Pictorial look back at Andy Schleck's career as he announces his retirement from professional cycling. Photos by Graham Watson and Andy Jones
After a lengthy period of speculation, Andy Schleck announced his retirement from professional cycling on Thursday morning. The Trek Factory Racing rider from Luxembourg drew his a nine-year career to a close.
After turning professional with the CSC team in 2005, Schleck very soon established himself as one of the peloton’s most promising riders. In 2006, he was part of CSC’s Tour of Britain team and won the mountains classification.
Schleck soon made his mark in Grand Tours by placing second in the 2007 Giro d’Italia behind Danilo Di Luca and winning the best young rider award. He went on to win the best young rider classification of the 2008 Tour de France, the first of three consecutive years he would do so. In 2009, Schleck showed he could take a significant one-day win by attacking solo in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
In 2010, Schleck finished the Tour in second place behind Alberto Contador, but received the ‘win’ after Contador tested positive for clenbuterol during the race. Schleck would then place second behind Cadel Evans the following year, taking stage 18 along the way. But that would be the last of his success.
A string of injuries, poor form and crashes meant that 2011 would be the last season to include a victory. A crash during stage three of the 2014 Tour de France to London caused a knee injury that he could not recover from, despite surgery.
His older brother, Frank Schleck will continue with Trek Factory Racing.
Schleck’s dropped chain during stage 15 of the 2010 Tour de France initially cost him the race. Rival Contador attacked him on the climb to Port de Balès. However, a positive test for clenbuterol would see Contador banned and Schleck inherited the 2010 Tour win
Posing with a snake at the 2012 Tour Down Under. His season would later come to an abrupt end in the Criterium du Dauphine, where he crashed out with a fractured pelvis, missing the 2012 Tour de France
Riding up Mont Ventoux during the 2013 Tour de France. In March, a French politician alleged to have spotted Schleck drunk in a hotel lift. Schleck dismissed the story, but rumours persisted that perhaps his problems ran deeper than simply physical injury. He finished the race in 20th place