Saxo Bank Tour de France hope Andy Schleck crashed heavily while out training with his brother Fränk today. The 25 year old Luxembourger finished second in last year's Grande Boucle and is expected to be a challenger for the overall when the race starts a week from today in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
"Was out training with @schleckfrank hit a big bump in the road, went down pretty hard, lost quite lot of skin all over my body but I'll be okay," he posted on his Twitter account. With a heavy fall to the ground he will hope no other problems creep up from the incident.
The bright part of his season thus far was during the Ardennes Classics where he rode to fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège as defending champion and finished eighth in the Flèche Wallonne as last year's runner up. His recent rides at the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse drew nothing but questions about whether the younger Schleck would be a challenger come July. Two days ago he secured his first win of the season to become the Luxembourg time trial champion, finishing 56 seconds ahead of his brother Fränk.
His performance at nationals was signifcant considering his brother was within 5 seconds of RadioShack leader Lance Armstrong's time just days before. The time trial result is also interesting because he was exactly a minute behind Armstrong in Switzerland and, in less than a week, has leapfrogged over the top of the American to be on par in the test against the clock with that of teammate Fabian Cancellara. Granted, that sort of comparison doesn't always draw the most accurate conclusions, but it is difficult to ignore nevertheless. The newly crowned Luxembourg time trial champion might well have been holding back with his aim towards July, and could now also be close to being on par with an on form Alberto Contador (Astana) with respect to time trialing.