For the first time in ten editions, not a single rider with the surname Schleck will ride the Tour de France, after Frank confirmed a knee injury would rule him out of the race.
The streak stretches back a decade with either Frank or Andy, or both, riding in the last nine Tours, with the latter winning in 2010 thanks to Alberto Contador’s doping indiscretions.
Frank has been no slouch over the three weeks either, finishing in the top-10 four times, including on the third step of the podium behind his brother in 2011.
But a long-running knee ailment has put paid to the streak, an injury which flared up at the Tour de Suisse and Frank admits he would not be able to commit to a three-week race.
“This is a big disappointment for me, of course, but it had been in the air for a while now,” he said on the Trek website. “The pain never really lessened and the only way to let it heal would have been to take complete rest.
“It was a catch-22: if I wanted to make the Tour team, I had to rest. I needed to take a break in the preparation to let the knee heal. But if I wanted to be fit for the Tour, I needed to train hard.”
“The knee wasn’t getting any better during the Tour de Suisse, despite daily treatments and all of us hoping for a miracle. We took the decision together and I think it’s correct. I can’t push it for 21 days straight and hope to make it to Paris. What I need is rest.”
Which cycling family could be in line to beat the Schleck’s Tour de France streak? With both Simon and Adam Yates set to ride for Orica-GreenEdge this year, the answer could be right on our doorstep.
Cycling Weekly looks at the contenders for the 2015 Tour de France