When Andy Schleck wins the 2014 Tour de France — because we can toss out the 2013 edition — we can all say the G.P. Camaiore was where he laid the foundation for victory.
As a pure race result it ain’t much but that’s just proof of how far the Tour de France contender has fallen since he cracked his pelvis last June in the Critérium du Dauphiné. It’s been no-shows and DNFs ever since.
Schleck rolled in 5:30 behind the winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) but it’s the first race he’s actually finished and the tiny country of Luxenbourg has erupted in cheers and celebration. Police may be required to control the happy revelers.
Christophe Premont Crelan-Euphony), Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Lawrence Warbasse (BMC) aren’t ever going to win the Tour de France but they had the high profile Schleck with them for company at the back end of the peloton.
Once the most feared pure climber in the Tour besides Contador, Schelck was dropped on the three-kilometre Monte Pitore climb. It’s not Galibier or Alp d’Huez but these days that’s what it feels like for Schleck.
“Honestly I’m quite satisfied. It was a hard race and we worked for the other guys. It’s good for my confidence and for the upcoming races,” Schleck told Cyclingnews.
“Today was harder than everybody expected because we had to chase the break hard after they got a thirteen-minute lead. The finishing circuit is also hard and it was a nervous race.”
Now Schleck heads to this Saturday’s Strade Bianche and then onto Tirreno-Adriatico. Can he pull off the double, maybe even the triple finish? The man is gathering his momentum, right? Not that Chris Froome or Alberto Contador are too worried about Schleck’s showing the the G.P. Camaiore.
RadioShack-Leopard DS Guercilena calls Andy Schleck’s problem a ‘momento buio’ – a dark moment. Yup, things have been pretty dark for quite a while. Brother Frank has also had some dark moments — although his will eventually end with his back-dated one year suspension for a banned diuretic. Still, Andy is a brother down and way short on racing kilometers.
However, let’s take a moment and throw a chapeau Andy Schlecks way — he now has 183 kilometers in his legs and the G.P. Camaiore is in the bag. It’s all up from here, right?