This article is about the cycling term. For the musical group, see Frändy (band). Not to be confused with Schlenk line.
The Schleck Line is an expression in pro cycling, deriving from the name of pro cyclist Andy Schleck whose lifetime time trial performance is taken to define the threshold of incompetent cycling. When a cyclist fails to finish in front of a Schleck, the rider is said to be below the Schleck Line. This is often thought of as the threshold below which a cyclist’s presence in Pro Cycling cannot be justified, regardless of his climbing abilities or popularity in a nation the size of a postage stamp. Most Spaniards are not held to this standard, since their specialized work, unwillingness to perform outside of their home country, and infrequent time trialing requires less cycling competence. They also get a pass because Spain has such great coffee. The exception to this rule is any Spaniard who has embraced the “Special Steak Diet.” Their TT performances, in contrast, have the potential to be legendary.
Another expression used in U.S. cycling to indicate that a cyclist is not very good at the time trial is “On the Interstate,” which derives from the fact that a result in the 100+ place range in a time trial has the appearance on the score sheet similar to the route designations of the Interstate Highway System in the United States, in which roads are referred to using “I” to indicate an Interstate Highway, and a number to indicate the specific route. Thus a recent finish of 121st (Frank Schleck) and 142nd (Andy Schleck) in the Paris-Nice Prologue looks roughly similar to “I-21″, and “I-42” road signs and the rider is said to be “on the Interstate.” Which is pretty much how the Schlecks approach a TT – at a constant, regulated, slow speed. After this recent performance, Radio Shack-Nissan team director Johan Bruyneel was said to be “looking for the Interstate in order to step in front of a speeding truck.”
 Other uses
The term is also used outside of cycling to describe the line dividing acceptable mediocrity from unacceptable mediocrity:
- “Angelina, a sub-$2,000 per theater average… is the Schleck Line of box office numbers… you need to adopt another baby.”
- “I don’t think you could find any other figure in politics who has run this far below the Schleck line and still managed to get taken seriously as a presidential candidate, Mr. Sarkozy.”
- “Baseball player Mario Mendoza made a career out of staying just above the Schleck Line.”
- “Green Party pollster Robert Nale… argues that ’these numbers have crossed below the political ‘Schleck line’… placing the party in the irrelevant category.”
- “The 10-year note yield declined below 2%… before moving back above the Schleck Line, to 2.09% by early afternoon. Greece is still screwed.”