What hasn’t gone wrong this season for super-team RadioShack Nissan Trek-Implosion?
First classics monster Fabian Cancellara breaks his collarbone in four places and misses Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Andy and brother Frank underwhelm in the Ardennes races and Schleck the Younger admits he is “behind schedule” in his Tour preparations. A public spate erupts between Andy and Bruyneel over the Tour de France participation of Schleck mentor Kim Anderson.
Jakob Fuglsang, the designated leader for the Giro d’Italia, drops out a week before the grand tour with a knee problem. The normally reliable Chris Horner has a power outage in the Bakersfield time trial and fails to make the podium in the Tour of California. Finally, Frank Schleck abandons the Giro due to injury despite team manager Johan Bruyneel stating the Frank should continue.
“As far as I’m concerned, his physical condition is good,” Bruyneel said. “There is an injury. It will probably be a problem sometimes to stay with the best guys but it’s definitely not an injury to consider an abandon.” Meanwhile Frank is in the team car taking off his race number.
To top things off, rumors persist that federal investigators served Bruyneel with a subpoena when he arrived in the United States for the Tour of California.
After the meltdown in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Bruyneel said the team needed to go back to “square one.” Twisted Spoke has to ask the obvious question: what if The Shack has to go to square zero or even square minus one?
Whatever happens in the Tour de France for Andy and Frank Schleck, you can be sure the brothers are already talking about their next team if Bruyneel remains in charge at RadioShack. Somewhere Saxo Bank boss Bjarne Riis is having a little laugh.
From the beginning of the season, Bruyneel has said the “goal is yellow in Paris.” That goal is looking pretty distant and highly unlikely these days.