Lowlights of 2011

Having covered some of the highlights of 2011, a quick look at the other moments from the year where there was less pleasure or enjoyment. The most sorry moment was obviously the loss of Wouter Weylandt during the Giro d’Italia. Any words about tragedy and loss just aren’t enough, there is little I can add. … Read more

Pro Tour paperwork

On Monday the UCI announced several teams had obtained Pro Tour licences for 2012, meaning they will be in the top division of cycling for the coming year. The full list and the press release is on the UCI website.

If there was plenty of satisfaction from the teams named, two squads were left looking less pleased:

The decisions concerning the GreenEDGE Cycling and RadioShack-Nissan teams will be announced later – the Commission is currently waiting for the teams to provide additional documents.

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Radioshack, Nissan, Trek: pick any two

As announced earlier today, CSE Pro Cycling LLC is proud to announce that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The team will hold a license in Luxembourg and be named the RadioShack Nissan Trek Professional Cycling Team.

That’s the press release from 5 September announcing the team resulting in the “merger” of the Radioshack and Leopard teams. Note the long name of Radioshack Nissan Trek, a mouthful already.

In fact it’s undigestable. It’s been pointed out that the proposed team name w0n’t fly because UCI rules only allow for two sponsor names. Here’s the relevant bit:

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When two become one

Leopard mating

The news that Radioshack and Leopard-Trek are “merging” confirms Flavio Becca’s interest in cycling is not on the same level as Swiss billionaire Andy Rihs, although that’s been clear from the start, just not so obvious.

Luxembourg’s Becca has decided to invest in pro cycling and wants to have a team with sponsors paying the wage bill and operating expenses rather than funding things from his bank account.

It’s been easy to snipe at Leopard this year as a nearly team. Legendary cycling manager Cyrille Guimard said it took him three to five years to make a team start working; Team Sky needed a season to learn the ropes. So it feels impatient to shake things up so suddenly, you wonder if the newly merged squad goes back to the beginning again.

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A glimpse of the Leopard

  The number-one ranked team in the sport was launched yesterday and was done on a scale so far unseen in the sport. It didn’t start like this. The morning press gathering underwhelmed a bit. The name was confirmed as Leopard-Trek. Some were frustrated not to see the jersey revealed – although it leaked to … Read more