Andy, Frank Schleck sign with Trek
Brothers join Fabian Cancellara in the new project with RadioShack GM Luca Guercilena
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Andy and Fränk Schleck will reunite under the same team banner in 2014 after Trek Bicycle announced the signing of both riders on Tuesday. The Wisconsin-based bike brand purchased the WorldTour racing license of the RadioShack-Leopard team earlier this season and is building the roster for its debut season.
“We’re very excited to add two riders that bring the race experience and professionalism that Andy and Fränk both have,” Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur said in a press release. “We’ve built a strong relationship with them in the past few years, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together next season.”
RadioShack classics captain Fabian Cancellara announced in June that he had signed with the team for three years. Luca Guercilena, current general manager at RadioShack, will serve as GM with the new squad.
Fränk Schleck served a one-year doping suspension after testing positive for banned diuretic Xipamide during the 2012 Tour de France. He became eligible to race again earlier in July, but did not come to terms on a contract with current RadioShack owner and fellow Luxembourger Flavio Becca. Schleck has denied that he used the substance intentionally and the Luxembourg anti-doping agency gave him a reduced sentence.
“Andy and I feel very similar about Trek,” said Fränk Schleck. “We have a good relationship and we hold Trek in our hearts. They supported me throughout the rough period I have been through — from the people on the road to the top management. We wanted to return this confidence and trust by signing on to their new project.”
The Schleck brothers were key components in assembling the Leopard-Trek team that in 2013 became RadioShack-Leopard. Becca and previous GM Brian Nygaard assembled the squad around Fränk, Andy, and Cancellara, but a debut season short on results led to Nygaard’s departure. Becca hired Johan Bruyneel to manage the team in 2012, but a public dispute between the riders and Bruyneel, and the Belgian’s ties to the U.S. Postal Service doping conspiracy, led to Guercilena replacing him late in the year. Much of the team structure from the current RadioShack squad should transition to the new Trek team, according to the Italian GM.
“I’m happy to re-sign with the Trek family and be a part of this project. The jersey of the team may be different but I’m happy that a large part of this team will remain intact,” said Andy Schleck. “I’m really looking forward to the future with this team.”
The team did not release details of either rider’s contract.