10 Minutes with Frank

Frank Schleck

Six-time national champion Frank Schleck was born into a family of cyclists. His father, Johnny was a famous cyclist in his home county of Luxembourg, while his brother, Andy, is his Team CSC teammate. Schleck had a solid year, with a third place finish at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a stage win at the Tour de Suisse, and a fourth place finish at the World Championships. After winning the Giro dell’Emilia, he had high hopes going into this year’s final pro race, the Giro di Lombardia, but crashed with only 5K to go. Frank, 27, visited Oakley to shoot an upcoming campaign before jetting off to the Carribean to celebrate the end of his successful 5th season…

I race 90 days a year, and travel about 180 days.

The low-point of my year was crashing with 5K to go at the Giro de Lum.

I started cycling at age 13 because my brother was racing. He didn’t do well one race and I wanted to know why. He said “Why don’t you go ride your bike and do it better.”

When I finished my studies—I went to university for engineering—I decided to ride.

There are hills in Luxembourg, but they are not too long. The countryside has good profile and the advantage is that there is very little traffic. The weather is bad until March or April, but I believe you have to train in bad weather. You can’t always have good weather at races.

My whole family is in Luxembourg. I need to be around my family. I think it’s important to be able to sit down and talk to your family on a regular basis.

I got bitten by the passion of cycling. I really like to go out and ride my bike. All bike riders area a little crazy. You need to be a freak—we’re all freaks. We’re suffering and withstanding pain everyday. We’re on our bikes 5-6 hours. We’re freaks to take on all this pain. But I just got bitten. If you do it well, it’s much easier to do it.

Whether I train with a partner or not depends on where I’m going and what races I’m training for. When I need to train harder, do more intervals, I like to train alone. If it’s a period I need to do long, easy rides for endurance, it’s better to train with some guys. Last year Oakley hooked me up with Thump Pro and it’s so nice—it makes it much easier,

Today I got the new O Rokr Pro. I’ll be able to hook up my Bluetooth and my ipod and there you go. What I listen to depends on my mood—whether I’m on a climb and want to go hard, or whether I want something easy and mellow.

Diet is important. If you’re 1 kilo over your top weight, you feel it, you’re going to get dropped. Fortunately I don’t have a problem, I’m skinny by nature. But I can’t eat French fries everyday. I try to eat healthy and not too much. It’s hard when you train so much and you’re hungry when you come home. You gotta be careful. If you’re 1 kilo over, you’re losing.

My brother is very proud of me and I’m proud of him. We’re very good if we race together. It just makes us stronger. If he wins it’s the same for me. Our big advantage is we’re two of the very few riders who get to bring family to the races. We’re not only teammate and brothers, we’re best buddies.

My motivation, my goals—that’s what makes me train. When I finish my career I want to have tried to achieve my goals. When I’m looking back I want to have no regrets. My dream is to finish on the podium of a big tour. If I reach that goal that’s why I’m training. If I look back and say I should have done that better, should have trained more…that would not be ok with me. If I’m trying everything and trying hard enough and I’m not making podium, it’s alright. I’m okay with myself.

I would really like to finish on top of the Tour de France. I know I’ll do everything to get close to win it.

I look up to a lot of people, but none of them are cyclists. Just people like my mother. She taught me a lot of things. I lookup to people who are able to raise their children to be better people I have two brothers and we always had respect for everyone else.

I’ve been in California twice before. I think it’s a beautiful place. I’m going to do Tour of California next year. I love this place. You walk into a shop here and they just start talking to you like a friend, Everyone has a great attitude. I like the country, the people—they are a very warm and friendly people.

When I got the call from Oakley asking me to come shoot an ad campaign, I said I’ll be there. I got here and we met all the people working on the campaign. They said “it’s Lance, Frischi and you. You’re one of the big guys. ”I was really proud of it. They showed me Lance’s campaign—It’s really cool and I’m excited.”

Author

Tess Weaver

Date

October 30, 2007