Since the disloyal Brothers Schleck were leaving anyway for their Luxembourg dream team, Bjarne Riis gave them a swift kick on the way out.
He showed them both how much he appreciated the disruptive manner in which they’d handled their departure and the financial and professional hardship they’d put him through.
So he booted Andy out of the Vuelta for his 5am drinking party. A violation of team rules he normally might have overlooked if Andy wasn’t history. But not this time, not after he’d been forced to watch half his team exit with the Schlecks.
Not after he’d had to scramble like mad to keep Saxo Bank alive, to hustle for sponsors, to rebuild his empty roster — including a new director sportif after he’d had to fire Kim Anderson for working on the new Luxembourg team while still on the Saxo payroll.
No, Bjarne Riis decided it was time to have the last laugh. First, he’d pulled off the brilliant coup of signing Alberto Contador with the knowledge Alberto would thrash Andy Schleck for the foreseeable future.
Then he publicly embarrassed Andy by throwing him out of the Vuelta. Not to mention, sending an additional screw-you card to brother Frank that read “go win the Vuelta by yourself now, tough guy.”
We’re dying to know the exact cocktails in question — Gatorade shots with Jagermeister, a special Schleck Sangria recovery drink, tequila blended up with some left over gels?
Bjarne Riis humiliated Schleck in front of the cycling world as a boozer, party fiend and lazy ass helper for his own brother. Three pretty good shots from the vengeful Dane.
It’s ugly, semi-petty but not unexpected or for that matter, undeserved. The Brothers Schleck did do a sloppy job of handling their exit. Kim Andersen didn’t show much class in working on the Luxembourg project behind Riis’ back. Yeah, it’s all business and money does most of the talking but Riis was not amused.
Revenge is sweet. Bjarne Riis let the Brothers Schleck know who’s boss. He got the last laugh and you know he’ll drink to that.