Let's be fair: on paper, Frank and Andy Schleck are admirably accomplished. National champions (okay, Luxembourg), a buncha Classics, stage wins and an overall win at the Tour de France (I know, PJ, not really!), and Giro and Tour podiums before Andy was even out of diapers. But in reality, we know the problem: compared to the hype on 'em, these guys are !@#$ups. Why, and what can we do to help 'em turn it around? Here:
1. Leopard Trek. A great idea, but it wasn't given enough time to develop. And frankly, when you've got Fabian Cancellara workin' for ya, yer average beer-guzzling pudge-gutted nacho-scarfin' American sports nut, much less an actual cyclist, oughta be able to sit there in his Barcalounger with his finger up his nose scratchin' for canapes and still put in a fine placing in a road race. Solution: dammit sponsors are instant-gratification crybabies, give 'em two seasons to develop next time whyndontcha?
2. They're Codependent. There's brotherly love, and there's brotherly luuuuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvvv. Frank's been catchin' you worms too long, Andy. And as a little sister, I do understand. But it's time to spread those little wings and fly on your own. Solution: Separate squads and a little healthy family rivalry. One of you's gonna have to suck it up and try to beat the other guy!
3. Time Trials. Look, all the practice in the world can't turn this lovably gangly dork into the compact muscular efficiency of a Cadel or the preying-mantis sleekness of a Dave Zabriskie. But !@#dammit, *someone's* gotta be able to shave off a few seconds for this boy *somewhere*. Solution: bike-fit gurus, I have it on completely legitimate authority (uh, mine) that Johan Bruyneel will personally pay you 1 million buckaroos for the perfect machine. Hell, he's losin' more'n that on Andy at the moment, right?
4. Descents. Il Falco he ain't. And descents *are* scary--for good reason. But they can be learned. And if you can't get down the Galibier without gripping onto the tarmac with yer teeth, fingernails, eyeballs, and nether hairs, you're doomed to lose. Solution: start low. Strap the kid flat on a skateboard at the top of an Alp, pat his hand for comfort, and give 'im a good hard Olympic-luge-style push. At worst, he can only fall two inches to the ground, so he'll soon get his confidence after a coupla 70 kph switchbacks. Voila'!
5. Denial. It's rainy. It's sunny. It's windy. It's calm. I'm still smarting from the ultra-wedgie Johan Bruyneel gave me this morning. Andy, as even you've finally acknowledged, at some point you gotta *own* this pup. Contador and Cadel have got something on you, and you need to figure out what pronto. Solution: Alexandre Vinokourov. He'll either dope you, berate you, or break your kneecaps with his bare hands, but one thing he *won't* let you do is whinge (did I get that right dear Brits?) to the press like some aristocratic inbred ascot-wielding tea-drinkin' weenie. START WINNING YOU WEAK-WILLED BASTARD OR I'LL FEED YOU TO THE SHARKS LIKE A BLOODY CHUNK OF CHUM!
6. Security. No Kim, no win. You don't separate Linus from his blanket, Schroeder from his piano, or, god forbid, Tommeke from his smoothie-smooth masseuse. Johan, the chemistry just ain't workin'. Quit bein' a beeyotch and let Andy have Kim Andersen in the team car. After all, let's cut to the chase here, the boys were better before they started on your squad. Am I right, or what?
7. RadioSkank. You boys just aren't Lance Armstrong, and no matter what you accomplish for him or for you, Johan will never, ever forgive you for it. He'll never forgive *anyone* for it. Look what happened to Contador for chrissakes! Solution: get out, out, OUT!
Well folks, them's mine, and their guaranteed road to success. If you got another way(s) to fix the Schlecks, spit it out--they need all the help they can get!