Schleck brothers confident of Tour podium positions

Alberto Contador & Andy Schleck, Tour de France 2009, stage 17Tour de France 2009, stage 17

Frank and Andy Schleck celebrated a special day at the Tour de France with first and third on the stage to Le Grand Bornand.

They also moved up to second and third overall in the overall classification behind Alberto Contador. 

Like a double act, they also answered questions together in the press conference, confident about holding second and third overall and perhaps even trying to topple Alberto Contador on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.  

“I’m very proud of myself, my brother and my team,” Frank said emotionally.  

“It all started well this morning at the team meeting when we heard that Jens Voigt was okay. We didn’t have anything to loose and Andy said ‘Lets go for it’ in the team meeting and that really motivated me. He sacrificed a lot to help me and I’ll certainly pay him back for that.”

Andy was happy to have helped his older brother win a stage at the Tour de France.

“It’s tough to find words to describe what happened today. This morning Bjarne Riis came up with a special plan. I had a lot of respect for this stage and knew it would make a difference. Frank was there to help me and that was fantastic. On the last descent I told him were going for the stage win on radio and I lead the descent because I’m a better descender.”

Schlecks expect to lose time in time trial

The Schlecks know they will lose time in Thursday’s Annecy time trial but are confident they can get it back on the slopes of Mont Ventoux on Saturday, especially after the damage they caused together on the slopes of the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombiere.

“Were second and third overall and even though were not time trial specialist, were not worried, there is still Mont Ventoux to come after that,” Frank said.

“It’s not a secret if I say that he (Alberto Contador) is very strong and hard to beat but he’s human and makes mistakes. We’re just going to wait for him to make a mistake and then if we don’t make a mistake, we can be there and take advantage. If we don’t believe we can beat him, we may as well as stop now. But we believe we can do something and were going to keep attacking.”

Andy predicts that the final climb of the Tour de France to Mont Ventoux will create similar time gaps as the stage to Le Grand Bornand.

“It’s the third week and everybody is tired. I didn’t feel good, I was tired today but then in the end the legs were what mattered and we saw that today. On the Ventoux people are going to be even more tired. We recover well and if the climbs are steeper, it’s better for us.

"I think we’re going to be up there and then we’ll see what happens. Maybe it’ll be the same scenario as today but he (Frank) has got to pull the sprint for me…”


Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.


Stage 17: Schleck brothers overhaul Wiggins as Frank wins the stage

Stage 16: Astarloza snatches Alps stage win as contenders wind up the pace

Stage 15: Contador wins in Verbier as Tour explodes into life

Stage 14: Ivanov wins as Nocentini clings onto yellow

Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar

Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green

Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban's record

Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win

Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire

stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out

Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance

Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs

Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage

Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second

Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage

Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador

Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint

Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial


Tour de France 2009 News Index>>

Astana to split after Tour

Voigt crashes out of Tour

Armstrong fighting hard for Tour podium place

Wiggins gets closer to Tour podium place

Who's won what so far in the Tour de France

How the Tour favourite are doing (Rest day 2)

Wiggins climbs to third in Tour overall

Armstrong concedes he can't win the 2009 Tour

Tom Boonen quits the Tour de France

Stage 15 analysis: Is the Tour now over?

Columbia criticise Garmin for chasing Hincapie

Cavendish reveals he is going for green

Tour comment: The suspense is killing us

Analysis: Why Cavendish is one of the modern greats

Radio ban over-turned for Friday's Tour stage

Arvesen out of Tour with fractured collarbone

Tour analysis: Why the go slow did cycling no favours on Bastille Day

Cavendish's odd stage 10 finish celebration explained

No radios today, but experiment could be a one-off

Tour audio: Mark Cavendish after stage 10

Contador brushes aside talk of Armstrong conflict

Cavendish odds-on favourite for Bastille Day victory

The Tour de France Comment: Monday, July 13

How the favourites are doing (first rest day)

Wiggins stays with leaders at Tour

Armstrong: 'If Contador wins, I'll be second'

Wiggins 'on cloud nine' at Tour de France

Armstrong says Contador attack wasn't in the planCavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease

Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived


Garmin-Slipstream's HQ before the Tour

David Zabriskie's time trial bike

Mark Cavendish on the Tour's team time trial

David Brailsford interview

Mark Cavendish on the Tour

Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins' chances


Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Team presentation by Andy Jones

Team presentation by Graham Watson


Tour de France 2009 - the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who's riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France


Tour de France 2009: Who will win?

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly's rider profiles


Follow the Tour on Cycling Weekly's Twitter feed


Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.