His doping ban looked to have brought a premature end to Frank Schleck’s career, after RadioShack-Leopard announced they would not be renewing the 33-year-old Luxembourg rider’s contract last year. However, with Trek Factory Racing purchasing the team’s license, and brother Andy among their chief GC hopefuls, Frank was handed a reprieve and restarted his professional career with his first day back in the WorldTour peloton in Adelaide.
Schleck told reporters prior to the race he felt he had a chance to make a mark in Australia, and he certainly came back with a bang – although a temporary unclipping after an ill-timed mechanical was probably not the sort he was after. Nevertheless, despite a fierce pace set in the bunch, Schleck rejoined the leading group and crossed in 18th place, one of the riders given a time four seconds behind Simon Gerrans. It means the Luxembourg rider is sat 15 seconds off the Australian champion overall, and is certainly not out of GC contention yet.