2010 Tour de France Winner Andy Schleck Retires From Cycling

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MONDORF-LES-BAINS, Luxembourg, Oct 09, 2014 (AFP) – Luxembourg’s Andy
Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour de France, on Thursday announced his
retirement after failing to recover from a knee injury.

“I’m obviously disappointed to end my career like this,” said the
29-year-old Schleck.

“I would have liked to keep on fighting but my knee just doesn’t allow it.
Since my crash in the UK there has hardly been any progress. While the
ligaments have healed, the damaged cartilage is another story.

“I have been working hard on rehabbing the knee but came to the hard
realisation that at the risk of irreversibly injuring it, this is the best
course of action.”

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said Schleck’s untimely
departure from the sport left a bitter taste of underachievement after the
great promise of his early results.

“He had the natural talent and after what he did at the Giro d’Italia (2nd
in 2007 at 22-years-old) we thought he’d go on to have a brilliant career,” he
said.

“We really thought he was going to do something special, but the last three
seasons have been littered with falls,” added Prudhomme, who pointed to a
broken pelvis on the 2012 Dauphine as the beginning of the end.

During his career, the Trek Factory Racing leader stepped four times on to
Grand Tour podiums, with runner’s up spots on the Giro and twice on the Tour
de France.

Apart from his 2010 Tour victory, Schleck triumphed in the 2009
Liege-Bastogne-Liege, while the rider highlights his win on the Galibier
mountain stage of the 2011 Tour de France as one of his most memorable
achievements.

“Cycling has been my life for many years and I will need time to figure out
what I’d like to do,” Schleck said.

A brilliant climber, Andy spent his senior career in the same team as his
elder brother Frank Schleck, 34, who served as a minder to the more talented
younger sibling. His father Johny Schleck was also a professional cyclist.