace of leftover Radiohead.
Bruyneel stated the goal with his characteristic succinct confidence: “The goal is yellow in Paris.” Well, the self-proclaimed genius director sportif failed in that achievement but at least he did get the color right. He may be under investigation by the USADA but he’s not crazy.
Non-captain Frank Schleck’s maillot jaune colored urine turned up an adverse analytical finding for the diuretic Xipamidein in a test at Le Grand Shindig on July 14, 2012. Tour down the toilet, unless your counting the booby-prize team competition. Bitter and bankrupt team financier Flavio Becca sure isn’t.
The irony is that both Schleck brothers have had their miserable, hard-luck seasons defined by “troubles down there.” First, Andy Schleck cracked his pelvis in a crash during the time trial at the Dauphine – proof once again that he should have spent more time on the discipline. More TT, less MRI.
Then elder brother Frank gives a very depressing urine sample to the very picky folks at the WADA accredited laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry. The mere mention of the name of this lab sends chills of fear through the peloton. Châtenay-Career-Fucked.
We pass no judgement on Frank as yet — still waiting the the second shoe and B sample to drop — but we certainly feel for the man. In fact, in a post clenbuterol world, we’re convinced that if you took the average American and his relentless diet of processed food, Châtenay-Malabry would say holy merde, look at all the prohibited substances we’ve found. The factory hotdogs alone would kick you out of the race. Sometimes life is just simply stupid and nothing but.
It’s been a crap-ass year, no, a pisser of a year. You can’t even get your paychecks on time and now you face a six month or year sanction and a ton of expensive and debilitating legal misery. Brings new meaning to the diuretic word flush.
Masking agent or not, we’ll all agree there’s no ignoring the fact that both Schlecks wish they’d never even gotten on their race bikes in 2012. You take a nice leopard pattern scarf off and things just naturally go bad.