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CSC's Fränk Schleck Pre Amstel Gold Interview
By Staff
Date: 4/21/2007
CSC's Fränk Schleck Pre Amstel Gold Interview

CSC's Fränk Schleck Pre Amstel Gold Interview
A conversation with Team CSC's Fränk Schleck the defending champion of Amstel Gold.

Bart Hazen

CSC's Fränk Schleck  arrives for the press conference. Photo c. Bart Hazen

Tomorrow is the 42nd Amstel Gold Race. Last year the race was won by CSC rider Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg). On the eve before the race in which he is the defending champion Bart Hazen had a chat with him.

Bart Hazen: How are you doing ?

Fränk Schleck: I’m doing fine. I feel very good, we have good weather and I’m excited about racing in the Amstel tomorrow.

Fränk sets up for a TV interview at the press conference. Photo c. Bart Hazen

How did it go in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco for you?

Fränk Schleck: Pais Vasco is a hard race. I have never seen such a hard race like that. It had hard climbs but I always was there in front and felt really good.

What are your expectations for tomorrow?

Fränk: You always have to race  in front of the bunch. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or the sun is shining. It’s important that we will ride well as a team. We expect a hard race with the final part of the race starting on the Kruisberg. Afterwards, it always will happen on the Eyserbosweg where Michael will probably attack; it’s his “climb”. It’s mostly not the decisive move but the big leaders are together then to battle for the victory.

Fränk Schleck  Photo c. Bart Hazen

Bart: What are your ambitions for tomorrow?

Fränk: I hope I can win this race once again. I have to arrive alone at the finish; that will be the perfect scenario. My preparation was good and my form is OK!

Bart: Who do you see as the most dangerous contenders in the race tomorrow?

Fränk: That will be for sure Michael Boogerd. He will be very motivated once again because it’s the final Amstel of his career. I’m sure Rabobank will make a hard race of it. Further there will be Davide Rebellin, Samuel Sanchez, Alejandro Valverde and Stefan Schumacher.

Photo c. Bart Hazen

Bart: Are you stronger than last year?

Fränk: I feel stronger and have made progress. If you believe in yourself, which I do, you will become stronger.

Karsten Kroon is one of the team leaders as well for the Amstel and the Ardennes Classics. What do you think of that?

Fränk: Karsten Kroon is a very good and very strong rider. He was very strong in the team last year. I would love to help him win the race. Kroon has a lot of talent and with a bit more luck he should have won more races.

Fränk thinks about a response. Photo c. Bart Hazen

Bart: What will be the team tactics for the Amstel tomorrow?

Fränk: I don’t know. Me and Karsten are the leaders for tomorrow. But Jens Voigt is in great shape too, he won the Criterium International and a stage in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. We have to make the race very hard, which is realistic. I want a hard race in order to tire out some of the opponents.

Stage 15 Tour de France 2006 Damiano Cunego and Fränk Schleck on the Alpe du Huez with 2km to go. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Bart: Did your win in the Amstel Gold race change something?

Fränk: The Amstel Gold Race was more emotional and intensive than my win on Alpe D’Huez. The team and my family motivated me and I gave them something back by winning these races.

Bart: What will be your racing schedule after the Amstel and the Ardennes classics?

Fränk: I will race in the Tour of Romandie. After Romandie I will have a break for about 2 weeks. Then I will do the Bayern Rundfahrt, Tour de Suisse and the National Championships before the Tour de France shows up. I won’t ride the Tour of Luxembourg because it doesn’t fit in my program.

Bart: What other goals do you have next to the Amstel, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege?

Fränk: I would like to do well in the Tour de Romandie. Top 10 would be nice. But my main focus will be the Tour de France for sure. I hope to achieve the top 3 in the Tour once. It’s a dream for me. If you have no goals or dreams anymore you would be better to quit.

Sweet Victory on the Alpe du Huez for Fränk. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Bart: What are your ambitions for the Tour de France of this year?

Fränk: Carlos Sastre is our rider for the general classification. I have to help Carlos in the best possible way. I hope I can win a stage once again and maybe a top 10 in the ranking is possible as well.

Talking about your family, they say that your brother Andy has more talent. How do you see that?

Fränk: It’s true! I told that to the press in the past. He has a huge talent and is very strong on the bike. He has to find his own way now to make the big step forward.

Bart: Talking about your dad (Johnny Schleck), is it hard to have the name Schleck?

IFränk: t was not easy. If I didn’t win they compared me with my dad. But I have won races which my dad didn’t win in his career (laughs).

Bart: Final question, When you knew you were going to win the Amstel last year, did you feel less pain due to the emotions and adrenaline?

Fränk: You always feel pain. I’m never on my bike without pain. But you’re right on the moment you are going to win, you forget the pain.

Thanks Fränk for the conversation and good luck tomorrow!!

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