Welcome to the party, Mario Cipollini.
As we’ve noted before, it’s been open season on poor Andy Schleck since his finished second to Cadel Evans in the 2011 Tour de France.
Critics, teammates, cycling journalists, famous retired riders and former director sportifis have all offered opinions on what Andy should be next. Suggestions include skipping the Tour and riding the Giro, improving his time trialing, getting more serious, dialing back the party scene, getting rid of the brother and growing more hair on his chest.
Jumping on the Bash-Andy bandwagon right at the new year, Italian egomaniac Mario Cipolini also took his shots at the three-time Tour runner-up. He offered a variation of the Andreas Kloden theme: the brotherly love must stop.
“His [Andy Schleck’s] problem is Fränk and vice-versa. How they rode the Tour de Suisse is an example of that. They’re incomprehensible. They cancel each other out in turn,” said the former Lion King. “I’d like to see him more decisive, but instead he attacks and after four pedal strokes he turned around. He gives the impression of being a radio-controlled rider.”
Besides the “Frank” problem, Cipolini dropped in his own creative addition to the “what’s wrong with Andy” discussion. Super Mario claims Andy Schleck is robot controlled — just another argument for the race radio ban!
Now if it weren’t for people like Mario Cipolini, the off-season would be interminable and dull. We appreciate his efforts to spice things up, rock the boat and light some dymanite while we’re waiting for the actual races to begin. Chapeau, Mario.
However, he must have missed stage 18 of the Tour de France — hair stylist appointment, suit adjustment at tailor? That was the day Schleck the Younger made his bid for glory and there were no radios in sight.
“I went out this morning and I told myself, no guts, no glory,” said Schleck after that stage. “I took the race by the horns. I was all in.” There was no need to count because it takes far more than four pedal strokes to get over the Galibier first.
Now a case can be made that Schleck was on auto-pilot the day of the Grenoble time trial. Maybe Cipo was watching le Tour that day instead of getting his Ferrari detailed.
In any case, Twisted Spoke wonders when Andy Schleck is finally going to blow his stack and say, “enough is enough. I’m sick of being everybody’s punching bag.”