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Schlecks hoping to move up at Flèche, with eyes on Liège

2011 Amstel Gold Race, Andy Schleck
Andy Schleck on the attack at Amstel Gold

WALSHOUTEM, Belgium (VN) – Leopard-Trek has been denied in all but one of the spring classics this year. While their top focus is on Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Andy and Fränk Schleck on Tuesday reaffirmed their plans to be aggressive in the finale at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.

“I showed at Amstel that I’m good. I’ll be good at Amstel and the days after as well,” Andy Schleck told VeloNews. “I’ll take it as it comes. I’ll be 100 percent concentrated, but the big focus is on Liège.”

A year ago, the younger of the brothers arrived at the classics without top form. He has said a number of times this week that he is well ahead of 2010 and said Tuesday that he’ll be more measured with his efforts late in Huy.

“I still believe you have to be really, really careful in the last lap at Flèche,” he said. “I believe it’s a race that a breakaway can go to the end. That’s not the case at Amstel or Liège, maybe 98 percent of the time not.”

Fränk Schleck crashed late at the Amstel Gold Race, erasing his hopes in the Dutch classic. The morning after a high-speed team event with Mercedes Benz on the adjacent Spa raceway, the team rode on the Liège course Tuesday.

“Maybe yesterday I was a little bit stiff, but today I have no worries,” Fränk Schleck told VeloNews.

After Sunday’s race, the elder Schleck said that he was extremely disappointed to crash at a key moment, particularly with his current high level of fitness. “I’ve been working so really hard,” he said. “I believe I’m in really, really good shape. Those things happen. After a down there is always coming up.”

Andy and Fränk Schleck will try to start that “up” Wednesday in Huy.