Shocked by news that ASO and Tour boss CHristian Prudehomme had taken it upon themselves to add an additional 5 kilometers to the 2012 Tour route, Andy Schleck has officially requested they tack on 10k in the mountains.
“Okay, they put in 100k in time trials. That’s not good for me but I don’t complain,” said Schleck. “But what is going on? Now, they decide to throw another 5k in against the clock? It’s ridiculous and unfair.”
Schleck and the RadioShack-Nissan Trek squad have lodged a formal request that 10k to added to one of the summit finishes, perhaps even inserting an extra climb.
“Really, they can’t play these games. They give Evans and Wiggins even more advantage? I have asked for some more climbing,” said the three time Tour runner-up. ” I don’t care if its the Alps or Pyrenees just something hard and uphill, a summit — throw me a little bone, you know?”
Team manager Johan Bruyneel had no comment on the extra 5k other than to repeat his objectives for the team. “The goal remains the same, with the additional 5k of time trial or not, it’s yellow in Paris.” He refused to address rumors that Schlecks had spend the previous night in a wind tunnel working on his aerodynamic position.
Without giving an specific explanations, Technical director Jean-Francois Pescheux has added 3.5 kilometers to stage 9’s time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, and 1.5k to stage 19’s chrono from Bonneval to Chartres.
“What is Pescheux trying to accomplish? I’ll tell you what — he doesn’t want me to win the tour,” said an incensed Schleck. “I am on that damn TT bike every week but now he turns around and throws more time trial at me? You get me a course map and I’ll fix things. Really, this is a joke and I’m not laughing.”
According to at least one undisclosed source, the young Luxembourger is undergoing counseling for a time-trial related depression. Whatever the psychologists have to say, the extra 5k against the clock isn’t going to help Schleck.
Officials at ASO have declined comment on Schlecks’ request for an extra 10k in climbing.