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Trek Bicycle has reached an agreement with Leopard SA to obtain its WorldTour racing license to create a new team debuting in 2014. A named sponsor since the team’s inception in 2010, beginning next year Trek will assume ownership of the team.
While the new team’s organizational chart and roster of athletes has not been completed, Trek plans to conserve a large part of the existing roster. Current General Manager Luca Guercilena will be retained to manage the team. Trek is currently engaged in negotiations with several marquee athletes that will be announced shortly.
“We’re thrilled to be able to reach this agreement with Leopard,” said Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur. “The team has established a great foundation of staff and athletes. Great Athletes Ride Trek is something we are incredibly passionate about and we are looking forward to everything the future holds with this new team. We will have the ability to create more and better marketing content. The rider’s nationalities represent our major markets and can become an army of ambassadors at events across the world. We can have better integration into new product development and the ability for hospitality and activation at events.”
“I am proud to hand over this project to the people at Trek Bicycle, who have been a very dependable and loyal partner over the past three years” said Leopard owner Flavio Becca. “When we started in the summer of 2010 we had a blank canvas in our hands, a puzzle. Now, three seasons later, we have a team that has won some of the biggest races of cycling with Fabian Cancellara and put two Schleck brothers from Luxembourg together on the podium of the Tour de France. I am also especially pleased to have launched the professional career of a young talented rider like Bob Jungels and that the team has become a major player in professional cycling. I believe cycling has entered a new era, in which a bike manufacturer like Trek Bicycle takes on full ownership of a team. I have taken a lot of pleasure in running this project and I wish the team and all its members a bright future.”
Trek will begin the process of seeking partners for the new team immediately and looks forward to presenting the team plans to potential sponsors. RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK will operate under current management throughout the remainder of 2013.
Radioshack confirmed in March that it wouldn’t be continuing its sponsorship of the team beyond 2013 and since then the team’s management have been in talks to secure a title sponsor.