PARIS, Sept 6, 2011 (AFP) – RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel confirmed on Tuesday that his American team is to merge with Luxembourg outfit Leopard to form a new super-team called RadioShack-Nissan-Trek.
The team, whose sponsors have signed up for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, will be licensed in Luxembourg and will have a squad of 30 riders.
The team’s leaders will be the Luxembourgian brothers Andy and Franck Schleck, respectively second and third in this year’s Tour de France, and quadruple world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland.
Other high-profile riders will include American Chris Horner, Germany’s Andreas Kloden, Jani Brajkovic of Slovenia, Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark and Italy’s Daniele Bennati.
“The squad and the staff will be a combination of the two existing teams,” said Bruyneel, who added that further details would be announced on September 15.
“All the contracts that have been signed with the riders and the members of staff will be respected.
“I think that RadioShack-Nissan-Trek will dominate cycling in the next few years. With riders like Fabian Cancellara and the Schleck brothers, we have the potential to win not just the classics but also the Grand Tours.”
RadioShack and Leopard are two of the biggest teams in the peloton and were both established recently.
RadioShack, formed in 2010 around seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, and Leopard, set up last year and spearheaded by the Schlecks, are supplied by the same bicycle manufacturers, Trek.
The merger will free up an extra place in the elite 18-team WorldTour cycling division, after the demise of HTC-Highroad and another merger between Omega-Pharma and QuickStep.