The squad announced on Wednesday (June 25) that both Schlecks would line up in Leeds for the Grand Depart on July 5. It will be the first time they have started the Tour together since 2011.
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Andy was awarded the 2010 Tour de France victory after Alberto Contador failed an anti-doping test for clenbuterol. Andy and Frank finished second and third behind Cadel Evans in the 2011 Tour, but since then the pair’s performances have plummeted.
Frank tested positive for banned diuretic Xipamide during the 2012 Tour, and returned from a 12-month suspension at the Tour Down Under in January this year. Andy fractured his pelvis in the 2012 Criterium du Dauphine and has struggled to find condition since.
Trek Factory Racing manager Luca Guercilena told Cycling Weekly last November that the Schleck brothers were ready to return to top form in 2014.
“Fränk will be ready to compete. He wants to come out attacking. He’s been training hard to have a good season. For Andy, it’s still an important year, trying to be a racer again, so his programme will be very dependent on his condition,” said Guercilena.
Guercilena hinted to Cycling Weekly magazine this week that both brothers’ contracts with the team may not be renewed at the end of the season if they do not perform. “I can’t say what will happen in 2015 because first we have to get to July and see how it goes,” he said.
Neither rider has won a race since 2011, when Andy took stage 18 of the Tour and Frank won stage one of the Criterium International. Andy finished this year’s Tour de Suisse in 29th position overall, but Frank was a non-starter on stage three after suffering with concussion sustained as a result of a crash the previous day.
The Schlecks join Matthew Busche (USA), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Markel Irizar (Spain), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Danny Van Poppel (Netherlands), Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) and one as yet un-named rider, likely to be Jens Voigt (Germany), on Trek’s Tour roster.
Full rosters for all of the 2014 Tour de France teams, with race numbers