Saturday, July 23, 2011

Schleck Brothers: What if other GC guys had a brother?

So we know now that Cadel Evans will win this addition of the Tour de France, and once again Andy Schleck will be in 2nd place.  I have 2 main thoughts about the Schlecks:

#1 Is Andy happy with 2nd?  It appears based on his answer to the interview questions, post Amstel Gold (Schleck Bros towing service used by Gilbert) and today, that he sees 2nd as an achievement.  For some riders, like Tom Danielson, even 9th can be an achievement, but 2nd place should not be satisfactory for Andy. I have said it before and I still feel this way, I think Andy is a nice guy!  I would want my kid to go ride with Andy and get his autograph, etc.  However, I don't think he is a "killer" that has the IT to win the Tour de France.  Merckx, Hinault, Big Mig, Pantani, Lance and Contador had it, but I don't see that in Andy.  I can not imagine any of those guys in the prime of their career being pleased/enjoying 2nd place. I can not picture them saying things like this:

#2 Imagine what it would look like if those mentioned above had a brother that was close to their form.  Can you imagine the wicked damage the Merckx brothers or Armstrong brothers would cause? That is my main challenge in being able to root for the brothers Schelck; they just don't use all their tools.  Imagine if Frank attacked and they had to follow, only to launch Andy and on and on.  One of them would win and the other would be in the top 10 or a bit lower.
No question these guys knew how to play the #'s!

Look at how Mapei rode in the classics, that could be done by the Scheck brothers in a Tour. They have everything you need to rip apart the field, except the Killer instinct.  Others will argue that they still love the brothers and someday they will win one.  If it was a nice guy contest they are right up there, but Grand Tours are war for GC guys.  They are not ready to do everything they need to win the GC war. Until that changes, I see lower podium steps, and only lower steps, in their future.

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