Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) will return to racing this week in a criterium in his native Luxembourg and, as previously reported, will start the Vuelta a España later this month.
Schleck, who crashed out of the Tour de France in the third stage with a broken collarbone, will race a criterium on Thursday in his native Luxembourg alongside his brother, Andy.
“I hope to race the Tour of Denmark and the Vuelta, but not for the overall,” Schleck told the Luxembourg daily Le Quotidien.
Schleck said if he hadn’t crashed out of the Tour, he is sure that his brother could have beaten Alberto Contador (Astana).
“I think if I was there, he could have won the Tour,” he said. “On the stage to Morzine, I saw Kreuziger, Menchov and Gesink attack successively, each time he had to go deep and he lost the energy to follow Andy in the final kilometer. If the both of us were there, we would have done like last year. We could have taken turns attacking him.”
Schleck said the brothers have not given up hope on winning the Tour. More so, this year’s results give them even more motivation to try to knock Contador off his throne.
“We will come back, keep working on the time trial, training hard and give everything,” Schleck said. “I believe in a future victory. I believe Andy and I can win the Tour.”
Schleck did not comment on his immediate future. The Schleck brothers are expected to leave Saxo Bank at the end of the year to create a new, Luxembourg-backed team with ex-Saxo Bank sport director Kim Andersen. Several current Saxo Bank riders, such as Jakob Fuglsang and Stuart O’Grady, are expected to follow them.