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"With other riders like Alberto [Contador] who didn't race for 9 months, we have seen that it takes a year to get back to this level," Schleck says


Photo: Sirotti






04.07.2014 @ 21:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Frank Schleck is back in the Tour de France after a one-year absence but the Luxembourger is not yet back at his previous level. Having served a one-year ban for a positive doping test, he claims that it takes time to get back to his previous level.


In 2011, Frank Schleck finished on the Tour de France podium but when he takes the start in Leeds tomorrow, the expectations are much lower. Having served a one-year ban for a positive test for Xipamide, the Luxembourger has had a hard time finding back to his past level during his first 6 months in the peloton.


"With other riders like Alberto [Contador] who didn't race for 9 months, we have seen that it takes a year to get back to this level," he told CyclingQuotes in Leeds. "Last year I tried not to watch the Tour de France but actually it feels as if I haven't been absent at all. Of course it is nice to be back. The past is the the past, we live now and we look forward to the next three weeks."


Trek have made it clear that their main target is a stage victory but that they also hope to finish in the top 10 with either Frank Schleck or Haimar Zubeldia. Schleck is tight-lipped when it comes to stating his objectives.


"One of those things doesn't exclude the other," he said. "Let's see. We have some nice stages, Hautacam is a good one, Risoul is a good one. We'll se how it goes.


"First of all I will be chasing stage wins and then we'll see how it goes with the GC. It's always a tricky question that I get asked by a lot of journalists. If I say that I target the top 10 and end up in 12th, I will get criticized. So I won't say anything about where I'll end up."


Schleck isn't worried about the long time trial on the pneultimate day.


"Why should I be afraid? I am not afraid of riding my bike," he said. "If I lose time, I need to take it back elsewhere. That's not something I fear. There's something on the bike known as pedals. You just have to push them as hard you can, that's how it is. If I lose time, I will lose time."



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