Andy Raymond Schleck is a former pro-cyclist, a Luxembourg native, the 2010 Tour de France winner and has cycling running in his family. Currently, he functions as a chairman of the ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg and as an ambassador at the Tour de France’s ŠKODA Hospitality Programme so we reached out to him to get both his insider and expert overview of this year’s Le Grande Boucle.
Alaphilippe’s stunning triumph
Julian Alaphilippe, a Deceuninck-Quick-Step team rider, made a big surprise by winning the third stage with an explosive attack that got him the yellow jersey. However, he usually excels in one-day Classics so the long-term and demanding nature of the Tour might not suit him. However, Andy Schleck thinks otherwise.
“I think he can keep the jersey for quite a while because he also had a good week, you know. If he survived the stage and won, I think he can keep it for more stages.”
Jumbo-Visma’s great season
The Jumbo-Visma team saw significant improvement this season. Their riders have won one time-trial and one sprint stage and Mike Teunissen even wore the maillot jaune for one day. Despite all these successes, Andy is realistic concerning future predictions, especially the GC yellow jersey.
“I don’t think that they have a chance with the general classification. They’ve come here for a stage win and they managed to do it but I don’t think they’ll win the GC. They have Kruijswijk who is here for the overall [classification] but I don’t think they’ll make it to the podium.” Based on the team’s history, Andy has his own take on their point of concentration: “I think they’re going for the win in the Giro d’Italia so their main focus is on stages and not the GC.”
Concerning the most unexpected outcome of the race so far, for Andy, Teunissen’s win was also the most surprising event of this week’s Tour. “Nobody really expected he’ll win stage one. He was not there to lead the stage, he was there for his leader until the leader crashed and then he took his chance and won by surprise.”
Peter Sagan (because, of course)
Peter Sagan hasn’t won a stage yet but he’s already in green – almost a formal sight at the Tour de France. It’s no wonder then that Andy thinks it’s a safe bet to say he’ll win the points classification again.
“Basically, I think he’ll probably win again because he’s good and he knows where to rack up points. He collects the most points at the “ŠKODA sprints” so he focuses on them. I know he’s here for the green jersey again but I believe there’s hope for other riders.”
Stay tuned for more Andy Schleck commentary!