The Brothers Schleck were effusive in their praise and warm welcome of self-described genius Johan Bruyneel, AKA Lance Armstrong’s older Belgian brother.
Andy called Bruyneel, “one of the best and most important men in cycling, maybe the man we have been missing.”
After three consecutive second places, Schleck the Younger has clearly been missing something. Perhaps it’s the man with 10 grand tour wins as director sportif and team manager.
They are hoping that the missing man can help Andy win the 2012 Tour de France. A race route that boasts 96 kilometers of time trial, compared to only 60 in 2011. The Schlecks are naturally concerned and looking for answers besides adding more muscle mass.
“I know that he has many ideas and maybe will plan a different program from the last few years leading up to the Tour de France,” said Andy Schleck. “I think there will also be different preparation for the Spring Classics.”
You’re damn right there will be. Bruyneel went from a four-captain Radio Shack tour team to a two captain team in the Brothers Schleck. By the end of this June, Bruyneel will have that chopped down to one captain. Twisted Spoke says au revoir podium for Frank the Elder.
Frank himself was more than happy — at least in public — about the arrival of Bruyneel, calling him “our strong new captain Johan Bruyneel. He will surely steer this boat well. He has a very strong hand and behind him to co-ordinate things is Kim Andersen, our right hand in training, who puts our program together.”
Andy is feeling pretty good about his potential tour squad in the new Radio Shack-Nissan Trek. He lost the Fighting Freckle, Stuart O’Grady to the home country and GreenEdge but he picked up the ageless Chris Horner and Andreas Kloden to do the hard miles in the mountains.
“I know 99.5 percent of which riders we have and which staff, and it is a team that we will be proud to be with in the future,” said Andy Schleck.
So on to the Trek time trial bikes they go and you can be sure, Bruyneel will crack the whip. Andy will get faster against the clock and add some muscle mass.
At the same time, he’s going to lose muscle mass because Bruyneel likes one team leader for the 2012 Tour de France. Sorry Frank.