“No, I didn’t celebrate, yet,” he said, adding: “I have the trophy and for the rest I didn’t have the glory at the time. I didn’t have the bonus financially. All these kinds of things I missed. But this was not in my head. But, I still stand today and am proud because this is my Tour de France.”
Schleck, who retired from professional cycling in 2014, offered a fascinating insight into the world of professional cycling as he answered questions from moderator Mike McQuaide and audience members at the Salle Robert Krieps at the Neimënster. On the subject of doping, he said he stood for a clean sport. “I never doped. I have a clear conscience about it. I know. A lot of riders rode with me cheated, a lot rode with me and didn’t cheat. This is possible, of course,” he said.
The documentary by Lithuanian director Arunas Matelis profiled the work of unsung heroes in the Giro d’Italia, including medics and the water carriers who give everything to help their teams. It illustrated, quite graphically, the injuries sustained, the conviction of the cyclists and the heartbreak of those forced to quit a race because of injury, something Schleck was all too familiar with, having left as a result of a serious knee injury in the 2014 Tour de France, at the age of 29. “Giving up a race is the most difficult you can do as a professional cyclist” he told the audience, adding “There’s a point you have to decide what’s healthy for you and what’s bad.”
He said he had no regrets for his life today, managing a bike shop in Itzig, where he said: “I try to apply the same values in life today as at that time. I’m not in the spotlight like I was a few years ago. But if I wake up I have the same thoughts I had a few years ago.”