Trek will reportedly take over RadioShack Leopard’s WorldTour licence, currently held by Luxembourg-based businessman Flavio Becca through his Leopard SA company. According to Luxembourg newspaper Tagelblatt, the US-based bicycle brand, which supplies the team’s bikes, will assume the licence from 2014 onwards, but there will be no place for Fränk Schleck.
The 33-year-old is banned until July after testing positive for the diuretic Xipamide during last year’s Tour de France, and reportedly will not be rejoining RadioShack-Loepard.
Staying at the team for 2014, says Tageblatt, are its other two star riders, Andy Schleck, under contract till the end of that year, and Fabian Cancellara, the latter having previously been linked with a move to Swiss Professional Continental outfit, IAM Cycling.
Trek’s management is said to want to build on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix champion’s expertise in the Classics and as team captain, Cancellara will have an influence on its direction and priorities.
Making its debut in 2010 as Leopard Trek, the team was merged with RadioShack Nissan, also supplied by Trek, at the end of the 2011 season.
Besides Fränk Schleck’s ban, the team has also had to deal with the fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal.
The Texan rode with RadioShack during 2010 and early 2011, and his former manager at US Postal and Astana, Johan Bruyneel, was sacked by RadioShack Leopard last year following publication of the United States Anti Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision in the Armstrong case.
Nissan announced last December it was terminating its sponsorship, removing its branding but continuing to honour financial commitments through to the end of the current season.
RadioShack revealed in March that it would not be extending its sponsorship beyond the end of 2013.
Should the report prove accurate, Trek will join Cannondale and BMC Racing as bike brands that act as headline sponsor to a top-flight team without a co-sponsor appearing in the name.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.