Our #Ride2Unite initiative launched to support and entertain the cycling community brought together in another livestream Spanish Eurosport presenter Laura Meseguer and the well-known Luxembourgish ex road racing treasure Andy Schleck who shone some light on his life now and then, comparing the pro life started at an early age with slowing down a bit and becoming a small bicycle shop owner and cycling ambassador. Below are some of the highlights.
As mentioned in our previous article, Andy shot to fame almost overnight when he finished second in the 2007 Giro d’Italia out of the blue aged just 21. It’s not surprising that he chose a cycling career given the path of his brother, father and grandfather but what was unexpected was his nearly immediate success. That was one of the first topics he discussed with Laura; how great it was and how good it felt but the beginnings weren’t just sugar, spice and everything nice – it also involved dealing with enormous pressure and publicity at such a young age.
Now, after an impressive list of victories and successes under his belt, he spends and enjoys his time as a cycling coach, owner of a small bicycle shop in Luxembourg and newly also as a chairman of the ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg and an ambassador at the Tour de France’s ŠKODA Hospitality Programme. His only light-hearted complaint, as he mentioned to Laura, was that his business doesn’t allow him to ride as much as he would like to but he compensates that with swimming and running. He also touched on his favourite routes, training routines or pastimes.
A fan watching the stream asked him to choose between the victory at the 18th mountainous Col Du Galibier stage of the 2011 Tour de France and the first place in the 2009 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which marked a culmination peak of his career. After thinking and weighing his options for a while, Andy chose the victorious moment of the 2011 Tour.
Let’s also remind us that Andy Schleck was only the second man to ever win the white jersey for best young rider 3 times in a row at the 2010 Tour de France where he also collected two mountain stages and rode in the yellow jersey for six days. The 2010 Tour also produced an infamous moment when Andy’s chain dropped on a mountain stage and Alberto Contador then took over his lead, eventually winning. In February 2012 after Contador’s CAS (Court for Arbitration of Sport) doping hearing, Schleck was retroactively awarded the 2010 title of Tour de France’s winner.
Mentioning that fateful Tour, Andy accented that he gives absolutely 100 per cent to everything he does – something he claims he has in common with abovementioned Alberto Contador, his biggest rival, from which one could say stems their mutual respect. Following up on the sentiment of giving something your all, Andy further spoke about his experience with becoming the ŠKODA’s Tour de France Hospitality Programme ambassador. He would get up at 5 a.m. each day to get ready for the ride with guests and to prepare the day’s schedule for them to enjoy. One could say that it seems that Andy is happiest at his busiest when he recounts bustling Hospitality Programme days of last year.
Catch up with the rest of the streams on our dedicated #Ride2Unite page on the We Love Cycling website!