More than two years after he was awarded the overall victory in the 2010 Tour de France, Andy Schleck has been presented with the winner’s trophy by French president François Hollande during a private ceremony at the Elysée Palace in Paris.
Schleck, who announced his retirement from professional cycling in October at the age of 29 as a result of a knee injury, was named winner of the race after the Court of Arbitration for Sport stripped Alberto Contador of the title in February 2012.
He was presented with the yellow jersey by race director Christian Prudhomme in May of that year, but never received the Sèvres porcelain vase given to the winner, which Contador had failed to return, reports Le Quotidien.
His appointment last Thursday evening at the Elysée Palace was arranged by Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn, who told the newspaper: “It’s simple, I’d read an interview in Le Quotidien in which Andy expressed regret at not having received the famous Sèvres vase that all Tour winners are given on the Champs Élysées podium.
“After his disqualification, Contador didn’t give it back. In my heart I believed that Andy could receive the vase by notching up another success at the Tour. Last October, he decided to end his career.
“I told myself this was the moment, especially since I knew that François Hollande was a fan of Andy, he told me so on several occasions. He loved his style, his class on the bike.”
Schleck was accompanied to the half-hour ceremony, which Asselborn described as “convivial and friendly,” by his partner Jil and mother Gaby.
Afterwards a beaming Schleck tweeted a picture of himself holding the trophy with the words, “Finally after 4 years.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.